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Author Topic: Masters of Horror: Damned If You Don't  (Read 1745 times)
« on: April 15, 2011, 09:14:28 AM »

What if you can’t control your cravings? In the twisted imaginations of horror writers, the consequences could be beyond your wildest nightmares. Damned If You Don’t contains nineteen cautionary tales of addiction.

Aftertaste (John Shirley) kicks off the collection, and we find out that death isn’t necessarily the end of one’s cravings. This story took a while to get going, but the second half was very entertaining. Topsy (F Paul Wilson), about a baby-talking, morbidly-obese hospital patient, was fun to read and had a great ending.

Easy to Digest (Scott Goriscak) is another food-related tale, but this is one eating disorder I’d never read about before! I’d have liked some dialogue, but it was still enjoyable even though I read most of it with one hand covering my mouth. This is followed by Smokin’ (Ken Goldman), which has a nice twist.

Think rehab is safe? Think again after reading Big House (Carole Gill). This was peopled with some interesting characters, and I wanted this story to go on longer. Taper (Keith Gouveia), about the unforeseen effects of steroids, was another one of my favourites. The Seal (Lee Pletzers) is a brilliant tale about cutting, and I loved the twist at the end. This is followed by another good one, Showdown with Deacon Blues (K K), which features an unexpected visitor to an AA meeting.

Plastic (Joseph Pinto) is a gripping story about sex addiction, with a satisfying ending. Cosmetic surgery is the addiction in the horrifying and heart-breaking Skin Deep (Carson Buckingham). This is followed by Shredded (Blaze McRob), about an exercise addict. An unusual addiction is featured in Obsessed with a Song (Armand Rosamilia), another favourite tale.

For me, the best story in the book was the last. If you don’t have long to live, why settle for just one vice? That’s the attitude of the character in the awesome Doomsday Diary (Scott Nicholson), which was well-written and a pleasure to read.  I’ll be checking out more of Scott’s work – and also the work of some of the other authors in this book.

A few of the stories not mentioned here were disappointing – partly because they could have done with tighter editing – but they were still interesting. There are nice touches like the Unstable of Contents, and at the back, a helpful section on overcoming one’s vices. There are some real gems here, and I can recommend this book to horror fans!

Damned if you Don’t is published by Triskaideka Books, and the Kindle version is available from Amazon. The paperback version is due out in May. More information at
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 03:44:54 AM by Bec » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 02:15:07 PM »

Sounds interesting. Thanks for posting the review!
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