The Spectral Link

Thomas Ligotti. Subterranean (www.subterraneanpress.com), $20 (96p) ISBN 978-1-59606-650-2
The dark poet of “redemptive demoralization” (or depression) returns with two surreal novelettes collected in an elegant, slender volume. Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race) continues exploring his fascination with the primal question of meaning for those in dispute with “reality itself, or what passes for reality.” The unnamed narrator of “Metaphysica Morum” seeks suicide, yet delays until he can subvert the optimism of his fugitive therapist. Equally anonymous, the young narrator of “The Small People” finds a growing horror in the encroachment of toy-like beings that bring an unsettling enlightenment about the shabbiness of daily life and the true nature of his parents. Ligotti charts the collapses of his characters into obsession via the repeated use of mundane phrases (“all-new context,” “shameful little bigot”) that slowly become mantras of dread. His writing, an inspiration for the HBO series True Detective, is mannered and introspective, not for action fans. Ligotti publishes slowly, but like a philosophical oyster irritated by the grit of existence, he produces miniature pearls. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/05/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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