Length: 340 Pages
The new black is a collection of 20 short stories by some great authors of the horror genre that take the genre to the edge. These authors were all new to me and I hadn’t previously read any of their work. The new black has a forward by Laird Barron, he gives a well thought-out explanation of the old black and the new black and where the edges of the genre are. This collection starts with Stephen Graham Jones writing a deep and powerful story of a boy and his father and their fight for survival. Next is a story by Paul Tremblay told from a perspective we all have long forgotten, that of a small child. I can not say much about this story without giving the story away. What I can say is it really made me think how different life is seen from a child’s eyes. The next few stories continue with the main character or theme revolving around a child which just as in the movie Pet Cemetery really gives me the creeps. I really enjoyed the story Dial Tone by Benjamin Percy which is found somewhere buried in the middle and did a great job telling the story about a telemarketer who we can all imagine (weirdo, crackpot, etc.) Roy Kesey brings us the story titled Instituto, a great look at how we may never seem to be satisfied even after all appears to be perfect. The very short story Dollhouse, maybe the shortest in this collection may very well be the best. It felt like I had just watched a marathon of the twilight zone by that I mean I was creeped out to no end and needed something else to replace the creepy crawlies. Nik Korpon’s tale has a satisfying twist in ‘His Footsteps are Made of Soot’, i expected a left turn and got a right turn instead. I love when a writer can get me to look in one direction while he takes the story in another. As the collection of stories winds to an end we find an intriguing tale my Matt Bell called Dredge. This story left me with the same unease I felt after watching a movie like Psycho. The main character is traumatized in childhood and can’t escape his demons. The collection is nicely wrapped up with the story Windeye by Brian Evenson leaving you wondering what is real and what is make-believe. I recommend this book to those looking for a different angle to the usual horror story.