Picking the Bones

Brian Hodge. Cemetery Dance, $40 (318p) ISBN 978-1-58767-220-0
Hodge explores the nature of humankind's deepest fears and worst failings in his eclectic fourth dark fiction collection (after 2002's Lies and Ugliness). Eloquent, intensely intimate, and infused with existential angst, each of the 17 stories packs a powerful thematic punch. The haunting "With Acknowledgments to Sun Tzu" is a war correspondent's chronicle of the horrific atrocities he has witnessed. "The Firebrand Symphony" is a Lovecraftian tale of a sound technician examining the noise emanating from a gigantic humanoid skull. In "An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Flesh," the lives of a middle-aged investment banker and a bullied teenager dovetail with deadly consequences. The diversity and quality of stories will more than satisfy longtime horror and dark fantasy fans, and will have new readers hastily seeking out Hodge's earlier works. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
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