Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book Review: Choir of Ill children By Tom Piccirilli

Choir of Ill Children By Tom Piccirilli
225 pages Paperback $5.99
Bantam books

I hate to say this but damn if this novel doesn't rise above the genre. I can't stand when science fiction (like Russell's the sparrow) or horror (Like Cormic McCarthy's Blood Merdian) are considered literature at not what they are – awesome works of genre. I suppose there are horror novels and there is horror literature, some authors do both at different times in their career. I admit before reading this book the only Tom Piccirilli I read before was his posts on shocklines (a horror messageboard). This short and perfectly paced novel is a fantastic southern gothic horror novel that creates great and memorable characters while at the same time creates a creepy and unsettling southern environment that feels both uncomfortable and super interesting.

Thomas runs the biggest employer in the southern swamp town of Kingdom Come, when he is not running the mill he is taking care of his three younger brothers. His brothers are a handfull since they are conjoined triplets who have one brain and three bodies. A great evil is coming to town and the grand old witches of kingdom come need Thomas to stop it.

Haunting childhood memories, southern magic and, murder, treachery and creepy characters make Choir of Ill children a must read horror masterpiece. Like most really great horror novels it is short. The novel comes together that a puzzle, Tom Pic did an amazing job of putting the pieces together at just the right pace so the mystery remains through most of the book.

I had heard over and over that this was a horror masterpiece and sertainly it has blurbs from just about everybody – Dean Koontz, Stewart O' Nan, Douglas Clegg, Thomas Liggoti, Gary Braunbeck, Ed Lee...well you get the point. If you like horror this is a great read. Wicked, funny, gruesome, lyrical all that stuff all the big names said it would be.

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