Where the Nightmare Ends by Robin Wood
Hardcover – PS Publishing – Mar 2023 – 167 pages
Robin Wood was and remains one of the greatest writers about film. He had an abiding interest in horror as an expression of radicalism. In 1979 he and his partner Richard Lippe curated a programme of sixty horror films at the Toronto International Film Festival, and they provided an accompanying monograph, American Nightmare: Essays on the Horror Film. In his novel Where the Nightmare Ends Wood made his own contribution to the genre. “Normality is threatened by the monster” was his famous formulation for the field. It’s designed to raise questions, and so is this novel, where an assorted group of folk as flawed as us are trapped on an island where a search for perfection has created something monstrous. How do we define normality and the monstrous? Wood suggests many answers as he leads us through psychological unease to suspense and dread and ultimately outright horror, not soon forgotten.