Sunday, February 1, 2009

Traumatized by Alexander S. Brown

Traumatized is a short story book containing 15 tales of horror, and nothing else. The reader is saved from reading an introduction, any sales pitch for additional books, or even author information. The tales contained within the book range from thrillingly creepy and horrific to mediocre. There are stories of serial killers, demons, vengeful spirits, psychotic cults, voodoo curses, and even a bigfoot creature. Where Brown really shines is in his haunted house stories. The opening tale – “Bloodlines” is one of the two strongest in the book. A tale of four people called for a “treasure hunt” in a mysterious house learn that there is far more to the treasure than what they bargained for. Tied for my favorite is the story “It’s all True” another haunted house tale that ends is a terrifying and gruesome way. Brown is in his element when writing about haunted houses. I found his murderer tales to be the weakest in the book, specifically “April” which seems to have been written long before the author really hit his writing stride. It comes across as forced and stilted with problematic dialogue and unbelievable characters. The final tale in the book “Zoe’s Swan Song” is both gruesome and familiar, one knows how the tale of someone offering to show a vindictive person their “inner beauty” will turn out. Other than the haunted house tales, “The God Complex” was very interesting.

On the whole this was a collection of horror stories that is well worth the purchase. The percentage of excellent versus weak stories is in the reader’s favor with there being far more good than not. Any collection will have stories that are stronger than others. This is an excellent short story collection that I recommend to horror fans.

Rating is defiantly an “R” with profanity, gore, sex, rape and murder.

Original Review for

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