Ginger Nuts of Horror
Matthew Weber writes with a simple and straight-forward style that reminds us of the best story tellers. I've always had a weakness for those who tell it like they were sitting across from you on the porch on an Autumn evening, sipping tea and spinning yarns. Weber's work is a lot like that but man, the yarns he spins...
With this collection he delivers a dozen slices of rural life, stained with trashy noir, monsters and abhorrent behaviors. The opener, "Suburban Facebreaker" is a tale of feuding neighbors that goes very dark and very brutal, this one made me cringe. Followed up with "Silly Rabbits" where a pair of hunters set out to find a rare but dangerous prey.
"Of All Nights" is a story of a small village, one with old customs and strict rules and about the pair of hoods who chose a bad night to do bad things. "Burt's Top Secret Spice Mix" involves the beloved proprietor of a strip mall sandwich shop and the means by which he handles a local boss trying to put the squeeze on him. "Waist Deep" is a gory backwoods romp of treachery and gators. "Louise, Your Shed's On Fire" gives us an alien invasion like none other. "Slice Of Heaven" and this might be my favorite of the collection, is a sadly sweet tale of a lonely nerd and the pizza delivery girl he has a crush on and that oft forgotten ideal of chivalry. I loved this one hard.
The second half kicks off with "Cookies" where a little girl discovers a unique pet and its loyalty can be most beneficial. "Gas Pedal" is road rage in the first person, but when the rage was already present before one gets behind the wheel. This one reeks of petrol and leaves rubber patches on your brain. "The Red Card" is a trippy tale that tells of a woman who finds mysterious cards in her apartment, each stipulating the day and time of her death. Deeply creepy and strange. "The Neighbor At The Curb" takes the nosey neighbor shtick to new and dizzyingly violent heights while the final tale, "Jacob Mosely's Raw Deal" involves a peculiar man and the authorities that he runs in with and toads.
All of these stories are fast-paced and wonderful. Weber has a knack for delivering just enough of the red stuff as is needed without overdoing it. His premises often start out a little hackneyed but at a point he always veers into a solely unique side road that more than makes up for it. Check him out if you like the early splatterpunks, you'll not be disappointed.
Teeth Marks is available from Pint Bottle Press