I used to read a lot of horror books. Especially Stephen King, who was my “idol” as far as this genre is concerned. First time I heard about Jack Ketchum was while reading A Girl Next Door, which is a great prose, though not for everyone because of terrible scenes. So, though I don’t really like stories too much, I gave this collection a chance. And let me tell you, Jack Ketchum is my new horror idol.
Well, okay maybe I shouldn’t be calling him that after one book and one collection of stories, but trust me – I will be reading his books again.
The collection consists of 32 stories, and I’m not going to describe each of them, obviously. We have a big variety here – some characters are men, some women, some old, some young, some middle-aged, some children. We have horror, grotesque, thriller, a little drama, western even. A lot of sex, brutality, lots of emotions. And blood. Basically, everything that should be in a good collection of horror stories.
But there is also one story that is almost idyllic.
I’d say it’s just a collection of good prose, leaning towards pushing the boundaries. Of course, with 32 of stories, it’s not possible to like all of them the same. There were a few that were either a little less interesting, or I just didn’t find it to my taste, but there were very little of those. Most are just brilliant. They go beyond limits, they give you goosebumps, they make you want more, though at the same time they make you want to turn your head and not read anymore. They evoke a lot of feelings, sometimes contradictory.
They are basically what good horror stories should be.
PS I heard that Jack Ketchum is “the author that Stephen King loves.” So there!