Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vaudeville and Other Nightmares - by Greg Chapman - An impressive collection

4 of 5 Stars     Review Copy

This collection from Australian horror writer and artist, Greg Chapman, begins with my favorite novella from his budding career, Vaudeville.  

Anthony Moore's father was found, hanging from a tree, in the woods outside the small town of Keaton. A year later at the same location, Anthony discovers a band of Vaudeville players, who are so much more than they appear to be.

Young Anthony had been sent to the market to get some items his mother needs to prepare their dinner.  On his way home he is sidetracked by the performers who promise to bring back his father if Anthony brings four of his friends to see their show.  He gets home without the groceries and his mother is none to happy.  "Mashed potatoes and beans for dinner, garnished with silence and animosity."  I love that line.

Vaudeville has that evil carnival vibe, reminiscent of Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes and is just one of 21 stories which will reach out and grab you and won't let go until you've read the last word on the final page.

I'm not going to give a synopsis of every story, but a few of my favorites include "Lost Lake," where a pedophile gets what he deserves, "Human Resources," where a dream job turns into your worst nightmare, and "Chthonic," a delightfully creepy story of a boy who buries his best friend alive.

No subject is off limits, no taboo is too great.  Chapman takes them all on.  Not even Saint Nicholas is save, as evidenced in, "Christmas Mourning."

Look for Vaudeville and Other Nightmares to be published by Black Beacon Books on September 19th, 2014.  Just in time for Halloween.


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