Friday, May 1, 2009

Use once the destroy

Use once the destroy
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Night Shade Books (June 29, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN: 1-892389-67-3
Hardcover Editing from WGTN central Library


A collection of literary horror short stories.

That’s the best way to describe this collection of stories from Conrad Williams. It’s a mix of old stories and new-ish (1992-2004), all previously published. Sixteen short stories and one novella in this collection.

From the descriptions on the back I thought I was in for a hell of a ride through a nightmarish landscape of the weird and extreme. I was not. I was disappointed. Conrad Williams is a great writer, he describes so much with intense and carefully placed words that form their own illusion. Sometimes this overshadows the plot and a few times I got lost and had to reread. Everything is described beautifully but unfortunately I feel it was over-described and my imagination had little to run on. Like watching a movie the imagination is on a break, so it was with this collection.

I found only two stories that gripped me: The Owl (2004) and The Suicide Pit (1999). Literary and Drama are two forms of writing that I can’t grasp, save a select few, my mind wanders when I can’t grasp the plot or clearly see the direction the story is taking, and in most of these stories my mind wandered.

Forcing oneself to concentrate on a story is not relaxing reading. This book found a wide audience of lovers, the reviews I have read before getting this book were all positive bar a few.

The collection is a good introduction to Conrad Williams and I still plan on getting his book, “One”.

This book is for those who like their horror less visual and more internal. In this collection the horror is often mentioned or suggested but not actually in-your-face. I prefer the latter version.


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