The highly original and truly terrifying folk horror of Italy's Luigi Musolino was introduced to an international audience in the acclaimed The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories, and now at last an entire volume of the author's best work - eight stories and three novellas - is available in English for the first time.
In 'Lactic Acid', a jogger takes an unfamiliar shortcut and quickly finds himself trapped in a nightmare from which there may be no escape. In 'Uironda', a strange urban legend overheard at a rest stop becomes a horrifying reality for one truck driver. 'The Last Box' tells of a grieving contortionist's plan to make contact with his dead trapeze artist wife by twisting his body into the abstruse angles of her mangled corpse. And in the title novella, after a little girl vanishes in a supermarket, her parents find a strange solace when they find a bottomless pit in their basement from which her laughter seems to echo - but the abyss's shimmering darkness is not what it seems ...
Musolino's tales, set among the plains and mountains of his native Piedmont, are uniquely Italian, but the darkness he probes is universal. As Brian Evenson writes in the introduction, 'Musolino has a strong and original voice and uses it to get to some uniquely dark places. Rather than blood or gore, he's ultimately interested in what's truly terrifying: the vertiginous darkness that threatens to open up and swallow us. A darkness that calls to us, calls to us, until we can't help but answer and stumble toward it.'
'An experience worthy of David Cronenberg, a sick and monstrous universe where authors like Barker and Ligotti would feel right at home.' - Nicola Lombardi, author of The Gypsy Spiders