Today, I read as a writer and not as a reader. I am an old dog wanting to learn new tricks. I got this book to read to see what I could learn in the way of new writing tricks.
In many books I’ve read in the horror genre, I don’t enjoy the plots because they aren’t there. In the words of former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, “There’s no there, there.”
That’s certainly not the case with Mr. Fracassi’s stories! Each story has a great plot. But that’s not my gripe with his work. As we say in the writing game, “Anybody can dream up a great plot, it’s the crafting of the plot that makes it a classic.”
My old dog’s writing self thought that these stories were “over written” so much that the plots were hidden inside the elaborate descriptions. I understand elaboration. It’s when I, the author, fall in love with my own words.
But in these stories, it’s almost as if some editor has gone over each story and made it “literary” to win an award, or something. Does that sound weird? I mean, I love big words, don’t get me wrong. When I write an historical horror piece, and I’m using the “voice” of Edgar Allan Poe in first person, I don’t want to sound like Stephen King’s voice. I want to sound like Edgar Allan Poe’s voice in 1848, not in 2022.
But these stories don’t give me a problem with voice, so much as they damage my inside brain (which the writer always occupies) with too much wordy “fluff” that does nothing to increase the plot’s movement or the character’s insights. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s my writer’s opinion. If I had read this over, and it was my own work, I would say, “Okay, Jim, James, Edgar, or whomever the fuck you are right now, you’re trying to dazzle them too much with your style, man! Get real!”
I know this book got awards all over the freakin’ place, and those plots are worthy, believe me. Great horror here, folks.
But see if you “feel” the same way I did about the style. Just sayin’.