So why is Jacob Rozinski lonely?
Well, to kick off he is part Polish and part Irish and not accepted by either community. Secondly, when his father died, Jacob’s mother moved back to Ireland where Jacob’s attempt to integrate led to joining the Provisional IRA only to find himself being hospitalised by the good old boys when he no longer wanted to take part in their terrorist activities.
And as if that isn’t bad enough, Jacob receives frequent visits from dead people. Not just any old dead people, the people who inhabit Jacob’s dreams actually are not dead yet, but they soon will be and there is nothing that he can do to help them. On the other hand Jacob, has started to make a nice living out of painting the portraits of these soon to be corpses, so it’s not all bad.
When his mother dies, Jacob returns to Ireland for the funeral. At the wake a fight with Seamus O’Gloughlin, the ringleader of his Provo tormentors, is followed by a visit from a supernatural being who offers to show Jacob what later became of Seamus and it ain’t at all pretty. You’d think that Jacob would have been pleased to be rid of the guy who orchestrated his beating, until his phone rings and Seamus is on the other end of the line. You see Jacob’s mother has left Jacob something that the denizens of the spirit world really, really want.
Julian Lorr delivers an extremely well written and imaginative novella that delves into both central European legend and a dark Irish mythology for its chills. There’s a touch of Clive Barker here in the way that supernatural encounters are seamlessly integrated into the plot and they are all the more chilling for that. The characters are all nicely drawn and what clinches it for me is that Lorr demonstrates a convincing grasp of Irish society and vernacular.
If it were a film I’d give it a 666
The Loneliness of Jacob Rozinski is available now as an Amazon download.
For further reading and viewing pleasure:
The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker: In pursuit of the ultimate pleasure Frank opens the box known as the Lament Configuration and is sucked into the Cenobite’s realm of torture and sensory overload. When his brother Rory moves into Frank’s old house an accidental spill of blood reopens the portal to the Cenobite’s world. Murder and mayhem result in the novella that spawned the film Hellraiser (1987).
The Horla by Guy de Maupassant: Who’d have thought waving at a far off ship would summon a supernatural hitchiker that feeds of human energy and sips your bedside glass of water. This terrifying story was filmed as Diary of a Madman (1963) with Vincent Price in the title role.
Review by Simon Ball
Connect with Simon: @RealShipsCook or here.