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Red Dreams Hardcover – Jan 1 1985


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mesmerizing, Scary, and Thoughtful Collection May 7 2014
By Kirkwood Bell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 lies in 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."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Less Horror, More Psycho-Trauma June 10 2014
By Shirley J. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Just the Contents Listing Nov. 24 2012
By Roger Zeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Etchinson's second short story collection. I only list the contents here since Amazon doesn't.

Introduction by Karl Edward Wagner
Talking in the dark
Wet season
I can hear the dark
The graveyard blues
On the pike
Keeper of the light
Black sun
White moon rising
The chill
The smell of death
Drop city
The chair
Not from around here

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