A collection of unsettling and unforgettable stories.
By Domenic Migliore ‧ RELEASE DATE: N/A
Migliore’s collection of short stories is a mix of dread, violence, and dark humor. In “Museum of the Dead”, a man inherits his father’s funeral home, only to find that a miracle drug has all but eliminated natural death. “The MacGuffin” follows a woman as she trails a string of text messages from an anonymous person claiming to have kidnapped her daughter. “Popular Genocide” is set in a therapeutic boarding school that feels more like a prison camp. “Fandomon” is a play on Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, with several characters involved in an incident at an anime convention giving their own versions of what happened in a hotel room. The interlinked stories “The Running of the Dead Horse” and “Ancestry” bookend the collection. In the former, a professor is shaken by her sister’s murder, and her grandfather takes her to Rome to seek vengeance.
The latter story finds the professor and a police captain looking into a suicide and a mysterious organization. Violence is a common theme in the stories, from bites and stabbings to head shots. “Suicide Hotline” is a dialogue-only story featuring a crisis counselor whose prepared script renders their responses mechanical and hollow. The characters are largely aloof or hateful, spewing offensive slurs and sentiments. “The Tattoo” follows a nasty American soldier stationed in Japan who seems to detest everything and everyone. “Anticks” is a story about a ventriloquist and his maybe-alive doll, which alludes to the 1978 film Magic. Despite the dark themes, the stories are unpredictable and entertaining.
Pub Date: N/A
Page Count: 338
Review Posted Online: June 26, 2023