This may or may not come as a shock, depending on which Sarban story you come across first. Sarban delved into sadism to power his fantastic imagination, like Alain Robbe-Grillet and Georges Bataille — but far less explicitly. Sometimes you wish that Sarban just had the stomach and the honesty to tackle his subject matter directly and write out his dreams as straight Sadean erotica instead of using fantasy and strange fiction as a wrapper and a pretext. The sexual undercurrent, alongside the atavistic rural paganism, is woven deeply into his dystopian vision and both fuels and enriches the imaginative detail.
Nowadays, Sarban would probably be a member of Torture Garden and perhaps a subscriber to Skin Two Magazine ; back in s England, he had to find a more veiled and more fruitful, if less fulfilling, outlet for his predilections than the BDSM alternative lifestyle community. Totalitarianism may have represented a dreadful guilty temptation as well as an inhuman enemy to Sarban — the Sadean promise of unbridled power, once the province of aristocrats like von Hackelnberg, or the Duc de Blangis, or the Marquis de Sade himself.
If only others could do the same. Because one unexpected and horribly appealing aspect of this new edition of The Sound of His Horn is how topical and timely it is.
Blowing His Horn: The Twisted Fiction of Sarban
Hans von Hackelnberg spares thee now to hunt thee again under another moon! Querdilion is haunted by the fear that he could be snatched back into that nightmare realm at any time. He is reminding his listeners, if reminding they needed, of the corruption and perverse cruelty that the world escaped by defeating the Nazis. His imagination took full flight and though it might have shone a light on Sarban's own weirdness it is a powerful reminder of how the whole 'untermensch' mentality of the Nazis would have continued to wreak more and more monstrous havoc.
The 'cat-girls' and 'dog-boys', hunters bred and created for bestial display, for the powerful to vicariously enjoy savagery whilst quaffing fine wine, were hideously real. Sarban creates a world which is the nightmare seen from the corner of your eye, when you wake up disorientated and confused.
The cleverness of Sarban is he doesn't finish the novel with an equivalent of Conrad's 'Oh the horror, the horror' but rather with a weird 'sang-froid' stiff upper lip remark from the hero. View all 6 comments. Una ucronia oscura, angosciante: La barriera oltre il bosco Leggendo l'approfondita e intrigante postfazione di Matteo Codignola, si viene a sapere che questo racconto di genere horror ed erudito-fantastico, un vero incubo materializzato in una ucronia visionaria fondata su ossessione, odio e violenza, venne pubblicato dalla casa editrice di Peter Llewelyn Davies, figlio adottivo di J.
Un ufficiale della Marina britannica in fuga da un campo di prigionia si perde in una foresta e, prima di essere catturato di nuovo, si ritrova recluso in un universo di tenebra parallelo e capovolto, nel quale il nazismo da un secolo ha trionfato e regna una sorta di germanesimo incentrato su cannibalismo e paganesimo, zoomorfismo e teriantropia: View all 3 comments.
This book is a little odd I mean it's not that you haven't seen anything like it. It's just that as it's put together it's a bit This is a short book and can be read in one sitting if you're will to read for a few hours. Our "hero" is a young man who was in a German prison camp during the war WW2. He's home but, he's not the same.
His mother has observed that, "the Germans didn't This book is a little odd His mother has observed that, "the Germans didn't send all of him home". We get to view a discussion that sets things up and then he goes off alone with a friend and tells the story of an attempted escape from a German prison camp and how he "seems to have" landed in an alternate future where the Nazis won the war and there are horrors unthought of.
This isn't a bad book. It's dated as the story set up is very slow and even the "horror" we find is a bit paler than you'd see today the way it's told.
I think I can give it a "mild" recommendation. Try it yourself maybe. Jan 25, Jim Smith rated it it was amazing. This is intensely atavistic, sylvan folk horror. After raving about Sarban's Ringstones, The Doll Maker, Calmahain and Number 14, I put this one off for a time because of the science-fiction 'alternate history' appellation in its reviews not appealing to me, but rest assured this is baroque Gothic horror and concerns deep-rooted primal human fears of being hunted in dark woods more than the pulpish science-fiction worldbuilding I expected.
Another eccentric masterpiece of the weird and macabre fr This is intensely atavistic, sylvan folk horror. Another eccentric masterpiece of the weird and macabre from Sarban. I wasn't expecting much and have been left stunned. Don't fall prey to the shlocky pulp sci-fi marketing and put this off as I did. This is pure uncanny dream-slipping-into nightmare oneiric horror at its finest and the astonishing quality of all four books of his I own has cemented my view of Sarban as a classic artist of the uncanny tale.
Lo que nos cuenta. Alan Querdilion vuelve a Inglaterra tras ser liberado de los campos de prisioneros alemanes al final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, pero ha vuelto cambiado y su familia lo nota. Raccontato come un lungo sogno folle dal suo protagonista, mescola distopia e ucronia a un orrore mitologico che si fonde con il male assoluto del nazismo. Bellissima la copertina Adelphi. Sarban is always at his most intriguing and effective when he's at his least explicit as in the stunning 'Ringstones', where a long, deliberately vague set-up and quasi-idyllic middle leads to a genuinely disturbing close that gives me the shivers every time I think of it ; when he openly indulges his worst instincts r 2.
Sarban is always at his most intriguing and effective when he's at his least explicit as in the stunning 'Ringstones', where a long, deliberately vague set-up and quasi-idyllic middle leads to a genuinely disturbing close that gives me the shivers every time I think of it ; when he openly indulges his worst instincts racism, sadism, fetishising of a certain sort of upper middle-class Englishman , he becomes too obvious for suspension of disbelief and his fantasy world collapses.
Alte aspettative disattese, con questo breve romanzo distopic-ucronico. Per la "Caccia Selvaggia", invece, direi i Therion ma Weber sarebbe andato bene lo stesso https: View all 5 comments. Jun 13, Olethros rated it really liked it. Sep 18, Umberto Rossi rated it really liked it. Basically it's a sort of nightmare. Actually it's a sort of weird mix of surrealism, fantasy, sf and uchronia. To quote the Monty Python, and now something completely different. Surely not a book that one can easily forget.
This said, it's one of those books that readers of fantastic fiction must read. Bel romanzo, ben corredato da una nota a fine volume che ne arricchisce e amplia il significato e tematiche. Ucronia sulla seconda guerra mondiale che anticipa di decenni il romanzo di Dick, pregevole scoperta. This is one of those classics that I somehow missed until I won a copy. The two find themselves drinking and smoking by a late night fire when Alan relates his This is one of those classics that I somehow missed until I won a copy.
The two find themselves drinking and smoking by a late night fire when Alan relates his odd tale of a walk on the weird side. Alan finds himself in a future world years after the Nazis obtained dominance.
Sarban's The Sound of his Horn | Counter-Currents Publishing
He wakes up in a German hospital-type place. The two nurses and the doctor try to help him, thinking he is suffering from a bad hit to the head. Eventually, he learns something of the baron whose land the hospital resides on. Slavery is common place for both young men and women. What Alan learns is disturbing. The slaves have been bred or perhaps genetically altered at the zygote level to provide a service or entertainment for this baron. Some are physically altered as kids or teens, such as having vocal chords cut. The baron treats many of these specialized slaves as animals, using them to hunt as well as providing them to be hunted.
Alan eventually offends the baron by sneaking about and he is tossed into the fenced forest to be hunted at leisure. This starts the heart pounding suspense as Alan must avoid the Hunt again and again. The moonlit Wild Hunt scenes were absolutely riveting. As you might guess, since Alan is telling this story from the beginning years after the even happens, he survives the event, though not unmarked. The reader is left to decide whether or not Alan truly experienced this event, if it was his hallucination, or if Alan made it up to mess with his friend.
I won a copy of this book from the publisher via The Audio Book Reviewer with no strings attached. Stefan Rudnicki was excellent. His performance really added to the tension and excitement and the disgust Alan felt from time to time. His female voices were good and his accents were well done. During one of the hunting scenes, these wild cats sort of are being used to hunt and Rudnicki was in the middle of the narrative that explains the wild yowling sounds as they go on the chase when my old deaf cat let out a yowl of her own.
I almost jumped out of my skin! Apr 30, DoctorM rated it really liked it Shelves: A long-obscured but brilliant book, sadly long out of print. A brilliant and darkly disturbing piece a British officer POW in WW-2 finds himself in a world a couple of centuries after the Nazis win the war. And there on a great estate in what was once the Ukraine, the Reichs Master-Forester and his guests have gathered for a horseback hunt of Slavic Untermenschen Jul 03, Timothy Jarvis rated it liked it. It doesn't quite work, but like the best bizarre fiction it's hard to shake Mar 11, Christophe rated it really liked it Shelves: The most dangerous game in the high castle.
Oct 09, James Castle rated it it was ok. The book's actually kind of unintentionally funny, once you accept these scenes as the book's raison d'etre ; nevertheless, however amusing they might be, they don't make this a good book. Jun 22, David rated it really liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read this short piece by Sarban on the advice of a friend.
I truly enjoyed it! I wonder if Alan our main character was suffering hallucinations the whole time, or if he truly visited an alternative future? Is he the old Frenchman too? Loved the visual imagery Sarban invokes.
- David Benoit Anthology.
- The Sound of His Horn – Book Review.
- Sarban (John William Wall) - The Sound of His Horn.
Just take "The Most Dangerous Game" but add Nazis and any element you can think of that will unsettle the mind. Quando parliamo di genere distopico certamente ci vengono in mente grandi nomi: Orwell, Bradbury, Huxley, and all direbbe Holden. Eppure esiste una vera e propria galassia sommersa di piccoli grandi autori che hanno lavorato su questo genere. Siamo nel pieno della seconda guerra mondiale e il protagonista e narratore, Alan Querdilion, ex tenente dell'esercito britannico catturato dai nazisti, ripercorre lungo tutta la narrazione, attraverso un lungo flashback, la sua fuga dal campo di prigionia e gli eventi straordinari che l'hanno caratterizzata.
Tentando la fuga attraverso foreste sterminate difatti rimane colpito da una vera e propria barriera di raggi Bohlen. I bellissimi e lustri mantelli maculati che vedevamo sotto di noi aderivano perfettamente alle schiene e ai seni prosperosi di una truppa di giovani donne [ Hunger Games di Suzanne Collins. Molto interessante inoltre la nota bio-bibliografica finale, curata da Matteo Codignola, in grado di illuminarci su un autore tanto poco conosciuto quanto, proprio per questa ragione, affascinante.
Jul 25, Graeme Shimmin rated it liked it Shelves: He is trapped in a game reserve with other humans and hunted by the Reich Master Forester as he tries to escape back to his own world. The Sound of His Horn is set in a different world than our own, a world where somehow the Nazis are victorious, but is it really alternate history? There's no point of departure. In fact, there's no explanation at all given of how the world changed or developed. The whole story takes place on the estate of the Reich Master Forester, and the wider alternate world is barely hinted at.
The only mentions of an alternate history are that the Second World War is renamed as the War of German Rights and that a character mentions that Britain was invaded in and there has been resistance ever since.
The Sound of His Horn: Plot Summary
It's a very odd book indeed with its hybrid creatures, Nazis, feudal lords, and unexplained time travel. Sarban tells it though in a calm, matter of fact and very English tone that tends to undermine the more fantastic elements and make it seem almost real. The explanation of the time travel seems to be that the 'Bohlen Rays' in the barrier surrounding the Reich Master Forester's estate created a temporal anomaly that caused Querdilion to time travel into a possible future.
This 'scientific explanation' gives The Sound of His Horn commonalities with classic time-travel sci-fi like H. Wells' The Time Machine.
Querdilion himself though declares several times that he must have just been temporarily insane, and he passes out in to wake in which is similar to a dream sequence or fantasy. The story also has much in common with the fantasy genre, for example feudal structures, medieval setting, minimal technologic explanation of either the time travel or the human-animal hybrids.
The Sound of His Horn is in some ways similar to the sub-genre known as 'Nazisploitation', where villainous Nazis commit crimes against helpless women. However, it pre-dates Nazisploitation, as that subgenre was one of the sixties and seventies. It is also much less 'exploitative', it is not sadistic or gory. It is though quite voyeuristic, describing the various semi-naked women-animal hybrids and their paraphernalia, such as metal claws, in some detail.
A more likely influence is men's 'true adventure' magazines of the s, which often featured women being captured and threatened by Nazis or Communists and then rescued by two-fisted heroes in a prurient wish-fulfilment fantasy. The difference is that Querdilion isn't any kind of tough guy and doesn't rescue any of the various animal-women he meets. Instead the story builds up to an extended scene of Querdilion himself being hunted.
It is more masochistic than sadistic. In the end, The Sound of His Horn is quite unique and doesn't sit neatly in any category. It's an interesting curiosity, and worth hunting down. Read the full review including plot synopsis and notes on real events that influenced the novel at http: Jul 23, Bill Chance rated it it was amazing. Very odd, short novel.