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Kelly, Michael, Ed. Chilling Tales: Evil I Did Dwell; Lewd Did I Live.

3Q * 2P * A/YA Kelly, Michael, Ed. Chilling Tales: Evil I Did Dwell; Lewd Did I Live. Hades/Edge, 2011. 224p. $14.95 Trade pb. 978-1-894063-52-4.

This collection of short stories covers a variety of horror themes. Barbara Roden's "404" tells the story of a large, presumably government, agency that makes its workers disappear due to paranoia. "King Him," by Richard Gavin, examines a family with a brother being ruled by the voices in his head. Folk-tale-inspired horror is present in Leah Bobet's "Stay" when a wendigo surfaces in a small rural town populated by indigenous Canadians. There are also less traditional stories, such as Claude Lalumiere's "Dead" where a family fakes the death of a boy who craves solitude.

The mildly ethnocentric introduction by Kelly indicates that the eighteen stories contained in the collection are by Canadians, possessing a uniquely Canadian feel. With the exception of a few beautiful, succinct, imaginative stories, such as Lalumiere's "Dead" and Susanne Church's "The Needle's Eye's," these nearly perfunctory horror stories feel like the antithesis to local flavor: typical, universal horror tales that will make readers wonder, "Have I heard this one before?" While not inspiringly original, most of the stories' authors possess a better-than-average grasp of horror-fiction prose. Some of the pieces contain depictions of sex, often graphically, but this is central to the plot in those stories. Teens with a strong interest in horror fiction may want to pick this up as filler, with a few good stories perfect for passing time on a plane, bus, or in a doctor's office.--Devin Burritt.

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Author:Burritt, Devin
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2011
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