Saturday, September 26, 2015

LOSS by Tom Piccirilli

This is a bizarre little novelette by Piccirilli about a failed writer working as a building manager at Stark House, an old apartment building in New York City, home for a variety of has-beens and other failed artists. There's a murder that occurs in the building and soon after, the love of his life disappears and a talking monkey begins writing him notes. Like I said, it's bizarre. It's hard to summarize and can feel pretty disjointed, but I love the atmosphere that Piccirilli maintains in the Stark House location. With his usual urgent prose, he presents the building as a sad purgatory for failed dreams and lost ambition, and is a perfect place for our narrator, with his regrets, frustrations, lost creativity, as well as his ghosts. 

It's an intriguing yet difficult book, open to lots of interpretation. I liked this one the way I liked the movie Mulholland Drive when I first saw it. I don't fully understand it but I'm fascinated enough to explore it more. I decided to read this as part of my horror reading for the season but I realized that it's less of a horror story and more of a psychological portrait. Nothing supernatural was actually happening in the story or at Stark House. Or was there........?


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