I think I was even more let down because I enjoyed the other two compilations by John Pelan, “The Darker Side” and “A Walk On The Darkside”. Both of those collections were amazing. They made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. A couple of the stories in each gave me “the willies”.
Not so with this collection.
As I was telling Wiley today, I haven’t actually thrown a book into the trashcan since I was in high school probably. Reading a good book is, to me, just as important as viewing a well-made film. The artist (author/director/writer) is portraying an idea to you and it’s great when you can see that vision realized.
This book was full of stories about sexual deviancy. I won’t go into detail but suffice it to say, I was disgusted and not in a good way. I’m a pretty liberal guy and I’m not easy to offend, seriously. But this book did it. All of these authors seemed to feel that horror holds a symbiotic relationship with sexual deviancy. Not true, ya friggin schlubs. The first two books I read (chronologically speaking they would actually be the most recent compilations) were pretty thin on the sexual content. That’s fine with me, I bought them to read some horror stories. This one had some sick shit in it. It actually took me about 150 pages before I got to a story that seemed somewhat enjoyable (“One Eyed Jacks”) and then even THAT story took a sick-ass turn. Not scary, just disgusting. I’ve spent the rest of the time reading the first page or so of the short story and then flipping to the next one to see if it’s any better. No such luck and after doing this for about 10 stories straight (there’s only 30 stories total), I just came back to my desk angry as hell and threw the book in the trashcan forcefully.
I’m glad that the compilations got better as John Pelan continued to collect them. I haven’t ruled him out and I’d like to see if he has any more compilations but I think they’d only be a safe bet if they were published AFTER this one (this one is from 1998).
What a pile of shit.
I don’t think I’ve written a review quite this angry.
posted Tue, 02-01-05