A GRIN OF THE DARK (A NOVEL) by Ramsey Campbell, intro by Michael Marshall Smith, illustrated by Vincent Chong. Hornsea, East Yorkshire, UK; PS Publishing; 2007. 1st edition PPC semi-hardcover (ie a trade paperback bound in decorated boards).
Once upon a time Tubby Thackeray's silent comedies were hailed as the equal of Chaplin's and Keaton's, but now his name has been deleted from the history of the cinema. Some of his music-hall performances before he went to Hollywood were riotously controversial, and his last film was never released – but why have his entire career and all his films vanished from the record?
Simon Lester is a film critic thrown out of a job by a lawsuit against the magazine he helped to found. When he's commissioned to write a book about Thackeray and restore the comedian's reputation, it seems as if his own career is saved. His research takes him from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, from dusty archives to a hardcore movie studio. But his research leads to something far older than the cinema in its latest and most dangerous shape...
Ramsey Campbell has found terror in the lore of cinema before – in The Parasite and Ancient Images – and now he turns to the silent era. Lon Chaney once invited us to contemplate opening our door at midnight to be confronted by a clown. Just hope you never find Tubby Thackeray there or, even worse, on your television or your computer.
Issued in a SIGNED/LIMITED PPC (printed paper cover) edition of 500, SIGNED by AUTHOR ONLY. Fine. OUT OF PRINT.