|Format Type||:||Mass Market Paperback|
|Number of Pages||:||400 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
I remember never getting around to reading "65mm" back when I was actively collecting all of the Dell Abyss line of horror paperbacks, although I have no idea why. It would sit on the shelves along with the other Abyss books, and I would pass over it, despite my love(/obsession) of both film and horror. Well, I was recently reminded of the book's existence while discussing the Abyss books with another film fan, and I picked up a lightly used copy of "65mm" from an Amazon seller for a total of about $5 including shipping, so I could finally read it and put it in my small remaining collection of Abyss paperbacks.As it turns out, I was entirely correct to avoid this book. It is pretty awful, and this is coming from someone who can't read enough about film and who spent basically my entire grade school through high school reading every horror book I could get my hands on. I feel bad for Dale Hoover, the lady who wrote the book (and the earlier Abyss book "Shadow Twin," which I either also avoided or read and completely forgot). She seems nice enough! Her author picture and blurb are endearing, her posing with a small film projector and everything. Dell released a wide variety of stuff under the Abyss imprint, and some of it was great. Some of it was not so great. "65mm" falls squarely into the latter camp.I don't want to get too much into specifics, but I will list a few major issues I had with the book. Number One would have to be Rozina, the Magical Negro character introduced in the prologue. I KNOW. I know. I kept wanting to give the author the benefit of the doubt here, but it was really tough not to read the descriptions of Rozina and her cryptic speech as pretty racist. I kept waiting for some kind of meta explanation of this (the book practically begs for extra-textual interventions and explanations, but never ventures in that direction), but nope. She's just a magical black lady living in a town beset by evil who everyone comes to for help because she has some vaguely-defined powers. Ugh.After Rozina, the complaints come in a torrent: all of the other characters are very simply drawn in stark black & white/good & evil, lengthy stretches pass without much of anything really happening punctuated by brief bursts of (sometimes confusingly described) violence, characters do things that don't make a lot of sense (I suspect to pad out the total page number, mostly), and there is never any explanation given for the supernatural evil that somehow emanates from a theater screen and/or an old 35mm projector that is used to screen blank 65mm negative film. This is sort of hand-waved away in the text when one character asks another where this evil came from, and the response is: "Where did Jack the Ripper come from? Where did Charles Manson come from?" This is not a satisfactory answer to the question at hand.I should point out that I have no problem leaving questions unanswered in a narrative, but "65mm" is written and structured so simplistically that the lack of a resolution is a real letdown. To say nothing of the finale, which is almost comically anticlimactic after the enormous build-up throughout the entire book. I was really hoping that "65mm" would be a lost gem of film-related supernatural horror, but sadly it just isn't. Completists of that sort of book, and of the Dell Abyss books, will want to read it, but otherwise I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.
Stephen King endorsed the entire Dell Abyss Horror line. Here is his blurb: "Thank you for introducing me to the remarkable line of novels currently being issued under Dell's Abyss imprint. I have given a great many blurbs over the last twelve years or so, but this one marks two firsts: first unsolicited blurb (I called you) and the first time I have blurbed a whole line of books. In terms of quality, production, and plain old story-telling reliability (that's the bottom line, isn't it), Dell's new line is amazingly satisfying...a rare and wonderful bargain for readers. I hope to be looking into the Abyss for a long time to come."