The Indie Fantasy book reviews now post on Tuesday. When I don’t have a review ready I’ll something else such as an Indie author interview, book promo (no review), discuss my TBR lists, and dissect some of my favorite Fantasy Classics.
Today’s review is for Goth-Ick Tales by Ciofki.
“Come, let’s examine the disquieting unknown… together.”
With those words in mind, Goth-Ick Tales were created. They are psychotic sojourns that leak from an unhealthy psyche and come with the caveat- WARNING: A GOTH-ICK TALE. Here are 101 short, macabre tales that run the gambit from horrifying to hilarious.
Are you a fan of Edgar Allen Poe? Edward Gorey? Do you love watching True Crime shows on Netflix? When the teenager in a horror film enters a room without turning on the light do you laugh?
Were you the kid at slumber parties that liked to read Short Stories to Read in the Dark?
If you are all grown up (but not grown out of your love of the dark) consider this selection of delicious gore. Each short story fits on one page and while it will repel the gentle reader it will fascinate the lover of all things wicked.
Indeed it has a special humor (haha on that warning). So if you are the reader who laughs at inappropriate moments, sees the humor in death and murder, and finds the macabre as good as a candy bar this is for you.
This book made me think of Edward Gorey and his world of famous of illustrations depicted in The Gashlycrumb Tinies when I read this. If you are a fan of the Lemony Snicket A Series of Unfortunate Events and are an adult reader, you’ll have found your next book right here.
While I have mentioned some more light-hearted evil readings, there is a caveat before you pick up Gothi-ick – these tales are not for children. You may not want to read all at one setting. Pace yourself as they can be intense. Take a breather so you can enjoy the sly dark humor all the better.
Reading through this book you’ll also find a strain of melancholy, the tale of the loner, the abused, the unwanted. From there you will find a thread of truth to these stories which gave me a sense of sadness in the end: the unwanted who all met very desperate and mostly horrible endings.
For example, Abuse, is a story that I know in part to be true. Back in college when I went to lunch with my employer’s friend, he told me how his sister had taken a baseball bat to her husband when he fell asleep. When he woke up to being thoroughly beaten, she told him, “you have to sleep sometime – never touch me again.”
You’ll find some similar life-imitates-art is in some of the other disenfranchised villains in the stories. Not in the ghouls though.
Decision and its follow-up Matricide though is where the author really shines. The story is heavy but tight, and the relationship between Mother and Son ambiguous. I’d like to see more of this deftness in future stories (while chopped off heads are fun, give us a little more mystery).
Personally, I could see this little book of horror being at your local bookstore checkout area, especially when Halloween comes closer.
Just don’t invite Ciofki to lunch, dinner, out on a date, or to your home. Trust me, it isn’t safe.