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Andrew Hook

Candescent Blooms

Candescent Blooms


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Name: Salt Modern Stories   Number: 3


Shortlisted for Best Collection in the British Fantasy Awards 2023

British Fantasy Awards 2023Candescent Blooms is a collection of twelve short stories which form fictionalised biographies of mostly Golden Era Hollywood actors who suffered untimely deaths. From Olive Thomas in 1920 through to Grace Kelly in 1982, these pieces utilise facts, fiction, gossip, movies and unreliable memories to examine the life of each individual character set against a Hollywood background of hope and corruption, opportunity and reality.

Meet the author

Reviews of this Book

‘★★★★★ Andrew Hook’s book is a gothic treat. I only wish he’d investigated and imagined the fast exit of Mike Todd, one of Elizabeth Taylor’s husbands, whose private plane blew up over New Mexico; or the drowning – homicide or otherwise – of Natalie Wood; or the fate of Gig Young, who shot his wife and then himself in Manhattan. Perhaps there will be a sequel, or a continuation. In particular, I much admired the heightened poetic style, which wholly fits the subject-matter. We are told about “Benny Goodman’s treacle-swing”; there are Chandleresque phrases such as someone or other emitting “a soft bubble of hostility”; and Hook is capable of epigrams worthy of Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, eg, “Guilt would be bearable, but innocence corrupts the soul.” Marvellous.’ —Roger Lewis, The Telegraph

Praise for Previous Work

‘Hook has an imagination that can turn the ordinary into the surreal.’ —Pauline Morgan, The British Fantasy Society

‘A collection that is enigmatic, dark, occasionally amusing, occasionally sad, quite often infuriating, but always classy.’ —Dave Price

‘The best stories here are among the finest that the independent press has to offer.’ —Pete Tennant

‘Hook seems to approach the question of existence from a multitude of environments and personifications. The slant towards existentialist themes, suggest a more contemporary retelling of the ideals of Camus or Sartre.’ —Xander Duffy, Dundee University Review of the Arts

‘This book will entertain you, because Hook is an excellent writer, but, more importantly, will make you think – which is what fiction should always do.’ —Mario Guslandi, Infinity Plus

‘If the moody, reflective, almost static approach to fiction is your cup of tea, then I would heartily recommend it – it probably doesn't come much better.’ —Sean Parker, The Zone

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