Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: “Underneath: Short Tales of Horror and the Supernatural” by Dan Dewitt, 2011, Kindle Edition.

Underneath the cover the author presents a collection of his own short tales. While the stories are pretty standard I would classify them more as ‘supernatural’ than outright ‘horror’. But no matter the pigeonhole, these are stories you can read in between things or while waiting for things, or even when you are doing things.

While also not particularly deep, three do add to our deepening zombie lore. But one story in particular, ‘Terror By Text’, is written in, well yeah, text or twitter form. A text horror story? Hmm, quite a novel idea for such a short form and most natural it seems for today’s supernatural tale immersed in such a technologically glutted and obsessive society.

Overall, while I recommend this collection and rate it as about average or slightly above average over the rest of the pack, I do have one issue. Like any other collection, anthology and not, there is a short introduction at the beginning of the book. Introductions are a writer’s foreplay, so to speak, to of course introduce the desires of the storyteller and to tantalize the reader of what is about to come.

But unlike other books I’ve absorbed, each story comes with its own introduction; a short set up paragraph to help launch the tale. I wish that Mr. Dewitt would have dispensed with this technique of an additional explanation of how the story came about. I wish he would have let the tale stand on its own feet. Sometimes there is too much information in how the sausage was made leaving the taste buds bland.

But overall, and despite my personal reservation, ‘Underneath’ should be read above the covers at night and even during the daylight.

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