A Review of The Wind Caller
BY Robert Dunbar
The Wind Caller
by P. D. Cacek
about the legendary horror movies -- the ones with Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney.
What single factor from these films lingers in the mind? More than camera angles
and atmospheric lighting, more than Expressionistic sets and stylized performances,
what remains fresh and riveting -- even all these decades later -- is some elusive
amalgam of all these elements, something that can only be termed mood. Since
the earliest days of the first talkies, sound effects played a vital role in the
establishment of mood. Doors creaked and ingénues shrieked. And in the
30's and 40's, master filmmakers used the sound of the wind to create -- not just
ambiance -- but tension, even terror. In all the classics, the wind howls and
screeches. It moans outside the windows of Frankenstein's lab and whistles
through the battlements of Castle Dracula. It becomes a doleful dirge when
the poor, benighted Wolfman prowls the forest. Listen. Do you hear it
That eerie mood -- enhanced by the guttering wind -- still shatters nerves and sends a shiver up the spine. Always, however, the wind was delegated to a mere supporting role, the real monster a more solid presence.
Like the wind itself, P. D. Cacek represents a barely tapped natural resource of tremendous potential. Winner of both the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award, she's the author of Night Players, Canyons and Night Prayers, and her latest novel -- The Wind Caller -- again attains levels of literary sophistication most practitioners of the genre don't even aspire to. Cacek brings impressive assets to the task of entertaining and frightening her readers, among them an innate comprehension of dramatic tension and irony, as well as a gift for dialogue. But The Wind Caller also proves fiercely intelligent and socially responsible. How often are those words applied to horror novels? (For that matter, how many horror writers have had their work described as lyrical?) There's been nothing like this in the genre before: the book boasts a truly evil and utterly original menace, inspired by an authentic Hopi legend about an elemental god who bonds with a mortal.
And, yes, absolute power corrupts.
Hold onto your hat (and everything else). The Wind Caller will blow you away.
Update April 2005:
The Wind Caller by P.D. Cacek
has been nominated for a
Bram Stoker Award for 2004
Visit P.D. Cacek's Website
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