Ramsey Campbell ‘The Nameless’ Review
Written by: Vitina Molgaard
“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents…someday the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age.”
Here’s a ‘new’ read for me and another adventure into the workings of a celebrated well known writer. I realize that this is not a new story fresh from his mind but rather a rerelease with a few changes from the original, which was published in 1981. With that in mind let us take a look at what and where this one is headed.
One of the greatest tragedies for a parent has slammed into a young mother’s life: her daughter has gone missing and is later found to be the victim of what appears to be a vicious, violent murder. That mother, Barbara Waugh is left with a hole in the soul, and without her daughter, Amber, forever. After a number of years she has managed to move on with her life when she suddenly begins to get phone calls from a young girl, reaching out to her and pleading for help. That simple plea is “Mummy, help me.”
Barbara begins to wonder if her daughter is still alive and actually making these calls. But why, after all these years would this be happening, and an even better question is how? With hope and fear she begins to search for answers, because that voice could very well be her daughter, and if such is the case, she’s absolutely got to locate her. This is when things become a tad more complicated and confusing.
Our Protagonist here is about to journey into some very serious unknown territory. Someone has gone to great lengths to convince her that Amber was murdered, but why has she been brought into this horrendous situation now? Driven by the influence of a personal friend, Barbara visits a telepathic. The problem is she does not want to accept what this person has shared with her, even though facts have begun to line up with the revelations revealed to her.
Within these pages we are introduced to a cult, led by an obvious dark force…one with supernatural powers. The cult is made known, but unfortunately we never get a really fully fleshed out look at these lunatics. See, Mr. Campbell leaves a number of important unanswered questions. I was left wondering who really is the evil power that is the driving force behind the cultic activities? Why are children the victims and later so powerful with the victimization of others? And one big question is what makes Amber such an exceptional child? So much feels incomplete in this aspect of this horror, and believe me it is a horror story, it just left me a little frustrated.
That said, I found this to be a good book and was pleased with how Ramsey lays out the climax. Somewhat of a contradiction? Not actually, because the story – even if it does leave a few loose ends dangling about – is indeed well written. Mr. Campbell takes us places with his ability to express himself with an easy manner that keeps the reader wondering where we will end up. So yes, I do recommend this book to you with the provision that you be prepared to encounter some unanswered questions. And in the end, honestly, I am not sure that is necessarily a bad thing.
Oddly, I think I saw this premise done in a movie with a big climax scene at the cult’s country mansion – but as I haven’t read it, I’m probably wrong. Thanks for the detailed and honest review. 🙂
Lexicain…I checked this out for you , there was a movie made in Spain which was very loosely based on this book by Mr. Cambell. If you did see that one it was most definitely a Spanish production that was not released in the U.S. until 2005. And then it was released as a DVD. I don’t know if that is what you viewed, but I can tell you it definitely strayed from this book….and the ending is not how Campbell finished his story off. But then we all know how movies and books rarely line up. If we are fortunate they may be somewhat the same. I hope this helped you in someway in resolving whether or not you have seen the movie.Which was released under the name ‘Los Sin Nombre’….as always…just me…vitina the old hippie