The Darker Side – John Pelan

Originally posted on Blog-City on February 1st, 2005 
What a great read. John Pelan definitely has a good eye for talent. With a few ‘duds’ in the mix, this book was still a strong horror read. Some creepy stuff in there for sure.

Some highlights;

Do You See What I Fear – Woman has brain tumor. Woman gets operation and after operation starts to see men in black suits measuring and planning death scenarios and then all these ‘pre-planned’ scenarios take place. Creepy ass story.

The Mannerly Man – Futuristic look at laws passed by the government that allow each citizen one sanctioned kill. If you are caught using more than one of ‘your kills’ you are put to death on the spot. These sanctioned kills don’t necessarily need to be justified by any rational means. Basically if you want to kill someone, go ahead and do it but make sure that it counts. You only get one “freebie”. VERY creepy to think of a society like the author paints.

The Origin – The seeds of a future serial killer are planted at a young age, in the trailer park with his alcoholic mother. Dark stuff.

After The Flood – Flood comes and wipes away a lot of people. Girl that the main character was dating passionately disappears in the flood. He meets a new girl who has the same mannerisms and behavioural “oddities” as the previous girl. (Almost a little odd reading it after the tsunamis in recent history)

Armies of The Night – AWESOME tale of a man who collects battlefield dioramas and gets so attached to his mini’s that after his death, the wife tries to get rid of them all, only to be accosted herself. Brings up the question of how much SHOULD you love your hobby?

Unspeakable – The power of words coupled with intimacy. Scarred by a psychologist stepfather, a woman and her siblings battle uncontrollable urges brought on by a series of mundane words. Scary to think of being easily controlled just by a spoken sentence.

What God Hath Wrought – A classic thing to do in horror movies/books/anything is to dwell on the power of the evil child. Take something cute and cuddly and morph it into an evil malevolent presence. Well, that’s what they do here. “Daddy bad. Daddy sleep too”–one of the last lines. *shivers*

Asian Gothic – Tale of a young man in India whose family lives across the hall from an empty apartment that once contained a family who died horribly and the effects on HIS family.

Creepy stuff….Great book, but like I said not without it’s “misses”….Good outweighs the bad though, that’s for sure…Check it out!


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