All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By

All Heads Turn When The Hunt Goes ByAll Heads Turn When The Hunt Goes By by John Farris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel is kind of crazy, but in that great, over the top, 1970s horror way! Part Southern Gothic family drama, part supernatural horror tale, ALL HEADS TURN WHEN THE HUNT GOES BY is exceptionally well written. Farris is an accomplished and talented author with a deft hand at characterization and an impressive ability to conjure terrifying images without explicitly describing what you’re seeing. Other parts are more explicit: the violence, the sex, and particularly the racial politics. A great deal of the novel takes place on a Southern plantation in the 1940s, and the N-word is used frequently and cavalierly. As a writer, Farris is interested in the horrific legacy of slavery and the Jim Crow laws that replaced it, but that kind of language might be enough to turn some modern readers away.

The first half of the novel confused me a little — a deliberate structural choice on Farris’s part — by presenting several seemingly unrelated events that occur over the course of two years to seemingly unrelated characters, but by the end Farris manages to tie it all together quite well. The prose can be dense at times, and the pacing lackadaisical, but it all leads up to a climax that’s so creepy and satisfying that the reader’s patience is rewarded tenfold.

If you’re looking for something to read from the glory days of the horror paperback, from a time before Stephen King’s complete domination of the field, I would definitely recommend Farris’s ALL HEADS TURN WHEN THE HUNT GOES BY, so long as you don’t mind its unhurried pace and can stomach its warts-and-all exploration of abhorrent racial bigotry.

View all my reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

 

News & Updates

  • 09/22/2020 — Anais Nin at the Grand GuignolAna├»s Nin at the Grand Guignol by Robert Levy My rating: 5 of 5 stars Dark, sexy, and written in a suitably decadent prose style, Robert Levy’s supernatural take on historical figures Anais Nin, Henry Miller, June Miller, and real-life star of the Grand Guignol Paula Maxa will leave you breathless.…Read more »
  • 09/17/2020 — Harrow County, Vol. 2: Twice ToldHarrow County, Vol. 2: Twice Told by Cullen Bunn My rating: 5 of 5 stars Emmy’s long-lost twin sister Kammi visits Harrow County to meet her sister and claim her power, setting off a dark chain of events that turns the haints against Emmy.…Read more »
  • 09/09/2020 — Underworld DreamsUnderworld Dreams by Daniel Braum My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is Daniel Braum’s best collection yet, filled with stories that exhibit a masterful sense of ambiguity and explore the tension between the personal and the profound.…Read more »
  • 08/28/2020 — Harrow County, Vol. 1: Countless HaintsHarrow County, Vol. 1: Countless Haints by Cullen Bunn My rating: 5 of 5 stars A fun, fast-moving setup to what I expect will be a highly enjoyable series, COUNTLESS HAINTS combines writer Cullen Bunn’s masterful use of atmosphere and setting with artist Tyler Crook’s vibrant watercolor illustrations to create something truly compelling.…Read more »
  • 08/26/2020 — Survivor SongSurvivor Song by Paul Tremblay My rating: 5 of 5 stars Paul Tremblay steps away from the ambiguous, maybe-supernatural horror novels he’s been writing over the past few years to present a realistic tale of survival amid a scientifically-based epidemic.…Read more »

Archives

Search