Friday, October 26, 2012

Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales

I met Fran Friel at KillerCon in Vegas this year. And she's a very special person. She's also a fantastic author. If you'd like to learn more about her, you can head over to The Author Spot and check out the interview I did with her for today's post.

But let's get right to the book. Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales is Fran's first short story collection. Mama's Boy was originally published as a novella. The collection made it to the final ballot for The Bram Stoker Awards in 2008. The original novella was a finalist in 2006. Those of you who are horror fans will know what an amazing accomplishment that is!

Synopsis: Nothing good comes of the closest ties in Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales, the new collection from Fran Friel and Apex Publications. Things can go especially awry when the tie in question is the one binding mother and son. This collection contains 14 tales, including the Stoker Award nominated novella "Mama's Boy."

The synopsis is short and sweet and doesn't give away anything good. And there's a whole lot of good in this collection. My personal favorite is probably the darkest story in the book: "Special Prayers." This story is about Mama, from "Mama's Boy." And gives us a glimpse into how she got to be the way she is. It's everything a horror story should be; shocking, dark, horrific and yet encapsulated into only four pages.

My second favorite story was "Fine Print." It's a longer story, and maybe a little slow moving for some, but for me, the pace was just right. There were a lot of details to soak up and I enjoyed having the time to do so, with no rush to the conclusion of the story. The story paints a picture of a world where clairvoyant dreamers are used to a very bad end.

The book is filled with other stories, some very short, and poems, plus the novella which lends the book its name. There's not a single story or poem I didn't enjoy. And many of them left me rolling the idea around in my head for days afterward. "Don't look under the dryer." "How glad am I that I don't have a Siamese twin?" "Potatoes!"And many other strange thoughts that you'll only appreciate after you read the book. Which I highly recommend you do.

The introduction is written by Gary A. Braunbeck and captures the essence of Fran and the book very well. If you enjoy short stories, if you aren't afraid of the dark, and if you've ever wondered what lives under your dryer, look up Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales by Fran Friel. Then read at your own risk. You can purchase the book here.

This blog is not technically part of the Coffin Hop. But since I'm feeling generous today, any comments left on this post will get you an entry into my contests over at The Author Spot.

Happy Reading,


Fran Friel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fran Friel said...

Thank you so much for the beautiful review, Stacey!

Spot said...

You completely deserved it! Fantastic collection!