For Fear of Little Men by John Blackburn
Trade Paperback – Valancourt Books – 2022 – 182 pages
‘We daren’t go a-hunting for fear of little men’ – words from an old children’s song, but to the residents of one Welsh village it’s more than just a nursery rhyme. A legend has been handed down through the ages, telling of an ancient mountain people, dedicated to evil, who were massacred by the villagers’ ancestors three thousand years ago. No animals ever graze on the northern slope of the mountain where the bloodshed took place and strange incidents befall anyone who wanders there.
What does this folktale have to do with a man’s recurring nightmares, the murder of a High Court judge, an outbreak of food poisoning, a strange road accident, and the death of a rock climber? Sir Marcus Levin is determined to find out, but he may not be prepared for the truth that will be revealed in a horrifying ceremony at the heart of the mountain.
One of the finest novels by John Blackburn (1923-1993), known in his time as ‘today’s master of horror’ (The Times Literary Supplement), For Fear of Little Men (1972) is a classic of folk horror, back in print at last to chill a new generation of readers.