My Rite to Read

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Modern, Eclectic Horror Stories

The best horror stories are subtle surprises. Granta's Horror edition makes another bid for ghost territory: old-age, love, foreignness, noise. Horror is imagination retching up the old universe of possibilities and constraints. Granta came out with this gripping anthology of fiction and poetry that may not quite send you screaming into the night, but would leave you with a leaf or two from the grayer shades of existence. Several of these are from contemporary American writers I grew up on. Straddling the undercurrents of friendship, belonging, creation and rape, these tales haunt you from the margins. Although these short stories were not (graphically) horrific as I had imagined, they enjoy a velocity, compression and pace that's probably best enjoyed in solitude/silence/in the dark. Paul Aster's "Your birthday comes and goes" was a particular favourite, for the shadow he throws on growing old and losing people older than you in your oldage. Aster has etched out oldage with a sincerity and longing, rare seen in modern (Western) writing. Going by the rules of this genre as set out by Granta's Horror edition, I would go on to conclude that The Hours could very well be described as my favourite horror flick. All in all, this volume is a spooky pleasure read that lingers.

Ps- This is a post-dated review written last year at about the same time, which rather than delete, I post belatedly