Ginger Nuts of Horror
With her ultra-strange "choose-your-own-adventure-on-acid" ghostly novel , Haunt, Laura Lee Bahr won my attention. I've been eagerly waiting for new material from her and this summer it was delivered, literally to me by John Skipp. I opened it in the lobby of a hotel in Virginia, intending to just skim the contents and stow it in the room for the duration of the weekend. What happened was I rooted myself to the chair in the corner of the lobby and stayed put for nearly two hours and read the whole thing.
Angel Meat is my favorite kind of fiction. Stories that walk that crooked line between dark weird and bleak human soul scape. Where we often just witness almost normal events through a perspective more skewed than we'd be comfortable with another time. The collection is divided into three parts: Flesh, Wings and Heart. The opening tale (and it is my favorite) is a emotionally raw and breath-takingly beautiful short entitled "Tangerine." This short story involves a boy and a fish and a dream, to say more would be a form of robbery that I'm not want to commit.
Following that is "The Liar" where a child learns an assortment of lessons about trust and sibling-worship and the consequences of gossip and assumptions. All of these things wrung out by nervous hands into a very dark concoction. "Lost Dog" literally concerns a person seeking their missing pet, through a dark and seedy landscape where things don't quite play out as we'd expect. The final story in this group is called "Blue Velvet Cake" and it's a odd gaze at a small group of interesting people, maneuvering through a world they seem to barely know.
"Blackout In Upper Moosejaw" is a surreal and shadow-satirical story of androids . Where in "Rat-Head" is a twisted explanation of love and all of it's glorious and gruesome trappings. "The Cause" is an adventure in reason and worth and how those things can be ruptured easily. "Happy Hour" is an exorcism, no matter which definition you choose, it applies here.
The collection ends with the novelette, "In The Desert," a slip-stream meditation of life, that old chestnut of it passing before your eyes--it's that but in hyperactive-kaleidoscopic laser blasts.
Seriously, my short descriptives (which are not nearly as alluring as they ought to be since Bahr's work truly defies description) are only meant to act as baited hooks, I want you to nibble on them, fell the barb scare your lip and then bite anyway. The book will give a yank and reel you in. I promise, it won't hurt much. I also promise, once caught you will not be released.
Angel Meat is available from Fungasm Press.
“Laura Lee Bahr writes masterpiece fiction. Oh my God, we're witnessing the beginning of a brilliant canon and career. ” – Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box
These nine prime cuts of Angel Meat feed the soul in a collection precisely crafted for connoisseur and newcomer alike. Taste the “Grade A” stick-to-your-ribs psychological horror of "The Liar," the dark love magic cast by "Rat-Head," the bold blend of sci-fi and noir in "The Cause," and the naked truth revealed "In the Desert."
Laura Lee Bahr's distinctive flavors linger on the tongue long after the reading's done. Her transcendent servings of flesh, wings, and heart are yours to savor for years to come.