Book Review: Cold Moon Over Babylon

Cold Moon Over Babylon

Author: Michael McDowell

My Review and Thoughts:

What a truly unique, vivid storytelling. A true sense of placing the reader there. This book not only massively builds the characters, but allows you to experience the surroundings of a small town and most of all it’s unique and interesting people. The book comes together in a terrific style of morbid curiosity and Gothic over tones of an unknown dread and mystery.

This is an older book that I simply came across looking through books on sale through Kindle and this was one of them that grabbed my interest. I wasn't sure about it and it lingered in my digital world of the Kindle for almost the whole year. I decided to give it ago as the last book to be read of 2017. It became book number 124 of the year and I can say I am very satisfied that I gave it a chance.

This is my first time reading a McDowell book and I have to say wow. Simply wow in his style of building characters and surroundings. He details a truly haunting simplicity that utterly drowns you in all its horrifying mentality.

You start right off with a couple being drowned in the Styx River. There kids Jerry and Margaret are raised by their Grandmother on a Blueberry farm. You flash forward in years, Jerry has graduated high school, Margaret is 14. It’s the time of the blueberry harvest. Introduce money woes, a farm slowly not producing. A tragedy takes place. Murder, mystery and soon the horrors from the dark waters of the Styx river comes into play. What makes this story most interesting is you never see where the story is going until each page is turned and wham, bam the plot slowly takes place. You are introduced to a slew of characters. Many different styles of persona's that transcend off the page into the imagination of the readers mind. There is a simple country folk feel. A small-town atmosphere. You have your simple, your lovable, your unbelievable, and most of all the mysterious and haunting.

Blueberries. Murder. The supernatural. The horrifying depths of the black waters of the Styx river all come into play as this story unfolds. It leaves you with a sense of a puzzle slowly with the pieces being placed into the plot. You the reader are given a little more each chapter. The writing style makes you, pulls you along to see just what takes place next. 

What horrors are waiting for this small town of Babylon. Michael McDowell is going to take you on a trip to a small country town with secrets, lies and most of all the unknown that is awaiting.

Spooky, scary. Descriptively morbid and dark toned storytelling. It brings a total nightmare of the conscience of one's deeds to reality. One-character Nathan who does not become a main character until close to the end of the book, showcases the unraveling of the mind. The story becomes a force.

A brilliant undertaking by the author is a Psycho style moment when everything you have read, ends up stopping because the plot twists and turns a 360 of shock. Adding to the brilliance of the story is the twists and turns as the book slowly unfolds in graphic content.

Would I Return to it Again: I want to find more books by McDowell and explore his other talents? This is a book that left a lasting impression and is one I will look at again in the future. His characters are so down right perfection on page. His story comes together flawlessly with those characters. Sadly, McDowell is no longer with us. He died of Aids in 1999 which is a huge bummer. His ability to capture characters is truly stunning. His characters are living and breathing in Cold Moon over Babylon. Something interesting to note is he left an unfinished novel titled Candles Burning. In 2006 Stephen King’s wife Tabitha King finished the book and brought it out which I think is a cool gesture of book loving honor and bliss for fans. I am after reading this one novel, a huge fan. His style cannot be talked about enough. He truly was a gifted writer.

Would I Recommend: I would to anyone who loves a good mysterious horror story. It lingers long after it’s over.

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Pages: 256

Year Published: Originally published 1980. Republished 2015.


Four Words: Descriptive. Haunting. Brilliantly told.