Thursday 13 February 2020

Read 2020 - 19 - Dead Funny Encore

I purchased Dead Funny Encore (along with the original volume, which I read a couple of years ago) at an Edge Lit or Sledge Lit in Derby when Johnny Mains was a guest. My brain and my Google-fu is struggling with the year. Edited by Robin Ince and Johnny Mains it contains horror stories written by well-known comedians.

The anthology opens with Date Night by Rufus Hound. The timeline confused/lost me several times, leading me to think I didn't quite understand the story. Starring role goes to a little broken chair. Actually, I'm mentioning the story because of the chair.

Carnival by Alice Lowe (who I think is an utter genius* - watch Sightseers and Prevenge) was by far my favourite story. The fat purple-haired shopkeeper was reading Bella really slowly and clutching a Lucozade, unmoving. Like a melting Madame Tussaud's. A gripping and rich story about a small-town girl who wants to be nothing more than the Carnival Queen in Squalid-town.

Other stories I enjoyed included, the disturbing Under my Skin by Isy Suttie, a story of domestic violence. The haunting A Ghost Story by Josie Long, in which your ghost is brought back by your music being played. I'd hate to be Frank Sinatra in this scenario. The dark and twisted Harry by John Robertson, my 2nd favourite story in the anthology. A son is born, only he many not be altogether human. Twisted, funny and very wrong. Finally I really enjoyed The Basement Conversion by Natalie Haynes, a tale of a love-less marriage and of revenge.

This anthology is well worth your time.

*Despite loving Alice Lowe's stuff, I didn't read the final story in the anthology, also by her, called Paedo. I just couldn't take myself there. My bad.

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