Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book Review: Occasional Demons by Rick Hautala

✰✰✰✰½ This wicked tome from the author of Bedbugs contains almost 500 pages of terror. The stories are arranged for optimal reading pleasure; however, the reader can choose to read the stories out of order as well.

The book is divided into 3 sections with the stories flowing very well from one to another. The first section contains a creepy assortment of 18 stories that will give you chills even in the dead of summer. There's a story for every horror fan including the blood absorbing book that just keeps coming back for more, a music studio famous for its last recording of various musicians, the voice from the sea, a visitor from the future, an unforgettable lake, a knife that kills, soulless babies, a compost heap with a mind of its own, and many more.

The second section contains stories that are an offshoot of Mr. Hautala's fourth novel,
Little Brothers. It also contains fabricated "Indian myths." I especially enjoyed 3 stories from this section including: Chrysalis, Deal With the Devils, and Oilman. I couldn't sleep for a week after reading those three gems.

The last section includes stories written in collaboration with others including his sons. My favorite story from this section is
And the Sea Shall Claim Them. Most of the short stories in Occasional Demons have appeared in other publications, but there are a couple that appear here for the first time.

The Bottom Line:
Many more hits than misses make this short story collection a winner. I for one enjoyed almost every single short story included in this collection. As always Glenn Chadbourne's illustrations are fantastically creepy. Horror fans will absolutely love this collection; this is a must-have item if you collect horror. However, sensitive readers should proceed with caution.

Occasional Demons by Rick Hautala. Illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne. Advance Uncorrected Proof published by Cemetery Dance in 2010. 496 p. ISBN: 1-58767-095-X

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