Red Dreams

Red Dreams

by Dennis Etchison
4.6 3

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Red Dreams 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
moorenoless24 More than 1 year ago
Mr. Etchison, whose work I have only recently had the pleasure of perusing, takes the reader down, down, down the rabbit hole to a whole new level of psychological discomfort, torment and pain, in these stories of pitiful, depressed and lost souls in the sea of humanity.  Though I would not necessarily recommend this as the first book a novice purveyor of his works should read, I will say that it appears to be the most personally revealing of the author’s philosophical bent that I have thus far read.  These stories are fascinating studies of disconnection between body, mind and soul, so disconcerting at times that I could only digest one or two per day to keep my own balance - tough matter to chew on, but in the end a satisfying meal, as has been the case with every Etchison tome I have explored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want refined horror, sometimes colored with sci-fi, that is also substantive on a deeply psychological and philosophical level, this collection of short stories is the bargain of your life. This is important stuff, writing I would call "literature" as well as "horror." It's difficult to pick favorites when every story is a gem, but I particularly recommend "Talking In the Dark," a masterpiece of middle-aged desperation, "I Can Hear the Dark," a free-fall into a loss of innocence, "Drop City," which is distinctly creepy and gorgeously written, and, for something mind-blowingly different and poignant, "Not From Around Here." Etchison intimately knows and can exploit horror tropes, but the stories in this collection contain relatively little gore or gratuitous obscenities, relying more on mental anguish, emotional turmoil, and (mostly) implied violence. Sometimes, "The horror is that there is no horror." ("Black Sun"). Yet each story is uniquely, deeply disturbing, probing the origins of individual and collective guilt. These stories are easy to read. They contain beautiful descriptions and clear, crisp prose. There is a message here, which is what makes each story so great. But Etchison's style is so subtle that you really need to be paying close attention to catch what he's trying to tell you. When you do, you are richly rewarded. These are stories to read over and over, each time finding a new shade of meaning, a new nugget to ponder. Reading this collection made me realize that Etchison is so much more than a horror writer—which I think is almost a misnomer in his case. Though his stories have a timeless, contemporary quality, I really think Etchison is a voice of his Baby Boomer generation. The person you see as your savior isn't. The past seems so much more significant than the present. When the invincibility of youth proves to be a sham, and all your illusions go up in smoke, where do you go from there? Is redemption possible? All these themes and more are explored in ways that reflect these questions right back at the reader. Etchison speaks in the soft voice of the murderer in the confessional, fingers smeared with blood, yet outstretched for the blessing. Get a little closer—hear his revelations in "Red Dreams."
MegatronDecepticon More than 1 year ago
Out of the the entire Southern California School of Writers who were headlined by Ray Bradbury; Dennis Etchison is the most brutal. By brutal I mean, brooooootaaaalll! like a DEATH METAL song.  He is like the band Slayer, frozen in a block of ice; forever hardcore, and this collection shows. -On the Pike-! Mannnnnnn! If you compare the members of the Southern California School of Writers Dennis is the one that most clearly compares to a true psychedelic experience. One would think it would be Ray Bradbury, Bill Nolan, or George Clayton Johnson, but no it is Dennis. Like a true psychedelic experience the only real purpose of going to use the natural plant allies is to come into full confrontation with your ego. When you do meet the spirits it usually is their first lesson to imbue to say, 'This is how the F&#%^!ck you are, deal with it!'. Red Dreams as a collection is like a good strong batch of psilocybin, DMT, Ayahuasca or Iboga. Heroic dosages mang! Dennis says this essentially: This is how the hell WE are deal with it! Honesty is brutality, and brutality a lot of times is beauty. Time doesn't heal all wounds and wisdom more often than not is a slave to pain. Aya Ayahuasca! Indeed.     Sincerely, Megatron Leader of the Decepticons