Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Review: “Horror D’ourves” by Lisa McCourt Hollar, Kindle Edition, 2012.

Aptly titled, this volume presents six short slices of ‘small bite horror’, which we discuss from time to time. The anthology contains, “Don’t Play With Your Food”, “Dinner”, “Fire”, “Ghosts From The Past”, “Family Ties”, and “The Beast Inside”. All were originally published in various other formats during 2011, but here they are gathered as a sort of ‘sampler’, the kind of anthology Arkham Books was famous for in their heyday.

The stories are a mélange of such themes of sex, cannibalism and family. Pared down to a straight linear style with no meat on the bones, there is little atmosphere, description or even character development until the actual punch-line of an ending. This is a style popular with internet writing in general, and has its own place in storytelling since these tales are meant to be tantalizing tidbits.

Overall, they are well written relying on the ever standard and popular tropes of the day such as serial killing families, werewolf families, loving and caring vampires as families, cannibalism as vengeance between families, etc. Hence my indigestion, as I personally find these tropes to be overcooked and tough to chew on. I have had my fill: they tend to stray from true horror and in themselves become camp. There is no zest – nothing here will surprise or terrify you. However, nothing here will spoil your appetite for hardier fare.

What we have here are predictable, short, quick reads that leave no lingering aftertaste of remembrance. Again, they are well written and I do recommend them, but understand what they are – a simple buffet to nosh on while you wait for the main course.

Buy it here.

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