Episode 45 The Men in the Snow by Alex Boast

Alex Boast

Alex Boast is a young British writer, born in Ipswich, raised in Surrey and living in London. He has an MA in Creative Writing and is constantly improving his skills by writing on Medium and Quora as well as doing Master Class courses and attending writing courses by the British writing school The Arvon Foundation.

He has a love of ghost stories and references H P Lovecraft and Stephen King as influences as well as J R R Tolkein.

Alex had been working in health marketing which necessitated frequent global travel and due to the Coronavirus epidemic, he was laid off. Fortunately that made him focus more on his writing, so every cloud has a silver lining. He has just been commissioned to write a horror movie script based on the Irish legends of the Banshee. 

This is only the second interview Classic Ghost Stories Podcast has done with a living author, but we figure there are more of you out there, so if you write ghost stories and want to have them appear in Classic Ghost Stories Podcast then get in touch.

If you want to read Alex’s story, you can get it from Amazon here

The Men in the Snow

Inevitablly when you read a new story, you try to catalogue it with others you have read. On the podcast now we have read a wide range of stories written by authors born in the 18th, 19th, 20th, and soon the 21st centuries. Styles change of course

When I read the Men in the Snow, I was struck by the weirdness of it. We don’t know if the perceptions of the young girl narrator can be relied on. Some of them seem distinctly odd; her father sitting reading the paper in the kitchen who never moves and never speaks. Her mother who yells at her to stop shaking and later disappears. The newts in the pond, her only friends. So it starts off as purporting to be a naturalistic, realistic story, but then gets shunted off into the odd.

This is something I find with Robert Aickman too. His settings are ordinary, mundane almost, and seem to be naturalistic, but he injects the unnervingly odd into them.

The other story that popped into my mind was The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. This was because the house in The Men in the Snow changes size. If you don’t know the House of Leaves you should read it. In fact, our narrator is growing larger, the house isn’t shrinking!

And as for the advancing angry eyes…

So, it was great to have a modern story and greater still to interview Alex. I hoped you liked it as much as I did.

And finally,

By the time this episode of the Podcast goes out, we should finally be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel of the Coronavirus epidemic. I hope you and yours (and me and mine) all come through it safely. 

Take care

Tony

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Music

Beginning music ‘Some Come Back’ is by the marvellous  Heartwood Institute . The end music is by MYUU Bad Encounter

Darkworlds

I’ve just launched a new podcast of my book Darkworlds, a horror sci-fi story set in a virtual reality 1927 London.

Darkworlds Podcast is here

The podcast is free but if you wanted to buy the book, that helps me finance my podcasting both Classic Ghost Stories Podcast and Darkworlds.

The book link is below:

Darkworlds London USA Amazon link

Darkworlds London UK Amazon Link

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