cover image Methods of Madness: A Collection

Methods of Madness: A Collection

Ray Garton. Dark Harvest, $19.95 (243pp) ISBN 978-0-913165-45-4

This is the first fiction collection from Garton, who has previously published four horror novels. A writer of some rough power, he is not in total control of his material: his stories are often crude, their various elements poorly integrated. His writing is compelling, however, particularly when he explores psychopathologies. A fascination with the effects of sexual repression figures importantly in several of the six tales. In ``Active Member,'' a man is dissociated from and terrorized by his own sexuality. ``Something Kinky,'' the most polished story here, is a Hitchcockian account of a man who, after allowing himself to stray one night following years of an unsatisfying marriage, is inadvertently drawn into blackmail and murder. In ``Sinema,'' a boy being raised by strict Seventh Day Adventist grandparents is befriended by an older man who has a VCR and an extensive library of illicit tapes. Other stories concern a radical therapy for child abusers; the revenge a man's body fat takes on the woman who has rejected him; and an account of bloody poetic justice. (June)