HorrorAddictsCon: Jeri Unselt on December by Phil Rickman

A Review of December by Phil Rickman

by Jeri Unselt 

In my search for literature that is horror with the element of progressive rock, one such novel stands out in my mind. In Phil Rickman’s 1996 novel December, a prog band called The Philosopher’s Stone was assigned in 1980 to record a concept album about and inside an abbey that possessed a sinister dark history. A horrifying death brings everything to a standstill, and the band members agree to destroy their work and disband. However, not all the master tapes are destroyed. Thirteen years later, the music resurfaced as a bootleg called The Black Album a The Philosopher’s Stone get back together at the abbey for one final performance.

As I read the book, I was picturing it as a movie complete with the music. If it ever happens, I would love to see John Payne in the role of the tragic character of Dave Reilly. I guess what I’m trying to say is maybe I would have enjoyed the novel more as a movie.

I had a hard time understanding Mr. Rickman’s writing style, I kept skipping pages to get to the story. Otherwise, I did think the story was good and worth checking out.

You can find December (pub. 1996) by Phil Richman on Amazon.com*

Jeri Unselt is a native of Colorado who has been writing stories ever since childhood. She started podcasting her first novel, Inner Demons, in 2008. The print book will be released in 2012 alongside a podcast prequel, Inner Demons: Turmoil. She is a member of the Wicked Women Writers, has been featured on several HorrorAddicts.net episodes, and will be in the up-and-coming Wicked Women Writers anthology. To find out more about Jeri, go to: www.jeriunselt.org

*Editor’s note: There is a listing for a deluxe edition (hardcover, limited, signed) coming out in December 2011 by M H B Press. Find more information here: December Deluxe Edition

6 thoughts on “HorrorAddictsCon: Jeri Unselt on December by Phil Rickman

  1. Jeri,
    This book sounds like something I’ve never heard before. I wonder if the deluxe copy will be any more exciting than the one you read? There’s no word on if the text is the same or not.


  2. Sounds like an interesting storyline, however, as you mentioned, it does sound like the kind of story that may do better as a movie mostly because of the musical element. But speaking about that, it may do just as good if not better (than a movie) as an audio book. Does anyone know if it was done for audio before?


  3. There’s a CD now of Philosopher’s Stone songs, Abbey Tapes: the Exorcism, done by Phil Rickman and band. You can order via an email address at his website or get the mp3s from Amazon or iTunes. It is haunting and scary and beautiful. I agree that a film would be fantastic. I wrote an article about the book and music: http://brightjul.wordpress.com/


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