The Eternal Altercation by Peter Crowther

Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: The Eternal Altercation
Author: Peter Crowther
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Magic
Dates read: 7th May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: And now, here he was, gas can in hand, standing on the town’s edge, looking along its wind-blown Main Street at a clumsy array of buildings that owed more allegiance to an old back-and-white Randolph Scott western than to anything even vaguely reminiscent of the Brave New World promised by the turn of the millennium.

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There is a never ending battle taking place right beneath our very eyes. One that involves trains.


This was a seriously tripped out little short story. It was one that I felt like I couldn’t quite focus on. Not because I wasn’t completely absorbed whilst reading it, but because there was this really unfocused and slightly insane feeling to the story. One that I really enjoyed but makes it quite difficult to write a review.

This story’s sense of chaos was a fantastic ending to a collection which was all about dark magic. One that often employed chaos – after all, that seems to be the root of everything dark in many of these stories. I loved that you ended on this hectic, intense and somewhat confusing short story that seriously made you sit back and think after you turned that final page. It was a great way to end.

This is one of those short stories that no matter how many times I read it, I will probably experience something new. A new epiphany, a new understanding or a new feeling… whatever it is, it will be different each time. And although I don’t want all of my shelves filled with such stories… it is nice to know that I have some that will continue to shock me and pull me in.

<- Last RitesThe Mammoth Book of Dickensian Whodunnits ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

2 thoughts on “The Eternal Altercation by Peter Crowther

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