Teddy Bear Cannibal Massacre

Teddy Bear Cannibal Massacre is a pretty evocative title, and while none of the stories contained within involve teddy bears or cannibals, and the murders strewn throughout scarcely amount to a massacre, it does get across the idea behind this collection: this isn’t going to be your average, mainstream horror anthology. The best stories here are the ones that aren’t trying to fit themselves into the horror genre at all, but rather are simply horrific on their own terms. Most notable are “Doof Doof Doof” by Paul Haines, a modern fairy tale where the Big Bad Wolf has got an apartment in the same building as Little Red Riding Hood because he is obsessively stalking her; “Brilliant Suspension” by Trina Shealy Orton, a descriptive tale of death and resurrection; and “Blue Elephants” by Jenifer Jourdanne, not even a story, really, but four personal accounts of the quotidian horror of the post-modern condition. The book is uneven in places, and a few of the authors feel as if they’re trying too hard, but there’s some really good writing in here too. It’s worth picking this up just for the adorably menacing cartoon teddy bear drawn by Amanda Rehagen on the front cover, and the several thought-provoking stories inside are almost kind of a bonus. (Richard Rosenbaum)

Fiction, 143 pgs, edited by Tim Lieder, $13.77, Dybbuk Press, 516 W 188th Street, Ste 25, New York NY, 10040 , USA, dybbuk-press.com

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