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Posted September 30, 2011
Dark, Deviant Ideas
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Thursday, September 29, 2011
Review: The Pitchfork Diaries Vol .1 (Volume 1)by Jake Bannerman
The Pitchfork Diaries Vol .1 (Volume 1)by Jake Bannerman
Publisher: The Goat Franchise/CreateSpace
Publish Date: September 10, 2011
THE APEX OF TERROR
The Pitchfork Diaries is a collection of short stories and prose unlike anything you have ever read before. Even the darkest and most violent imaginings of your mind cannot come close to matching the horrors contained within.
J.S. Bannerman, a new name in the horror genre, has skilfully woven a collection of tales that will inescapably work their way into your psyche, take up residence and relentlessly haunt you. Prepare yourself to be confronted by words that will threaten to shake the foundation of everything you thought you knew; no truth is too uncomfortable, no thought too gruesome to share.
All are invited to read the Pitchfork Diaries. Many will never be the same.
Born and raised in the church, J.S. Bannerman has taken the dangerous stance to question events that have been spoon fed to him as the truth since his childhood. He continually pushes boundaries as a purveyor of terror and often strives to find that disquietude that exists inside each one of us.
He is a nomad, calling no one place home; choosing the life of a traveler while on the mission of writing the Family of Dog series. As a result you may find him in your town, writing at your local pub, crafting tales of horror so terrifyingly depraved and heartbreakingly cruel that you would never believe that they come from a mind as normal as his. Just beware, because within each tale is a message; it's just up to you to figure out what it means.
I was eager to receive The Pitchfork Diaries after reading an interesting excerpt from the author's upcoming novel, Family of Dog: The Harvest. After reading this collection, though, I'm feeling quite ambivalent about it. I would have a hard time even classifying these as short stories, as they hardly average two pages apiece. Stories of such brevity make it almost impossible to create suspense and immerse the reader in the setting - seemingly vital elements of good horror fiction, right? Even more bothersome is how the central mystery in nearly every story is referred to as "the secret" (or something similar), usually until the final paragraph. I would have preferred for the author to gradually peel back layers of the story to build suspense, instead of producing what I can only describe as one-liner stories, if that makes sense.
On a more positive note, however, I applaud Bannerman's blatant disregard for social norms. I tend to prefer authors who aren't afraid to cross that proverbial line in the sand, between acceptable and taboo. Although poorly executed, The Pitchfork Diaries is brimming with dark, deviant ideas that I couldn't help but subconsciously expand upon. Though it didn't scare me initially, I had the most disturbing nightmare recently, related to a story in this collection (and I hardly ever dream about anything). I think Bannerman's definitely got a talent for writing horror and, considering that my main issue with these short stories is the "short" part, I still have high hopes for his first novel.
Reviewed by Brittany for Book Sake.
Posted December 1, 2011
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