The Death Artist

The Death Artist

4.5 7
by Dennis Etchison
     
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
HThis collection of a dozen short stories explores the disturbing--and usually urban, Southern Californian--terrain of what really scares us: not serial killers and vampires, but loss of identity, the inability to cope with loss, the haunting turns life can take, loneliness, manipulation, the thin line between sanity and whatever lies beyond. In sparse, subtle prose, Etchison (The Dark Country, etc.) spins these tales efficiently, surrealistically--and concludes them the moment just before things get truly frightening. In one story, "When They Gave Us Memory," an actor, caught in the perfection of his role, discovers the importance of memory. In "The Detailer," a happy soul discovers the depths of human depravity while cleaning a car. In "The Dead Cop," a confused man and his wife try hazily to cope with sorrow and urban violence. "Inside the Cackle Factory" explains, chillingly, what happens to good television shows and why we never see them. Populated by ordinary people who have conversations like the ones you overhear every day and set in familiar places, these stories are not only completely believable, but they're all the more disturbing because they twist and distort the dimensions of the utterly familiar. (The manipulated photographic images by J.K. Potter illustrating the book complement this skewed version of reality.) Exquisitely well written and stunningly original, these stories serve as fine examples of the ever-evolving literature of horror. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780843949674
Publisher:
Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Pages:
282
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.78(h) x 0.87(d)

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The Death Artist 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
moorenoless24 More than 1 year ago
Oh, what a twisted and tormented web Mr. Etchison weaves!  A master observer and perhaps closet psychologist, Dennis spins the very basic and most base instincts of the human animal to a “what-if” nth degree, carrying the reader on a fantastic dark ride to a surprising and usually shocking end, the only predictable element of these amazing, itchy suspenseful, precisely written, by turns creepy and horrifying short stories.  From the ravaging descendant daughters of the Donner Party to an infamous homicidal dwarf mystery writer, the author conjures insanely credible life into the odd, the marginal, the most bestial of characters to bring a chill of uncomfortable recognition to the reader at the same time delivering the satisfaction of an almost hypnotic exploration of words married with an expertise in storytelling almost impossible to find in more contemporary works.  What a truly terrifying treasure trove of tales, indeed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found some really good stories and some I didn't understand as they were more than a little esoteric.
GizmoVL More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Says, "all the stories here should be adapted to the Millenial version of the Twilight Zone or Night Gallery" "Out of the entire Southern California School of Writers Etchison's work is the most cinematic and least funny". Wodea. End.
tashikitten More than 1 year ago
Boy, Dennis Etchison must really be tired of being called a master. However, as I have mentioned before, he IS a master of the short story, and is responsible for a couple of the best short stories I've ever read, in any genre. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say this: If you enjoy short stories, even if you are not necessarily a horror fan, you should give Etchison's work a try. The work is elegant, moody, atmospheric, and creepy, not just some slasher gore-fest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived in LA during the time of the Rodney King verdict riots. This collection of short stories evokes the same kind of terror that the violence moving down Hollywood Boulevard toward my office, and the subsequent ride home when all civilized laws disappeared in a wave of mass panic. Etichison stories, set in the urban landscape of LA, explore the underbelly of the human condition and our relationship to death. Well written and absolutely disturbing. Highly recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago