Saturday, April 11, 2009

Swan Lake

Swan Lake
Patrick Kill (Shane Ryan Staley)

The only exposure I have had with the Hardcore Horror genre has been through Edward Lee. Lee’s prose is full of sex and gore written in such a style that these two subjects often become the centerpiece of horror. I’ve read most of Lee’s work that is easily obtainable and have made it a point to seek out other writers in this genre.

This is what led me to Shane Ryan Staley. I had read some opposing views about his work on the web; one thing everybody seemed to agree on is that his writing was some of the most extreme out there. After some research I thought the best place to start would be his chap book Swan Lake. Evidently on its initial release it caused quite the controversy.

The story concerns two young men who are best friends and the cousin of one of the young men who is an invalid retarded girl. The two friends with the cousin in tow make their way to an exclusive resort that has a lake said to make whoever enters its waters beautiful. Of course things don’t go as planned and the three end up in some very precarious situations. This story isn’t long, only 40 pages but the unthinkable happens on page seven, where the story hits a fast pace and doesn’t let up until the end.

To call this story exploitative is an understatement, and the fact that some people were angered by its contents is understandable. This story isn’t for everybody, but if you go into it with an open mind and an idea of what you’re getting into you’ll have a blast reading it.

Swan Lake is available as a digital chapbook download from available here.

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