Tuesday 11 February 2020

Read 2020 - 18 - From Hell to Eternity by Thana Niveau

We edged closer brandishing our candy canes like
crucifixes before a vampire.

Oh, what a find.

I stole this book from the Bestwick's study to add to my to-read-pile. I found it while trying to hunt for Octoberland, another of Thana's collections. It's signed to my Bestwick, and, I suspect, he picked it up at Fantasycon 2012 in Brighton. That was my first convention, and also our first together as a couple.

Anyway, onto this marvellous book, which was published by the now defunct Gray Friar Press.

The opening story, The Curtain, is an excellent and terrifying tale about a dive, corpses, and of fish with an ulterior motive. (note: I would have chanced the wine). The second story in the collection is The Coal-Man, a story of childhood trauma, illness and guilt. There is no escaping the darkness in this compelling and heart-wrenching story.

Antlers and The Cutting Room Floor went to very dark and very disturbing places. The ending to Antlers is brilliant, but horrific. Very horrific. Ultrasound Shadow features a nightmarish pregnancy, while The Death of Dreams is almost a companion piece to Ultrasound Shadow. The Death of Dreams is a cautionary tale about the vile British tabloids.

The Scouring is a devastating story about a young boy's fascination with the Uffington White Horse, while also dealing with the weight of grief.

As someone so easily put off food (honest)perhaps I shouldn't have read Bruised Fruit. I may never eat again. (n.b. I already have). Elena's food is contaminated and worms are living inside her. Fabulous story but definitely icky. In Stolen Time a model can't remember the previous days shoot, and so on and so on. Finally in the title story, From Hell to Eternity, we have a modern day Jack the Ripper offering a deliciously gruesome end to the story.

Normally I'll pick one or two favourites from a collection or anthology, but there were just so many excellent stories here. If you can find a copy second hand or if it's reprinted, then definitely pick up a copy.

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