Got to Kill Them All

Dennis Etchison, Author . Cemetery Dance $40 (206p) ISBN 978-1-58767-093-0

This bare-bones collection of 18 reprints, spanning 40 years of World Fantasy Award–winner Etchison’s career, delves deep into personal terrors. Starting off with “Sitting in the Corner, Whimpering Quietly,” a stark account of an unpleasant encounter in a Laundromat, Etchison uses quick strokes of prose, at times overly sparse, to paint eerie scenes of sharp violence and deep unease. There are moments when a controlled burst of staccato sentences serves the story perfectly, as in “The Walking Man,” where desultory bar chitchat takes an abrupt turn for the macabre. Etchison writes a loudmouthed salesman in “The Pitch” as easily as a lost little girl in “Call Home,” though at times his desire to focus only on the moment can loosen his grasp on the individual settings he wants to create. The title story caps off the collection with a brutally exquisite showing of what Etchison does best: creating a tone and wielding it like an edged weapon. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/17/2007
Release date: 07/01/2008
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