CategoryCasson Tim

Tim Casson, ‘The Scream’ (2010)

An estate agent finds that people who were once close now seem to be distancing themselves from him, at the same time as a painful growth has appeared on his neck (yet apparently no one else can see it), and he’s showing properties to a mysterious stranger who sells remarkably popular kebabs. These disparate elements are, it seems, connected; but in ways I can’t quite piece together in my mind — though I’ve thought the story over, its parts won’t coalesce into a satisfying conception of “what’s going on”. So, for me, ‘The Scream’ has some interesting ideas, but is less successful as a whole.

Rating: ***

Tim Casson, ‘The Overseer’ (2010)

Depression-era London: our narrator, Darius, was born into a wealthy family, but is now having to deal with the hard economic times and has taken a job in a factory. He discovers a dark secret at its heart, in the form of the mill’s mysterious masked overseer. Casson evokes the atmosphere of the factory particularly well, and the ending takes the story takes the story off in a fascinating new direction. But the metaphorical underpinning doesn’t seem fully coherent, leaving me with the sense of a story containing two or three ideas that sit quite uncomfortably alongside one another, good though Casson’s writing is.

This story appears in Black Static 16. Read all my posts about that issue here.

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