In his latest novella, The Doll House, author Edward Lee openly makes a valiant pastiche of M.R. James, the father of Victorian supernatural. A decadence of word and style, Lee still manages to succumb to his base desire and delivers a book that is just as vile, sexual, and violent as anything else in his back catalog of 40+ books.
Reginald Lympton collects dollhouses, and now that he’s acquired the rare Patten Doll House, he can boast the most preeminent collection in the world. But after visions too abominable to reckon, and nightmares blacker than the most bottomless abyss, he discovers in short order that his acquisition is not a prized collector’s item at all but a diabolical thoroughfare designed to serve the darkest indulgences of the King of Terrors.
More than just a clone of M. R. James’ work, The Doll House perfectly captures the Jamesian technique while remaining true to Lee’s own voice. The plot and narration of the character Reginald Lympton is prim and proper, yet surprisingly funny. Reginald’s journey to the house in which the dollhouse is held and being sold makes you forget the fact that nothing horrific happens for the majority of the book, well, other than the sometimes ghastly and crude thoughts of sexual desire from our narrator.
Not for the easily offended, a message regarding any of Lee’s work, The Doll House is a hedonistic and voyeuristic look at a greedy man’s desire. More than just a simple homage, this is a blast for any Lee fan.