Tuesday, November 15, 2011
DIG TEN GRAVES by Heath Lowrance
Lowrance writes the kind of stories that set up shop in your brain and rattle around in your chest. They're weird and crushing and true. They demand your attention.
He belongs in the same class as James Everington -- a first-rate writer of psychological horror.
Every story in here is a gem, but the first one, "It Will All Be Carried Away," slayed me. A suburban father's past shows up to haunt him. A girl he used to hook up with is dead and he becomes a bit obsessed with the details of her case. He starts remembering what he did to her -- and it's far more devastating than any harm you could cause with just a weapon. Lowrance expertly handles this non-linear narrative. A highly original and absorbing tale.
"Emancipation, With Teeth" is another favorite of mine. A work-a-day fellow is brushing his teeth when he notices something strange... something living inside him that will not be ignored. This is modern-alienation-turned-horror, a psychological problem with a physical manifestation.
It's actually difficult to talk about any single one of these stories. Lowrance has forged such a coherent collection that almost feels more like a novel. Similar themes keep popping up -- isolation, regret, human fragility, the illusion of security. Easily one of the top collections I've read in a long time. Check it out at Amazon.