Dark Awakenings

Matt Cardin, Author, David Wynn, Editor, Jason Van Hollander, Illustrator
Matt Cardin. Mythos (www.mythosbooks.com), $40 (336p) ISBN 978-0-9728545-6-6
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Life is a horror for which there is neither remedy nor release in the seven metaphysical terror tales that make up the bulk of Cardin's provocative second collection (after Divinations of the Deep). The narrator of "Teeth" is a student who, once enlightened to pessimistic strains in a variety of philosophies, begins to see reality as a voracious, all-consuming maw. In "Blackbrain Dwarf," a man finds that a hideous psychotic dwarf who begins popping up on the periphery of his vision personifies the chaos of existence that's gradually discomposing his hitherto contented life. "The God of Foulness" tells of a cult of "Sick Seekers" who believe that their pathologies reveal them to have been made in the image of their infirm Deity. Though they often discuss their horrors more effectively than they convey them, Cardin's tales are rich with references to Lovecraft, Nietzsche, and other writers whose work gives them unusual philosophic depth. This thinking-man's book of the macabre is capped by three essays, all of which speak eloquently to the supernatural themes of the stories. (May)
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