The Wise Friend
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The Wise Friend

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"An absolute master of modern horror. And a damn fine writer at that" - Guillermo del Toro


Featured in Booklist's Top SF/Fantasy & Horror of 2020.


Patrick Torrington's aunt Thelma was a successful artist whose late work turned towards the occult. While staying with her in his teens he found evidence that she used to visit magical sites. As an adult he discovers her journal of her explorations, and his teenage son Roy becomes fascinated too. His experiences at the sites scare Patrick away from them, but Roy carries on the search, together with his new girlfriend. Can Patrick convince his son that his increasingly terrible suspicions are real, or will what they've helped to rouse take a new hold on the world?



FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 18mm | 224g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New ed
  • 1787584038
  • 9781787584037
  • 455,402

Review quote

"With razor-sharp prose, Campbell layers his satisfying narrative with intricate, unsettling details to create the feeling of glimpsing something strange out of the corner of one's eye. Fans of cerebral, slow-burning horror will enjoy this twisty treat." "Another towering achievement from one of the genre's living legends." "The Wise Friend suggests more than shows. It is a slow-burning horror novel that hints at demonic activity without giving everything away until the very end." "A truly haunting tale and an example of a master at work." "Apart from Campbell's acumen in the art of disturbing us, one fixed point may be observed about his writing - the sheer elegance in the use of language; a skill that is fully in place here." "The Wise Friend is a first-rate cautionary tale of a father who looks a little too deeply into mysteries whose allure he could never resist at any age and the mistake of bringing his son in on the secret. It's allegorical, too - rarely has the truth of coming of age and the discoveries that brings about been told with such a deft stroke. Ramsey Campbell is known as an absolute master for a reason." "The Wise Friend is a masterclass of unease and narrative drive, and pretty much un-putdownable." "Ramsey Campbell has already left nearly every other weird writer, past or present, in the dust; and this new novel only cements the lofty reputation he has achieved through a lifetime of stellar work." -- S.T. Joshi in DEAD RECKONINGS "The Wise Friend is a lyrical and trippy build of the uncanny to a crescendo of the weird. No one writes horror like Ramsey Campbell, or transforms the mundane world in such strange, ghastly and wondrous ways. Still the most distinctive living voice in the field. The Poet Laureate of the supernatural in fiction." -- Adam Nevill * author of The Reddening * "Britain's most respected living horror writer" "One of the century's great literary exponents of the gothic and horrific" "Easily the best horror writer working in Britain today." "Good horror writers are quite rare, and Campbell is better than just good" -- Stephen King "The John Le Carre of horror fiction" "Britain's greatest living horror writer" "He is unsurpassed in the subtle manipulation of mood... You forget you're just reading a story" "Britain's leading horror novelist." "An absolute master of modern horror. And a damn fine writer at that" -- Guillermo del Toro "I would say that only five writers have written serious novels which incorporate themes of fantasy or the inexplicable and still qualify as literature: T. E. D. Klein, Peter Straub, Richard Adams, Jonathan Carroll and Ramsey Campbell." -- Stephen King "The most sophisticated and highly regarded of British horror writers" "He writes of our deepest fears in a precise, clear prose that somehow manages to be beautiful and terrifying at the same time. He is a powerful, original writer, and you owe it to yourself to make his acquaintance" "One of the few who can scare and disturb as well as make me laugh out loud. His humour is very black but very funny, and that's a rare gift to have" -- Mark Morris "For sheer ability to compose disturbing, evocative prose, he is unmatched in the horror/fantasy field... He turns the traditional horror novel inside out, and makes it work brilliantly" -- Fangoria "A horror writer in the classic mould... Britain's premier contemporary exponent of the art of scaring you out of your skin" "The undisputed master of the psychological horror novel" "Perhaps the most important living writer in the horror fiction field" -- David Hartwell "Ramsey Campbell's work is tremendous" -- Jonathan Ross "The Grand Master of British horror... the greatest living writer of horror fiction" "In Campbell's hands words take on a life of their own, creating images that stay with you, feelings that prey on you, and people you hope never ever to meet" "The finest writer now working in the horror field" "Ramsey Campbell is the nearest thing we have to an heir to M. R. James"
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About Ramsey Campbell

Ramsey Campbell was born in Liverpool in 1946 and still lives on Merseyside. The Oxford Companion to English Literature describes him as "Britain's most respected living horror writer". He has been given more awards than any other writer in the field, including the Grand Master Award of the World Horror Convention, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Horror Writers Association, the Living Legend Award of the International Horror Guild and the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2015 he was made an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University for outstanding services to literature. Among his novels are The Face That Must Die, Incarnate, Midnight Sun, The Count of Eleven, Silent Children, The Darkest Part of the Woods, The Overnight, Secret Story, The Grin of the Dark, Thieving Fear, Creatures of the Pool, The Seven Days of Cain, Ghosts Know, The Kind Folk, Think Yourself Lucky and Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach. Needing Ghosts, The Last Revelation of Gla'aki, The Pretence and The Booking are novellas. His collections include Waking Nightmares, Alone with the Horrors, Ghosts and Grisly Things, Told by the Dead, Just Behind You and Holes for Faces, and his non-fiction is collected as Ramsey Campbell, Probably. Limericks of the Alarming and Phantasmal are what they sound like.

His novels The Nameless, Pact of the Fathers and The Influence have been filmed in Spain. He is the President of the Society of Fantastic Films.
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