"There is no delight the equal of dread"
Clive Barker's artistic range is on full display in this toothsome collection of shorts: from haunted shrouds bent on revenge to possessed pigs, each tale is an allegory wrapped in viscera. Along with Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber', 'Books of Blood' rests atop my list when it comes to short story collections. A truly bloody affair.
With the recent trend of short story collections exploring the darker parts of womanhood, it can be difficult to dedicate your time to one book out of all the overwhelming options. However, Armfield's descent into body horror, queer desire, and personal monstrosity stands out due to the delicious decay surrounding her prose. Perfect for fans of Daisy Johnson and Carmen Maria Machado.
This slight but viciously effective novella introduces a sadomasochistic mythology that spills over with gore and poetics. The monastic creatures within are iconic for a reason: they intrigue, terrify, and titillate. But its the human characters that are the real monsters, driven by ego and selfish desire. This tale explores the line between pleasure and pain and reveals the bloody face of transcendence.
If you ever thought to yourself, “Hm. Mean Girls, but an MFA program. And, oh! Make it horror! And yeah, a dash of an unreliable narrator sounds good. And why not? Throw in an outlandish plot so brilliantly over the top you literally have NO IDEA what's going to happen next”—then yes, this is the book for you. I loved every page of the delightfully unnerving story.
Child logic and base ferality attempt to work together in this beautifully bleak fable. A group of fairies are forced to leave their previous 'home' and survive the wilderness. If you are looking for a sweet moral ribbon to tie around this tale, you wont find it. It is lost; buried in the woods amongst the maggots.
Do you like the Twilight Zone? Of course you do. But you might not know Richard Matheson. And you should, because arguably the most iconic episodes were adapted from his masterfully-written short fiction. Each story is so tightly crafted as to border on pulp, each ending twists with a stinger that demands your return. If I'm on a plane: 1) I have a Richard Matheson collection in my carry on and 2) I'm not going to look at the wing of the plane. Yeah. He wrote that.
Full disclosure: this is my desert island book. Clive Barker (my future husband) displays the fecundity of his imagination by creating a dark fantasy epic on the scale of Tolkien full of deliciously sacrilegious subtext. The characters and scenes within have woven themselves into my psyche never to be unraveled. Thank Goddess.
At a sanatorium just outside Buenos Aires, where patients are living out their last days, Dr. Quintana and his colleagues have signed up to participate in a medical research project, which concerns the minutes just after death. They just need a few volunteers. An excellent translation of a horror novel, which is also darkly funny.
This story revolves around 14-year-old Marjorie, the eldest of two sisters and her increasingly bizarre and erratic behavior. Is it the onset of mental illness or full on demonic possession?? This books sends up the exhausted tropes of past exorcism tales whilst exploiting them to the benefit of the reader. It is a witty and creeptastic read with an homage to Shirley Jackson that left me reeling.
Broadly speaking, I don't like Manga (sorry, not sorry), though Junji Ito has proven to be the exception. His tales are never dull, at times retch-inducing, and always ghastly. What more could a girl ask for??