“We Buy Souls” is a short story collection and an amazing and fast read. The book is fucking excellent! It resonates with a force like a jet engine at takeoff… That is the only way I really can describe the writing of Bob Freville. For the first time in a long time, I’m excited about reading a new writer. Maybe some of that is my bad. Maybe it’s because I’ve cloistered myself with the likes Ballard and A.M. Homes. Maybe it’s because I don’t outright “buy” Bizzaro and see it more as a tentative stepping stone where one finds footing in the “strange” in what has become the swampy and sanitized world of modern horror short fiction. Don’t believe when I say sanitized? Go to the submission page of many a paying horror fiction website; typically they ask for no excessive gore and no explicit sex.
Freville is a genuine literary artist. His works are the middle ground between horrific and the absurd, the dignified and the heartbreaking. Granted I’m a sucker for stuff that reads on the fringe, experiments in words. I find “The Naked Lunch” to be just as terrifying as anything written by Stephen King. Freville doesn’t write “horror,” he writes what I can only describe as “horror literature.” I don’t know if his work is accessible to everyone, but I think that is part of what sets something great above the mediocre. Mediocrity is readily available to anyone –by definition. When you are pushing the envelope with writing you may truncate some of the audience, I am challenging you to read this something new… Something very personal and edgy –like the first tingly onset of the DTs.
There is a touch of truth, a touch of poetry and the ever impending darkness that seeps into the edges of the reality in Freville’s work. The stories absorb the reader in a demented downward spiral into a Dadaists hell. His dark vision is of a commonplace we all know. We have all been to this hell, found in the suburbs and in the back rooms of adult novelty stores. This is by and far no means classic horror but a new future for horror fiction
“We Buy Souls” will be available in 2016, this is one book to hunt down as soon as it’s available.
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