Book Review – The Fisherman – John Langan


I feel truly blessed as a reader for some of the books that have come into my possession during 2016. It has been the best year yet, as far as I am concerned and we are only 6 months into it! Another home run comes in the shape of ‘The Fisherman’ by John Langan. I haven’t read a great deal by Langan in all honesty but have heard great things. There are writers and there are storytellers. John Langan falls into the latter category. His latest novel ‘The Fisherman’, published by the excellent Word Horde comes out June 30th and anybody out there with an interest in the horror genre that likes superbly written tales that feature deep, meaningful characters with added cosmic dread would be wise in picking up this book.

This tale sucked me in from the very first page. It almost feels like a campfire tale, such is the laidback style of Langan’s prose. The story is narrated by Abe, a man still dealing with the loss of his beloved wife to cancer. When Abe befriends another man (Dan) who also lost his wife and two young children in tragic circumstances, a bond is formed that lays the foundations for this wonderful, yet dark story.

‘The Fisherman’ is a brooding masterpiece of dark fiction. It features a story within the main story as Abe and Dan stop off on their way to Fisherman’s Creek and become engrossed in a story that unlocks the mystery of its murky past. There are some incredible scenes particularly towards the end of this tale as the battle against the fisherman ignites. Langan really ups the ante here with some truly impressive imagery, I absolutely adored this part of the book, it’s like a cocktail of Hellraiser and The Call of Cthulhu! This is where Langan’s imagination truly ignites and from here on in the pace really hots up.

Before this, Langan‘s story is a slow burner but delights in its descriptions and the sheer sense of unease that builds as the narrative progresses. ‘The Fisherman’ is a masterclass in characterisation. I liked Abe particularly from the opening chapter; a proud man, dealing with his grief as best he can, not looking for sympathy, simply getting on with his life with a minimum of fuss. I am a fisherman myself and I thought that Langan captured the essence of fishing very well indeed. I could wax lyrical about this book for a long, long time. The whole story reads like a literary classic of horror fiction; one that I am sure will be talked about for years to come. This tale is quite simply, breathtaking and is one of my favourite books of 2016.

Pick up a copy of ‘The Fisherman’ from here.

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