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Laird Barron (Laird)
Username: Laird

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From:
Posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 - 10:56 am:   

I'm muddling through a bunch of deadlines, so pleasure reading has taken a back seat of late. However, I've read the majority of Simon Strantzas' Cold to the Touch and about a third of Gary McMahon's Pieces of Midnight.

I'm sure most here have already purchased these or plan on doing so, but I'll put in my two cents nonetheless.

Simon's collection is very good and marks a stylistic evolution that while reflecting his influences also transcends them. The stories are of the eerie and weird traditions as one might expect. I encourage anyone on the fence to pick up Cold to the Touch. It's a smoother, more cohesive and stylistically original book than Beneath the Surface, a great collection in its own right.

I'm reserved about Gary's Pieces of Midnight because I haven't had a chance to read past the first handful of tales. Thus far, I note the pieces are accomplished and nicely atmospheric. I particularly enjoy the themes of pastoral isolation; a trend of his recent work it seems. Every story I've read possesses at least one scene that evokes the intense sense of dread or frisson that one expects from high caliber horror.

I intend to review both of these sometime this year at my journal. I'll link in due course. In any event, I've read a number of fine collections in recent months and these certainly hold their own.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From:
Posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 - 12:47 pm:   

Many thanks for the kind words, Laird - I hope you enjoy the rest of the tales in the collection as much.

The last third of the book contains the most recent tales, so tend to examine different themes than those at the beginning.

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