- File Size: 2584 KB
- Print Length: 26 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Black Obelisk Publishing (January 10, 2017)
- Publication Date: January 10, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N6PZXWW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,289,014 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #1213 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > 45 minutes (22-32 pages) > Science Fiction & Fantasy
- #3359 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Military > Space Marine
- #4520 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > 45 minutes (22-32 pages) > Literature & Fiction
Death in the Sunset: A Modern Cthulhu Mythos Short Story Kindle Edition
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I was gifted this short horror story from the author after I confessed I'd set myself a personal goal of reading one Lovecraft story a day. This is a modern Cthulhu tale, said he, which I might enjoy. Rock on, said I, as I always enjoy a great read. And holy hell, this is beyond a great read. This is a horror story that grabs you by the throat, rips out a few vital tendons, and drops you like a meatsack.
Short stories are harder to write than longer, full length novels, in my opinion. No waste of words, no fluff. The writing here is both focused and smart. The intro pages are particularly well crafted, especially the characterization of the dead Jimmy, the description of the derelict Malius, the diner, the street references. I was very happy here.
And the story itself is both surreal and terrifying. Surreal, in that our main character, a veteran suffering from PTSD, has to deal not only with the horrors of human wartime experiences, but also with an encounter with an Elder God and his worshipping lackeys. Memory loss, mental delusions, the eldritch ones. Carnage, human sacrifice, and food for Abhoth. An excellent read, and recommended.
The story also speaks to me as an allegory. Chuck is a war vet who gets an unusually traumatic case of PTSD. He actually faces demons, but Riessen’s well laid characterization and setting also shares the tale that many returning soldiers confront with their inner demons. I’m thankful the veterans in my life had it a bit easier than Chuck did.
Chuck has been slowly deteriorating his body to match the damage in his mind. Can he muster the grit necessary to overcome those old demons? You tell me.
This is a side note that has nothing to do with Riessen's ebook. I bought this story in the anthology Urban Temples of Cthulhu. I would have preferred to read the whole anthology as an ebook because the print has text disappearing into the gutter in the center paperback. I had to hold the book funny to read. If the editor wants free advice, I set all four margins to .5" and the gutter to .7". I've published three books in 6" x 9", with similar thickness, and actually read the physical copies and it allows the reader to hold the book comfortably. It's important to save on expenses, but not at the cost of reader enjoyment.