Tales Of Blood And Sulphur

    Tales Of Blood And Sulphur - J.G. Clay  5/5
                                                       
   

     I haven't read a straight up horror novel in a long time. I usually hit the splatterpunk section because it's what I usually navigate toward. I received a copy of Tales Of Blood And Sulphur in exchange for an honest review and dug right in. It reminded me of the first time I read The Books Of Blood. It's that dark visceral horror that lurks just beyond your comfort zone. While it may not be injected with gore, it's still an interesting read due to the fact that Clay is heavily influenced by Clive Barker. It shows in most of the stories in Sulphur. That is where it seems to drag a little. As an occasional fan of Barker I sometimes found that the hype of how great Barker was, was actually better than what I read.

      What makes this a worthwhile read is that Clay does have talent. He has a knack for crafting an interesting story that seems to take on a life of its own. There are several nods to Stephen King as well and stories like L.L.T.C., and Legally Dead make this a must read. It's a nod to classic horror of the early and late eighties. Tales were original and grabbed a reader's attention. With horror writers you can always tell who their influences are. It shows in the way they structure their work. Clay is truly a horror fan that has blended together the best era of King's writing career and a  love of Barker. It sounds as if it shouldn't work,yet it does.

     For those who love dark and gritty horror that tends to run headlong into the obscure and strange this is a must read collection. This is what horror used to look like and it can again if more writers embrace the art of telling a great tale and allow it to grow organically. It may move slowly at times, but in the end you'll be glad you read it. As everyone knows I can't judge books like these on the stories. I also judge them as a whole. How well does it flow, how does each story stack up against the others. In this collection it holds up well and I can't wait to read Volume 2.

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