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Left Hand Tree: Stories of Spiritual Horror Paperback – January 19, 2017
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About the Author
Jay Gunter was born in Great Falls, Montana. He currently resides in the Spokane, Washington area where he teaches Communication Studies at Eastern Washington University. His interests range from action and horror films to supernatural and suspense fiction. He has enjoyed things outré and frightening since he was a very young boy, although he may have disputed the fact at that young age. “I can remember sitting on my dad’s lap one Saturday afternoon, watching Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster on our television set. Karloff was doing his genius performance as the monster, howling and growling and battering at this door in order to escape, and it was so loud and scary and awful, that I sat and screamed my head off while my dad fruitlessly tried to get me to realize that it was all just a movie. But that monster was absolutely real to me, and I just wanted it to go away. Finally, my mom had to intervene from the kitchen; she told my dad to just turn the channel, and he did. After that, if I even saw a hint of a Frankenstein, or a Wolf Man or other old-fashioned monster on the TV, I’d either leave the room, or I’d stare at the screen and whimper like a bird hypnotized by a snake. I’m sure that warped me somehow!”
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You know that moment when you discover a new author and you fall completely in love with their words and characters and the dark and twisted little world’s they create? I’m going through that just now after reading Left Hand Tree which is essentially a novella and some short stories. It’s been a long time, too long since I read horror fiction this bloody good. The novella, Left Hand Tree is one of the best pieces of horror fiction I’ve read in ages. I found it creepy and so unsettling my flesh literally crawled off my bones and hid in the corner. Unlike a lot of horror fiction, this collection doesn’t contain any blood and gore. It’s just so unsettling and creepy. The stories and style of writing remind me of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker novels with a dash of Clive Barker and a pinch of HP Lovecraft thrown in for good measure. Who can resist such a combination? Not me, that’s for certain. I loved how all of the tales were linked in some way by the same ideas and themes. I loved each tale in the collection but Left Hand Tree and Flowers hold a special place in my heart. I’d highly recommend this collection.
Left Hand Tree is different from that. I enjoy pretty much anything that is a bit out of the box from the norm so I gave it a point right at the beginning for that. Instead of a large quantity words surrounding one horror-based fictional account, Jay Gunter gives the readers of Left Hand Tree a gripping tale followed by multiple short stories that are just as riveting.
From the Prologue, I was hooked and, while I enjoyed the descriptive terror that Gunter brings to his words, I will say my skin crawled quite a bit. He gives you just enough to get your imagination working, which, for me, made the work all the more scary and spellbinding.
So if you love horror, you’re going to love this. I’d highly recommend Left Hand Tree and I'm looking forward to seeing more from Jay Gunter.