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Staring Into the Abyss

Author: Richard Thomas
Publisher: Kraken Press
Publication Date: Supposedly March 1 
(according to GR) but sometime in April
according to Kraken Press
Genre: Anthology, Adult Fiction, Horror 
Spec-fic Horror
Pages: 136

Book Description: As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you.” In this collection of short stories Richard Thomas shows us in dark, layered prose the human condition in all of its beauty and dysfunction. A man sits in a high tower making tiny, mechanical birds, longing for the day when he might see the sky again. A couple spends an evening in an underground sex club where jealousy and possession are the means of barter. A woman is victimized as a child, and turns that rage and vengeance into a lifelong mission, only to self-destruct, and become exactly what she battled against. A couple hears the echo of the many reasons they’ve stayed together, and the one reason the finally have to part. And a boy deals with a beast that visits him on a nightly basis, not so much a shadow, as a fixture in his home. These 20 stories will take you into the darkness, and sometimes bring you back. But now and then there is no getting out, the lights have faded, the pitch black wrapping around you like a festering blanket of lies. What will you do now? It’s eat or be eaten—so bring a strong stomach and a hearty appetite.

*Book provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I knew this anthology was full of dark stories but I wasn’t prepared for this. This novel is full of dark and twisted stories that are nothing more than the dark reality of human existence. I’m not sure how to rate or review this because it is not the type of book I read, nor do I think I’ve read something like it before.

The writing itself was very well done. It was descriptive and to the point, fluid and stylistic at points, and quite effective. Of the stories that made sense to me, most of the time I was taken by surprised or just shocked into stunned silence.

I’m not sure what else to say mostly because this isn’t my cup of tea. There was a handful of stories that made no sense to me and the rest just made me depressed – though that may be part of the point. If this is the type of stories you’re into then I can say with some level of certainty that you will enjoy it. It’s deep and thought provoking and most of all dark.

My Rating: ★★★