Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Darker Corners, by Richard Cody


(pb; 2010: horror anthology)

From the back cover:

"In these pages you will meet vampires, murderers, children and others who know where the shadows go.

"This expanded edition of Darker Corners pulls six new tales of dark wonder into the light.

"Read at your own risk. Some things are better left unseen."


OVERALL REVIEW:

This fourteen-story anthology is formed by impressive, taut tales that incorporates clever twists and elements into familiar horror-genre scenarios, with wonderfully nuanced results.

All the microfiction-ish stories in this anthology work. This is a worthwhile purchase.


STANDOUT STORIES:

1.) "A Night at the Games": A stage performer puts on a life-changing show. Short, sharp, effective statement about what constitutes entertainment and humanity.


2.) "Tales of Mercy": The denizens of a small town react differently to a strange "oily rain" that falls from the sky and the equally strange creature that appears in their midst. Odd, spooky, interesting.


3.) "The Language of the Dead": Fun EC/Creepy magazine-evocative piece about a mystical tome, zombies and revenge.


4.) "Newlywed": Marital unease takes on a whole new meaning in this H.P. Lovecraftian story about a culinary accident and its unfortunate, horrifying result. Good, tight write that effortlessly recalls and updates the dread-tones of Lovecraft's work.


5.) "Down By the River, in the Pale Moonlight": Melancholic, clever, effective tale about a birthday reunion that indicates an even more disturbing future.


6.) "Darkness Falls - The River": A post-global apocalypse couple struggle to survive in the wilderness. Excellent, hopeful work.


7.) "Darkness Falls - City Life": Involving, sad story about the further social effects of the forty day-forty night apocalypse that was touched upon in "Darkness Falls - The River".


8. and 9.) "The Interview" & "Idle Hands": The reputedly Satanic history of a youthful rock star, Johnny Moon, is recounted and illustrated from different angles in these character-connected, shuddery and laugh-out-loud bizarre tales.


10.) "The Morning After": A dream-murder turns more surreal when the murderer's regrettable actions and truths are visited upon him. Sly, admirable piece.


OTHER STORIES: "The Homely Child"; "Since the First Day of Our Acquaintance"; "Mary's Place"; "The Black Jelly"

Darker Corners, as well as Richard's two poem anthologies, The Jewel in the Moment and This Is Not My Heart, can be purchased at Lulu.com.

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