Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Richard Laymon's Dreadful Tales: Not Quite a Review

I was going to do a full on review of Richard Laymon's Dreadful Tales as it was one of the most profound collections of shorts by a single author that I have ever read.

But now I'm not.

Put quite simply: If you like horror shorts, go buy it, read it, and you won't regret it.

So now that's out the way, what did I decide to say? Ah yes. Well. Firstly, I wanted explain why Laymon dispells the myth of writing what you know. I know that most horror writers don't write what we know or we'd all be in asylums... or more likely prison... but Laymon manages to write in so many different personas, that it's quite amazing.

Through the book - and they'll be no spoilers here  - he manages to come across as having experiences of most people in most walks of life. Now unless he was born a girl and then gender swapped - at least three times - he couldn't have those experiences that he writes about so profoundly. His style is quiet unique, and yet you never think about Laymon, only about that tale which he is weaving, whether a young girl on a bike, a woman on the beach, or a man in a diner.

It's actually almost strange in retrospect, thinking back to how his writing manages to do that.

If you read the first story in the anthology entitled "Invitation to Murder" you'll know what I mean.

... And after you've read that, you'll know what I mean when I say...

... Richard Laymon knows how to write twists.

Those of you that have read my 'How Not to Write Horror' series, will know of the contention in the industry of how to write endings, and particularly twists.

It's difficult to write twists. I know, I've fubar'd a'many. Laymon, however, does it with grace and style (granted you'll see some of them coming - maybe) but most are a real kick in the butt, if you know what I mean.

Mark

No comments:

Post a Comment