Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book Review: Aberrations of Reality by Aaron J. French

Aberrations of Reality by Aaron J. French

Paperback, 390 pages

Published by Crowded Quarantine Publications

I love a good novel as much as anyone but there is no greater way to get to know a writer than to read a collection of short fiction. A good short story collection will have stories that vary in length, tone and style. This can inform a reader about a writer's potential range more than a single novel. Aaron French is clearly well read in the genre, a varied array of influences but classic and modern bleed through on every single page.

When I review a short story collection I often remember more about the tone and vibe of the book than I do the actual stories. I normally pick out stand-out stories but I can say there was not one that I thought was a dud. There was subtle humor at times but some stories took on a nearly mystical feeling.

Clearly influenced by early weird tale writers like Machen, Blackwood and of course Lovecraft French is able to mine that vibe while still feeling modern. My three favorites in the collection were "Graffiti Ghosts," a creepy tale "When Clown Face Speaks," and the thoughtful "The Four Transitions of the Soul Upon Death by David P.Reichmann."

This is a well written collection of razor sharp horror fiction. French has strong understanding of what makes the weird tale work. I am glad he got the gig editing short fiction for Dark Discoveries, they will be in good hands. Reality is always in question during this collection but the quality never is. Every library serious about intelligent high brow horror must get this book.

1 comment:

Catherine Bader said...

Absolutely fabulous writer! Aaron not only stirs the soul, but puts the reader in some extremely strange places with the touch of his magic. You are "really there". This book is incredible!

Catherine Bader