Thursday, July 30, 2009
Book Review: Mama's Boy by Fran Friel.
Sorry I've negelected ye old Blog, I've been hard at work on a novel this month that has eaten up all my time. Almost done.
Mama's boy and other Dark Tales by Fran Friel
I only know Fran Friel personally in a 21st century way. Having interacted with her for years on various message boards, websites and e-mail. As soon as Apex Publications published her collection of stories I was sold. Apex is one of the most respected magazines publishing dark fiction of the last decade. It took me a little while to seek out this book, remember this is a independent press, we independent press authors have to rely on our online presence since borders or Barnes and Nobles are not making displays for our books.
Fran is a graduate of the borderlands boot camp and finalist for the Bram Stoker award which is basically the oscar for horror writers. On top of that I discovered that her book came with an introduction by Gary Braunbeck who is a favorite writer of mine. Needless to say I am excited to add this to my collection.
Friel radiates a charming and spunky personality and even in the darkest tales in the book her sense of humor and morality shines through. Case in point is the award nominated title novella which ends the book. Mama's boy is a serial killer tale that despite the over saturation of this type of tale has no problem finding an original hook. Mostly told through the killer's therapy sessions the story lends itself to multiple readings.
Other highlights of the collection include the pirate tale “Sea Orphan” and the charming story from the family dog's point of view “Under the dryer.” Friel's greatest achievement in the collection might be in the various pieces of flash fiction. These stories show an economy of words that wielded with surgical skill. If you like Horror fiction you can't go wrong here.