Tuesday, June 22, 2021

BENEATH A PALE SKY by Philip Fracassi

Just like with the previous collection, Behold the Void, Philip Fracassi gives us a curious collection of horror stories that find a great balance between the cerebral and the emotional, where even if you don’t fully grasp the totality of what transpired, the evocative feeling that the stories give you will be wholly satisfying. 

The book is a collection that combines some of his latest short stories and novellas, ones that were both published previously and ones that were written for this book. Fracassi is great at detailing horrific but believable disastrous events and taking them to places that hint that they go beyond everyday tragedies and into the realm of the supernatural. This is on full display in many of these stories, such as with the horrifying Ferris Wheel tragedy in “The Wheel,” the deadly tornado in “Harvest,” or the earthquake in my favorite story in the collection: the novella Fragile Dreams (which I read previously as a stand-alone and reviewed it here). Each of these stories takes everyday horror and transform them into something much more cosmic and extraordinary. 

Along with Fragile Dreams, my other favorite stories are “Death, My Old Friend,” a stunning story that I also read previously and I still think is the best of Fracassi’s shorter tales, and “ID,” a sly, playful, and unreliable look at a friendship born in a mental hospital that will make you question your own sanity. 

This author is always consistent with his engaging stories and I’m really looking forward to reading his upcoming debut novel later this year!

Thanks to the publisher for the Advanced Reader’s Copy. 


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