With The Doll House, Edward Lee evokes the spirit of M. R. James and does so with considerable success. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read a huge amount of Lee’s work though I do have a stack of it on the Kindle waiting to be read. What I have read is beyond the realms of fictional decency. Lee’s tales are often dripping with bodily fluids and go to depraved places others writers fear to tread. He isn’t afraid to touch upon taboo subjects, and his work is often littered with graphic sexual content.
The Doll House is a gothic tale, and one that I can imagine Lee had a great deal of fun writing. The prose style for this novella goes perfectly with the story setting, and on more than one occasion I laughed out loud and long. The tale follows Richard Lympton. Lympton is a doll house collector. When presented with the opportunity to purchase a rare Patten doll house, Lympton is overjoyed. However, this doll house is very different. Inside it contains dark secrets and its power turns Lympton into an over-sexed monster.
Lee’s novella is short but well-written. The novella builds steadily towards a terrific ending and although Lympton isn’t a likeable character, he is very amusing. The dialogue is excellent, insanely funny, especially when his libido goes into overdrive upon acquisition of the house. It is one of those books where I wasn’t too keen early on, but the second half of the story had me enthralled and amused in equal measure.
I really like what Lee has done here. He has taken James’ style and mixed it together with his own, creating a great story in the process. Long time Lee fans might not be too blown away by this, but I really, really enjoyed it.
4/5 pitched tents from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.