Monday, September 11, 2017

BEHOLD THE VOID by Philip Fracassi

One of the things that's very apparent in every story in this collection, and with all of Fracassi's work, is the intense focus on developing character. Some might say that it's even too much and not necessary for the short scary stories he writes, but I would respectfully disagree and it's an aspect in his work that I really appreciate. Good horror, to me, is inherently linked to character, and even more so here. Yes, these 9 stories feature occult horror, ghost stories, and cosmic horror, but the thread that really runs strong through most of them is the horror that has its roots buried deep in broken family relationships and parenthood.

Fracassi takes his time with each story, setting up it's world and characters, making the payoff that much more rich by the end. The best examples of this are in the standout stories "Mandala," "Fail-Safe," and "Mother," a story that packs the most stunning prose I've read so far by Fracassi.

And to think, the guy is basically just getting started.
Common sense assures us of the invalidity of demons and sharp-clawed creatures of the night, but we still can't help wonder if there's something there, waiting to drag itself toward us and slide it's cold wet claws around our neck, empowered because we gave it what it needed. We gave it the dark.

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