Monday, May 2, 2011
My review of Alexander Brown’s book Traumatized begins with a funny story: while I was a guest at Southern Fried Comic Con at Jackson, Mississippi last June, I had the pleasure of meeting Alex and picking up a copy of his book. Seeing as how the book was a collection of short stories, I thumbed through it and settled on a story entitled From Midnight to One. Fifteen minutes later, I was absolutely scared out of my mind and refused to read the rest of the book. For not only had Alex scared me beyond belief with such detail regarding three witches and their victims, but he had also shown just how far into the darkness he was willing to write. When I saw him at another con, I politely told him that his book scared the absolute crap out of me and that I could not read the rest of it. He, much to my surprise, found it to be quite a compliment that the Goth Librarian was terrified of his work.
Traumatized is not for the faint of heart. The stories are beyond conventional horror and yet done with an original style not be matched by many others in the genre. The stories drip with great helpings of Southern Gothic while the unrelenting gore is just behind that door, curtain or even shoebox filled with voodoo dolls. The stories begin with the set up of the plot and characters; however, one realizes quickly that is not well and will not even resemble a fragment of sanity once the stories come to their own ends. Several stories that stood out in originality were From Midnight to One (of course!), Live Through This (a tale of obsession gone horribly, horribly wrong), Two Miles (Judgment Day in Hell) and The Acquired Taste (you’ll never want sushi again). These stories are more than fair representatives of Splatterpunk; each story forces the readers to stare into a dark abyss that will not go away, no matter how many times we say our prayers at night.
If you like reading books that make the things that go BUMP in the night quiver in their boots, then Traumatized is for you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.