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Gateways to Abomination Paperback – July 26, 2014
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There is a mad genius at work here...this collection of nightmares and disturbing radio broadcasts blends together so well that the book transcends the concept of a simple short fiction collection and becomes so much more. Highly recommended, there is something special at work here. - The Arkham Digest
Every bit of this is scary. It's the kind that gets under your skin and leaves you thinking about it when you should be going to sleep. It's the kind that gives you nightmares. - playwithdeath.com
Gateways to Abomination is a panoramic view of terror, of the approaching darkness, of evil in a small community that gradually infects and corrupts everything it touches. Bartlett's voice is strong, his scenes unnerving...a happy discovery in the side alleys of independent horror.- Muzzleland Press
About the Author
Matthew M. Bartlett was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1970. He lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife and an unknown number of cats.
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"When he got almost near enough for me to see his features, he bent suddenly, then dropped to his knees. His body whipped as though his spine were a snake snapped by a forceful hand. An ungodly gurgle bellowed up from his throat and he vomited a thick stream of wriggling worms. His body lurched again and he gagged, a thick crack, then drew in breath and let loose again, the worms pouring out as though propelled. I watched the folds of skin at his throat undulate. Then took in a deep, retching breath."
Bartlett does what all good horror writers do; he rubs your face in the idiosyncrasies of his fantasies. Potent stuff, *not* for the faint of heart.
GATEWAYS TO ABOMINATION, though, deftly avoids that pitfall by tying all of the stories together, making them more short chapters than separate works. Bartlett methodically develops a fantastical version of witch-haunted New England that revolves around mysterious radio station WXXT and a intertwining cast of families neck-deep in serious occult activity.
Bartlett maintains the same tone throughout the 34 stories collected here. Vividly horrific waking nightmares (or are they) and high strangeness of the darkest sort are filtered through characters like the FCC agent in “the investigator” and the hapless boyfriend in “the last hike,” two of the lengthier tales. At times I was reminded of another excellent book, THE SEA OF ASH. Bartlett is not derivative of the superb Scott Thomas, but both set their stories in New England and include truly odd happenings alongside centuries-spanning horror. THE SEA OF ASH was one of the best things I read in 2014, and I don’t make this comparison lightly. While the presentation is different – bite-size morsels instead of a sumptuous feast – both authors are effective at generating chills and holding my easily-distracted attention.
For a self-published book, the layout and design are a cut or three above the norm. I realize this kind of thing is not as critical to some people, but as a layout guy, poor design or too many typos can really pull me out of the story. The general look and feel of GATEWAYS TO ABOMINATION is much more that of a small press than so many other self-published books I’ve seen. While not as beautiful as some professionally designed volumes, the book is easy to read and pleasant to look at.
GATEWAYS TO ABOMINATION is a self-published first collection of generally very short stories, and despite the trepidation those conditions inspire in my brain, it is also an absolute win. I would confidently shelf it in the Weird Renaissance section of my local book store if I had a local book store with such a section. I greatly enjoyed these stories and look forward to more fascinating prose from the estimable Mr. Bartlett.
Most recent customer reviews
No need for a plot, just brain dump tiny morsels of weird and leave it at that.Read more