- Paperback: 206 pages
- Publisher: Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing (May 6, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0988748843
- ISBN-13: 978-0988748842
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,950,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tears of Isis Paperback – May 6, 2013
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If you like your horror pyschological, then you can't go past this collection. I won't say every story appealed to me, but I did like most and I'm still thinking about many of them even now that I've finished. To me, that's the mark of a successful writer. Some of my favourites include the tale of the man left to decompose in the depths of the ocean (such beautiful description and such an intriguing concept), the story of teeth with a mind of their own, an alternative ending for poor Cinderella and a story that gave me a new appreciation for cockroaches.
This collection is something special. Give it a read!
The collection begins with a poem, `La Meduse,' which alludes to the stories ahead with its tapestry of Gothic imagery and classical mythology, juxtaposed next to modern imagery and references. As is the twisting, turning, serpents that crown the ancient image of horror - Medusa; so too, writhes and hisses a grim mortality in each one of Dorr's stories that follow. Unpredictable, dangerous almost, in their risky narratives, and deadly in their precise intent towards the unwary reader, the 17 short stories will leave your appetite suitably whetted for more. Also within the collection you will find Dorr's deft and inventive interpretations of classically morbid folktales, titled River Red (Snow White) and The Ice Maiden (Sleeping Beauty); both fascinating, for their twists and turns on the origin stories and for the stories themselves.
The two stories that stand out for me are the first and the last in the collection, but that is not to take away anything from that which sits between. `In the Octopus's Garden,' a surreal horror story unfolds to its sublime conclusion. Almost Kafkaesque in its stark portrayal of a mind bursting with insanity as it deals with the bodily transformation and, ultimately, realization that the soul is housed in a vessel reeking of horror - very wet horror! Once again, mythology and allusion meld together in prose that is poetic and almost classical, yet bound together with the visceral sensation of graphic modern horror.
The final story, `The Tears of Isis,' completes the collection with a superb tale that echoes the poem that begins the collection, ala Medusa as a sculptress of sorts. While the story trope is similar in that a deadly sculptress/aesthete leaves a trail of victims in her wake (an obvious parable being that of the writer, creating works of art; each story representative of a creation soaked in horror), the story is undoubtedly of the present and deserves recognition as a powerful psychological horror story, that pushes the boundaries of contemporary dark fiction.
Despite the frequent mythological and classical references, this collection is not archaic; it is reverent to the horror fiction of the past as well as being progressive in style and scope and in that respect it is a canonical work, representing a writer in full command of his impressive literary prowess. After reading twice, the stories seem to get better and reveal further layers of depth and meaning. If you like dark fiction that is both intelligent and pulls no punches, give `The Tears of Isis' a chance and you will not be disappointed. Highly recommended.
*Note: As a cover artist I frequently have the opportunity to preview some fine works of fiction before they go to press. That is not to say I feel compelled to review those works but in this case I had to write this review upon reading Mr Dorr's book as it left such an impression on me.
Most recent customer reviews
I had the pleasure of interviewing James Dorr for Author Corner awhile back, and one of the things we discussed was...Read more
A highly engrossing collection orchestrated by Dorr himself. It flows so well that you may not immediately see the overall picture that he has knit...Read more