Swimming deep within the Vermifuge youâ€™ll find human desires and inhuman horrors, belly laughs and gut-wrenching shocks: 18 tales of madness, hatred, love, obsession, transformation, transcendence, and death by LoreLei Shannon.
- Wildside Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Lorelei Shannon¿s VERMIFUGE is, in many ways, reminiscent of Barker¿s BOOKS OF BLOOD. Her stories are as viscerally horrifying as Barker¿s, just as unflinchingly graphic, and certainly no less imaginative. If anything, her palette of settings and characters is broader, her talent for capturing voices of real people arguably superior. But what Shannon clearly demonstrates (that I don¿t find in other contemporary horror writers) is a unique and nasty edge of humor. Characters that have done wrong may succumb to a justice more grotesquely poetic than any but the most joyfully cruel mind could arrange. Vengeance, when she permits it, is not served cold, it¿s served warm¿and still moving. This not to imply that evil is necessarily repaid in kind throughout this book. These are not morality plays. They are snapshots, candid and brightly lit. Some are about people without conscience, some are about those whose conscience is led astray, and some are about good people who live in a world where conscience is moot, and wicked is just the way things are. In case I haven¿t made it clear, I loved this book and, in particular, Shannon¿s sly, witty approach to horror. As you read, you can almost feel her reveling in her command of evil, her playful smile just wide enough to show the tips of her fangs, her wink just slow enough to let you catch a glimpse of her extra inner eyelid.
There is a rare delight in discovering a new and upcoming writer before everyone else; Vermifuge & Other Toxic Cocktails is such an opportunity. The stories range from nail-biting to fanciful, but through all there is a thread of reality and wicked humor. If there is a common theme through this eccentric collection, it is power: the power of love, the power of fear, the power of greed, the power of sex. But, even when you think you know where a story is going, you¿re probably wrong. Misdirection and the ability to twist old tropes is a gift that Shannon has in spades. To discuss any particular story would be to do a potential reader an injustice similar to the original ad campaign for The Sixth Sense which gave away the first third of the movie. Most of the stories in this volume are originals with a few reprints. I, personally, found the reprints to be more like baguettes setting off the jewels of the previously unpublished tales. Vermifuge may not be a cheap volume to own, but it is a rich experience and a chance to say, ¿I knew about her before she was famous.¿