Seven Deadly Pleasures

Michael Aronovitz, Author . Hippocampus $15 (250p) ISBN 978-0-9824296-0-0

“Toll Booth,” the novella that closes Aronovitz's first horror collection, will remind many of the better work of Stephen King. Via a letter from beyond the grave, James Raybeck, who from 1979 to 2008 worked the night shift at a toll booth in the small town of Westville, Ind., describes how horrific ghostly visions plagued those manning the toll booth shortly after its construction. Raybeck dropped out of high school to save the booth from being torn down, though he later pays a gruesome and terrible price. While the tale offers nothing particularly original, the execution and prose are exemplary. Aronovitz is especially good in the opening setup, as the narrator grounds what's to follow in the prosaic details of a municipal engineering project. The other six stories are less remarkable, but all show a subtlety and deftness of touch rare in the genre. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/01/2010
Release date: 09/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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