Reviews of Helen’s Story

A review from Matthew Fryer:

“Rosanne Rabinowitz paints the otherworldly moments with vivid strokes and effortlessly transports us between Victorian and contemporary London. She captures the character and nuances of both periods and proves herself a great evocator in the Machen tradition.”

From Chris Butler:

“Rabinowitz’ writing is very fine, as fans of her short fiction will know, and she exhibits a sly sense of humour here that I very much enjoyed… for anyone interested in the Pan mythology, ruminations on the power of art, or simply interested in quality contemporary fantasy writing, I highly recommend it.”

A review from Peter Tennant in Black Static #36, Sept-October 2013. And it is now available online at his blog Trumpetville:

“Rabinowitz has created a work that remains true to its source material but at the same time reinterprets it… At the end her story marks the power of creativity, the fecundity of both nature and the human mind, while embodying those things in the figure of the shape-shifter Pan and the abilities with which his children are endowed.”

Matthew Fryer has also highlighted Helen’s Story in his Hellforge Horror Picks of 2013:

“Special mention also goes to the lustrous Helen’s Story by Rosanne Rabinowitz. Functioning as an update/sequel for Arthur Machen’s “The Great God Pan”, it will please anybody who enjoys a thoughtful reworking and fresh point-of-view on a classic.”

Matthew also says good things about Horror Without Victims in the anthologies category.

Caroline Hooton says:

“Rosanne Rabinowitz’s novella is an erotic horror that draws on Machen’s original but is a stand-alone story. I haven’t read THE GREAT GOD PAN but was still able to enjoy this book. I really loved Helen’s spiky, unsentimental voice and her relationship with her strange companion while Rabinowitz does a great job of showing Helen’s creative process, giving it a sensuous, erotic charge that’s disturbing in its sexuality.”

Now I’ll mention two reviews of Helen’s Story that appeared in 2015. Bobby Derie writes in Innsmouth Free Press:

The language is sensual, the imagery vivid, the critical eye on the inhabitants of the art scene perceptive and penetrating, creating caricatures from which characters emerge like blooming flowers… Rabinowitz avoids the trap of pastiche, keeping her voice and style her own throughout, except for a handful of quotations. Neither does she feel the need to be pornographic to be explicit, emphasizing the sensual as much as the sexual, reminiscent of the prose of WH Pugmire or Caitlín R. Kiernan. No boring mechanical pumping motions or cliche rutting language, only kisses and caresses, tastes and sensations.

And the dedicated wanderer Mytho Geography has this to say:

Helen’s Story is a lovely read; an unembarrassed and unembarrassing hymn to pleasure and to an interwoven world of material and metamorphosis. 

I thought I’d be closing with 2015, but here’s another review from December 2016! Peter Coleborn wrote this ‘retro-review‘ of Helen in his blog:

Helen’s Story is so well written the novella flows effortlessly through the reader’s mind, subsuming him or her into this exotic and very erotic tale… Helen’s Story is a tour de force of one woman’s fight to understand her nature – and is quite simply a masterpiece. I’d place it in the same class, the way it mixes the real and the myth, as Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock, Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce and Among Others by Jo Walton.”

Coleborn adds: “I saw a post online that the book is now out of print. Let’s hope some other publisher picks it up so everyone can read and enjoy it.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s