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The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies Paperback – April 30, 2013
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The Wide, Carnivorous Sky is an outstanding collection that would have been well worth the cover price just for Mother of Stone alone, but in addition to this thoroughly engrossing, disturbing and masterful novella, you have 8 other wonderful short stories, in which Langan treats some of the most familiar horror tropes in a unique and original way. The highlights for me were Technicolor, City of the Dog and Mother of Stone, but, honestly, the whole book is just great and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
I took a break from this collection after those and read Langan's novel "The Fisherman" , and was thoroughly impressed. Going back to finish The Wide Carnivorous Sky, I was happy I did.
The stories all seem to have classic roots, yet are often written in a wholely original manner, while always being intelligent and entertaining. I especially enjoyed the title story, City of the Dog, and Mother of Stone.
I think this guy is one of the best writers working today, and I highly recommend this book, as well as The Fisherman and his first collection "Mr. Gaunt". I look forward to reading his first novel "House of Windows".
I had only read one story before ("The Shallows" in Ross Lockhart's BOOK OF CTHULHU) and while happy to read it again, it was a couple of other stories that really knocked my on my ass. "Technicolor" is an ingenious riff on/response to Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death," and originally appeared in Ellen Datlow's anthology of Poe-inspired stories. The final story is original to this collection, and "Mother of Stone" is worth the price of the book by itself.
The two short pieces, "Kids" and "June 1987. Hitchhiking. Mr. Norris" seemed a little incongruous with the rest of the book, but after reading the story notes, they make more stylistic sense. And yes, there are detailed story notes at the end of the book, something I always enjoy reading.
There are four other stories in here, and all of them are well worth reading, slowly. Many of these tales were selected for year's-best anthologies, and that seems right.
Jeffrey Ford provides a short but informative introduction, Laird Barron contributes a fictional (?) afterward, and the remarkable Santiago Caruso created the beautifully macabre cover art. There is pretty much nothing not to like about this book.