Mesmer

October 11th, 1999 • Posted in Library, Novels |

Mesmer by Tim LebbonPublished: Tanjen, 1997 / Prime Books 2003

My first novel, shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award for Best Novel (losing out to Chaz Brenchley). No longer very easy to get hold of…

The inspiration for this book came from a news story about a woman in Italy who was charging people admission to her kitchen. And they were paying. Reason being, the faces of dead folk were supposedly manifesting in the flagstone floor, appearing as patches in the stone, very recognisible, very definite. This gave me a brief but vivid image of a wall containing lost souls, souls torn unwillingly from their host bodies, kept in the wall like a sort of ethereal prison, faces pressing out in an eternally doomed escape attempt…

This image appears in Mesmer, and the rest of the story built up from there. The idea of the dispossessed really did come to me at a motorway service station, and I like the fact that they’re not totally explained. Are they ghosts, are they alive, are they dead?

Reviews:

“Mature story-telling at its best: insightful, moving, powerful, frightening. Read Lebbon now!” – Simon Clark

“Mesmer is an excellent taster from a new writer. Lebbon’s one to watch.”- SFX, B+

“…a truly impressive first novel.” – Bentley Little

“…a firm and confident style, with elements of early Clive Barker.” – Phil Rickman

“…as thoughtful and entertaining a ride as you’re likely to experience this year.” – Samhain

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