Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween [the anthology]

First story in Paula Guran's new horror anthology, Halloween, sucked. It was called, Conversations in a Dead Language, and was by Thomas Ligotti, who I've sometimes liked, but this story was a complete downer.

It's about a lonely postman who has no connection with anyone and it's insinuated I think, sort of Death in Venice on tranquilizers feelings towards children. The work takes place on three Halloweens' where he hands out candy to them.

On the first Halloween, he laments his coworkers call him fatass and hands out candy. On the second Halloween, he laments his mother's died and hands out candy. On the third Halloween, he remembers he used to be locked in the basement during his formative years, where he ate spiders, feels bad about his broken leg which has put him on disability from the mail-room, and hands out candy.

Then some spirit from another world or something, I'm not quite sure what the fuck it is, anally rapes him with a rotting wooden broom and he's discovered dead the next day by a rather smarmy priest, who, perhaps rightfully so, feels his life has been aimless, not the priest's life, the postman's.

 Ms. Guran certainly does not put her best foot forward in choosing this for the beginning of her latest anthology, although her introduction goes through a mildly interesting history of the holiday, to give some credit. There may be better stories in Halloween [ the anthology], but now that Conversations in a Dead Language has made me feel ready to blow my brains out, I may not be in the position to read more.

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