My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2639982548">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
I took some extra time before writing my review of this very special novella, because it is not straight-out horror nor fantasy. Instead, it is a metaphysical blend, even an extension, of both horror and fantasy. There aren't really any "monsters" or "terrors" here, other than those hiding in the hearts and minds of humans. Ostensibly, a young man, Kiefer by name (that is all he chooses as his identity), a former librarian and university graduate, seeks employment. As is common in the latter 20th and early 21st century, he is often deemed "overqualified," and so is nearly at his wits' end when he discovers a simple online notice: Bookshop, Technician Wanted. He calls and then visits the shop, discovering an odd owner and a plethora of books, many rather old. Then he can't find one of the keys to his girlfriend's flat, offered to him while she is away in Tuscany caring for her folks; and the owner offers him a room upstairs of the shop, in an upstairs that seems to go on forever, always laden with books.<br /><br />Mr. Campbell unfolds a story that is so imaginative in breadth and depth that I cannot do it justice, other than to say, for Mr. Campbell's fans, and for any thinking person, THE BOOKING is an absolute must-read. It is part of the Black Labyrinth series, with incredible illustrations by gifted artist Santiago Caruso.
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