The Man In The Picture

The Man in the Picture, as it purports on its cover, is a ghost story. However, it is not a ghost story in the vein of The Ring or Ju-On that inspires dread in the reader (although I was careful to avoid looking into mirrors in the dead of night!), try as it might to portray a fearful atmosphere. Instead the reader feels more like a bystander watching events play out. True, the characters in the tale suffer from some dreadful occurrences but they never seem to be able to draw you in to share it, unlike, for example the fate of the Baron de Canolles in Nanon, where the reader becomes wrapped up in his fate. Unfortunately for this tale, it just meanders along. The story itself seems to be an adult adaptation of the fate of a Norwegian boy in the beginning of Roald Dahl's The Witches, and could almost do with being a little longer and expanding upon some of the ghostly goings-on. The ending, unfortunately, is quite obvious once certain things have been said. It is not a bad book by any means, but in a world where there are more books available to read than any one person can in a lifetime, if a book is not thought-provoking or compelling there is really no justification to read it given the alternatives. And so one should not feel that they are missing out by not reading The Man in the Picture.


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