GUIGNOL AND OTHER SARDONIC TALES BY ORRIN GREY - BOOK REVIEW by mario guslandi
I had read just a couple of stories by Orrin Grey so far (one included in Datlow’s last Best Horror of the Year) and I was impressed. Now, after reading the present book, I am enthusiast, but also sorry to find out that this is Grey’s third collection and that I’ve missed his previous two.
The volume assembles fifteen stories. There are no misfires. Some tales are perhaps too derivative from the writer’s favourite movies ( he admits to be a confirmed movie lover) but remain very well crafted and extremely entertaining. The quality of the other stories is superlative.
Here’s my list of the most impressive tales.
“ Dream House” is an enticing piece portraying a man obsessed with an old, ill-fated TV show, the bad influence of which still lingers in a house where some shooting took place.
In the very dark “ Shadders” ,set in the world of chimneysweeps, deadly evil creatures dwell in the chimneys of an empty factory.
The title story “ Guignol” is a creepy tale set in the sinister atmosphere of an abandoned family house hiding in the attic unexpected, terrible secrets, while “ Haruspicate or Scry” is a superbly told pice where the memory of a beloved professor keeps haunting a young mother.
In the masterful “ The Well and the Wheel” a young woman discovers her deceased father’s unspeakable secrets and her own tragic, unavoidable fate.
“Dark and Deep”is a gentle, sad story about a mysterious fish-man once displayed in a freak show, whose corpse is finally taken back where it really belongs.
Grey is an extraordinary storyteller, whose disturbing tales will leave you spellbound.
Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
GUIGNOL And Other Sardonic Tales by Orrin Grey
"Enter this freakishly inventive cabinet of curiosities if you will, every story providing a redly drippy skull-window straight into the id-vortex of a modern horror master–gape in awe, laugh out loud, feel your mental mouth start to water." --Gemma Files, from the introduction
Orrin Grey has a knack for cruel stories.
Contes Cruel, to be exact.
Sardonic Tales like the fourteen collected here, ready to wrench the reader's emotions, tantalize, and terrify. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Roger Corman, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, the Theatre de Grand Guignol, Universal's monster movies, Hammer horror, kaiju flicks, and more, all while creating something unique, intoxicating, and, yes, cruel.
Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales has something for everyone... even the most jaded readers.
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