The Spaces Between the Lines

Peter Crowther, Author . Subterranean $40 (323p) ISBN 978-1-59606-079-1

British author Crowther (The Longest Single Note ) shows impressive versatility in this collection of 12 weird tales that evoke a variety of moods ranging from wonder to horror. "Sitting Pretty" (with Simon Conway) is an uplifting fantasy in which a chair fashioned from the cross of Christ shapes personal and historical destinies over the centuries. In "Three Plays a Quarter," an exercise in Twilight Zone –style chiaroscuro, a magic jukebox in a smalltown tavern replays dramatic moments from the lives of its patrons. In the book's best stories, horrors arise from the efforts of grief-stricken spouses to arrest the natural order and reverse the death of a loved one, notably "Stand By," in which a man labors to reclaim his wife from the waiting room of the afterlife and brings something unexpectedly nasty back with her. Though sometimes weakened by overexplanation of their supernatural elements, these stories are grounded in believably wrought emotions that make their strangeness both credible and affecting. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/08/2007
Release date: 03/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
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