Horror fiction is known for its monsters, and few writers can conjure them with the gory gusto of British author Lumley (Necroscope , etc.). Spanning more than 30 years, the five tales in this slim collection all feature freaks that defy explanation, although not the author's morbid powers of description. ""In the Glow Zone,"" ""Mother Love"" and ""Somebody Calling"" all pit grisly mutations of nuclear radiation against evil humans who seem even more monstrous by comparison. ""Problem Child"" is the dramatic monologue of an individual whose bizarre physical afflictions are explained in a ghoulish twist ending. In the book's most intriguing story, ""The Ugly Act,"" the monsters are merely people who don't conform to standards of beauty in a future world of physical perfection. Although not Lumley at his best, these tales appeal for their sympathetic treatments of the grotesque. Agent, Dot Lumley at the Dorian Literary Agency. (Nov. 3)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2004 Release date: 07/01/2004 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.