The Announcement Review

Ramsey Campbell’s The Announcement tells the story of Joseph Nicholas Brady, a writer seemingly struggling and down on his luck when his taxi driver drops him off in front of the wrong hotel.

But the arrival of another, much more successful author Bill Rigg overshadows his current vexations. Bill is so full of himself that he steps out of his limousine wearing a T-shirt with the cover of his book printed on the rumpled fabric.

However, Joseph’s deep-seated hatred toward the other author is not revealed until he arrives back at his less-pristine hotel room. Joseph swears that he can hear the author’s voice coming from the adjacent hotel rooms, determining that Bill’s voice is from a recent interview broadcasting on television.

His noise complaints are unanswered or met with angry muttering from his neighbors. Realizing that the sound of Bill’s voice is originating from a van parked outside of the hotel, Joseph pursues the van into the night.

At a certain point during Joseph’s hellbent chase after the mystery van (not to be confused with the mystery machine), it took all my energy not to bust out with some lines from original cartoon classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! All the noise, noise, noise!

At the end of The Announcement, I am quite unsure of the point of this short story. Specifically, the ambiguous statement at the beginning and the ending “This isn’t me” is still boggling my cranium.

Is Joseph not acting like himself? And if so, is it because of the strain of being a published author? Is he slowly losing his mind? Questions left unanswered at the end. And because of the questions and lack of fear, The Announcement falls flat for me.

~ by nicmarray on January 17, 2010.

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