Cutting Edge Horror Book Review
Featured Book Review: Darkbound
Darkbound is an amazing book. Michaelbrent Collings outdid himself with this book. It is not at all what I thought it would be. I took three nights to finish this book because I stayed up way past my bedtime. Darkbound was so suspenseful that I just kept on reading to…
Horror books Review
I don’t know why I seldom enjoy anthologies - there’s no rule that says that slim stories must evince slim talent, but most of these comprise a mixed grill of a book. The best story is not “Blue Rose” by Straub, but the haunting and heartbreaking “Little Cruelties” by Steve Rasnic Tem. Unlike most stories that save an obvious twist for the end, “Cruelties” makes the end obvious by the middle, and ruthlessly underlines it by the end of the story. “Blue Rose”, probably one of the first stories (and the one that got the cover) is just manipulative - one of two stories (and not even the better one) linking horror with Vietnam. In ‘86, When “Rose” was written, Vietnam was grist for everybody’s mill - TV shows, movies and even comic books relentlessly sipped from the well of Vietnam-as-metaphor - and “Rose” callously exploits cultural prejudices of the war as a breeding ground for the darkest of American monstrosity. Bloch alters the mood with a middling-to-fun tale about a man who tries to work out a deal with the Grim Reaper, and learns just what Death’s favorite weapon really is. Few of the stories here (including a high-concept film-noir style horror story by Barker) stand out. Virtually all the stories are plagued by association - in a book full of horror stories, you’ve no doubts that you’ll see only the stuff that has to happen in horror stories (serial killers with psychotic mothers; dank corners of hell; demons to name a few). Not even “Jack the Ripper” can add much bite to this story - he appears in an extended, yet painfully underwritten story that has all the hallmarks of a work-in-progress.