I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

Sometimes there is just one word that can describe a book, and in this case, that word is weird, in a Poeish way.  It's written in various different formats, from conversations between people to a dream diary, letters to Aunt Liza, and views from a camera.  A. Wells (he is referred in the book only as A) and his, well, I'm not sure what their relationship can be described as, with NIAMH (pronounced Neve) a mute, are not related and they are not intimate, yet they share a bed.  An Englishman inherits a haunted house from his second cousin twice removed in November of 1995.  His cousin, just like his father's before him, jumped from the window to his death.  On his first night, he goes to the bathroom and sees a ghost in the bathtub and the blood vessels in his eyes burst, making them red.

The two of them go and adopt a dog from the shelter, name it HELP, and buy recorders and cameras to set up around the house to see if they can catch the ghost or whatever is going on in action.  That's when A begins to have truly bizarre dreams that seem extremely real.  Soon they hear about and discover that on the night of the Winter Solstice, his cousin would invite nineteen men over for some meeting or cult thing.  He is even visited by one them.  The butler, who has moved on, helps them find a little bit of information on the group: a list of names, such as Sophocles, Socrates, Hector, Leonidas, Chronos, Heracles, Zeus, Phoenix, etc...  They are not sure if these people are Masons or something they cannot even imagine.  They find letters to all the members, under their pseudonym, about how if they get this he is dead and that the meetings should stop.  He puts the group in the hands of the secretary and the historian.  They also find messages written in code that they try to break in order to find out more.

However, things are getting worse for A.  His eyes are constantly bloodshot, he's walking in his sleep, and his dreams are distressing.  He tries going to the therapist his cousin went to to see if she could tell him more about his cousin, but she will not, but confirms that they had similar dreams and thoughts.  They also discover a secret room in the house that opens up a whole new view of the house and these meetings.  Then they get a visit from another of the members and decide to go ahead and hold the meeting this year, with A acting as host.  That's when things go from really bad, to even worse if that's possible.

This was one of the strangest books I have ever read.  It was written in an unusual way and contains a host of characters that range from odd to totally unreal.  However, I enjoyed every minute of reading this book and the pages flew through my hands.  I feel bad that I cannot tell you anything more concrete about this book, but that would give it all away, and the ending, by the way, will completely rip the rug out from under your feet.  It's nice to have a book completely surprise you, as so few do these days.


I always find great comfort in the words of that sifu in Yulnnan who told us that the best place to hide a leaf is in a forest.  And whenever I flick through these pages in particular I am further reassured that this letter is well hidden, for no one in his sane mind would read beyond page one hundred of [Henry] James’ extravaganza [The Sacred Fount].
--Edgar Cantero (The Supernatural Enhancements p 247)
Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Supernatural-Enhancements-Edgar-Cantero/dp/0385538154/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477400457&sr=8-1&keywords=supernatural+enhancements

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