Friday 10 February 2012

The Eighth Black Book of Horror

An amazingly good, in-depth review of The Eighth Black Book of Horror is on The Zone site. I particularly loved the remarks about my own story in it, The Last Coach Trip.

"..but following story from David A. Riley seems to be heading in an even quieter direction, more Last Of The Summer Wine than I Know What You Did Last Summer. His brilliantly titled Their Cramped Dark World, a disturbing tale of a dare gone horribly wrong, in The Sixth Black Book Of Horror, might be more the kind of thing fans of his classic urban horror story Lurkers In The Abyss might expect from this veteran of Pan horror.

The Last Coach Trip by contrast is a tragicomic elegy to traditional northern working class culture, rather like a Twilight Zone episode, but with dry humour undercutting any tendency to sentimentality that might imply. It's also a touching portrait of a friendship. Harold is worried when his friend Eddie turns up late and the worse for wear to the last of their working men's club's annual outings and piss-ups, where they visit country pubs and bookies and bemusedly watch an X Factor runner-up. Maybe Eddie's got Alzheimer's, but the change in Eddie is more profound, and the Last Coach Trip of the title has a more macabre meaning. "Some days should never end," says Eddie, and their eerie fate is a warning about being unable to cope with change."

That's the kind of review that can't help but make me smile. 

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