Book Review: Tales Too Extreme for Cemetery Dance (chapbook)

Tales too Extreme for Cemetery DanceTales too Extreme for Cemetery Dance by Ray Garton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a bad collection, although several of the stories had a familiarity to them that bordered on been there/done that.

Ray Garton‘s Active Member was a decent horror/noir yarn. As a man who thinks with (or can’t think because of) his dick story, it reminded me a little of Clive Barker’s The Age Of Desire from the Books of Blood 1-3. J.A. Konrath‘s The Trailer Sucks was very good. It felt like an homage to an Edward Lee story with a touch of Tales From the Crypt style ironic camp justice. I must confess, however, I am wearying of horny homicidal hillbilly tales. I hope this will be the last one I read. Edward Lee‘s The Characters was a decent metafictional piece and felt a little tame compared to the two that came before (an odd thing to think about a Lee story). It had exactly the kind of darkly humorous tone I’ve come to expect from Lee. Graham Masterson‘s Eric the Pie was my favorite story of the collection. Tonally, it felt a little like Iain M. BanksThe Wasp Factory and that may be why I felt so affectionate about it. I would have liked it to go on a little longer, actually, in order to develop a little more of the main character’s psychology. In any event, despite some hard to imagine bodily contortions, it was by far the most enjoyable selection in the chapbook. Finally, Robert Steven Rhine‘s Propeller-boy was my least favorite. It was well-written but it didn’t seem to match the other pieces in terms of either severity or tone, and I had a hard time feeling one way or another about it. I suspect that my indifference toward it could just be a personal thing, however, as I’m just not a fan of bizarro fiction. This story is no Kathy Acker trip through the absurd.

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~ by poǝןɔɐɯ uǝʞɔɐɹq on 26/02/2012.

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