The Black Train by Edward Lee

The Black Train by Edward Lee

dmon_man's picture

The Black Train

by Edward Lee

I don't know much about the writer Edward Lee (this is the first book I've read of his, but I believe that he's considered to be one of the grandfathers of the extreme horror genre. In the Black Train he's definitely more graphic than say Stephen King in describing the sex, of which there is a lot, and the violence. Fortunately, he doesn't allow it to overshadow what in the beginning is an interesting story.

The Black Train is basically a "haunted hotel" story similar to King's The Shining. It follows a writer, Collier, who checks into an old hotel which begins to have a strange affect on him. (Wait a second that is The Shining!) Suddenly, he sees ghosts, is super horny and dreams of the hotel's violent past. He becomes fascinated with the hotel and dives headlong into its perverted and horrific history while he tries to stave off its evil influence. This basically creates two stories: Collier's story and the hotel's story.

Collier's story is filled with odd but fascinating characters and a setting Lee makes come to life in the reader's mind. It's too bad it's also filled with details (Collier's divorce, midlife crisis and love life) that are routine and a drag on the book as a whole.

The hotel's story is superior and builds a palpable dread and a mystery that kept me interested and reading. Where did the evil come from? Who was behind it? Why?

Unfortunately what should have been a dynamic conclusion runs afoul of the love story Lee has shoehorned into the last part of the novel. Instead of a huge explosion of demons, devils and gore we're stuck with reading about how Collier can't wait to kiss his new girlfriend.


Oh, and why call this book The Black Train when the train has little to do with the story?

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DarkDreamer's picture

I felt it was an OK book but I agree that the ending could have been better.  I have to admit though, I rather enjoyed the graphic sex. 

meangreen's picture

Hey dmon. I Haven't read that book but I did read another book of his, The Golem. While the book wasn't horrible it wasn't good either. He tries too hard for the shock value, mostly sexual/rape. I think that it actually takes away from the story a little myself. If  I want to read about sex I'll by a Harlequin novel. Just my opinion to keep the horror in my horror stories and less sex.


SomebodyWicked's picture

haven't read that yet... try Flesh Gothic... 1st thing I ever read by Edward Lee was the short story The Stickwoman... I was like woah I have to read more by this guy...

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