Stuart Klawans
January 22, 1993 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Living One

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Lewis Gannett
genre
Horror, Fiction

We gave it a C

Good horror novels scare you by dissolving boundaries: between what you know and what you imagine, between your sense of yourself and somebody else’s. Your skin starts to feel permeable. Not-so-good horror novels, like The Living One, leave you safe in your armchair, not only unviolated but untouched. Perhaps some readers will respond to Lewis Gannett’s novel because his hero is a gay teenager from Southern California, battling for his life against a rich and decadent father who is eventually revealed to be a centuries-old psychic. But the book’s tone never fully registers as either spooky or campy, though it tries hard to be both. C

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