One Hand Screaming


Author: Mark Leslie

Published: 2004

Genre: Horror

About One Hand Screaming: Collection of short stories and poems.

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Review of One Hand Screaming

Stepping into a used book shop is sometimes like stepping into another dimension. Where else but a used book store can one find such an eclectic selection of minds and experiences stored in dusty tomes, just waiting to be browsed through by anyone who happens along?

Occasionally a used book shop can be a painful experience, offering up nothing more than the latest trashy paperbacks and adult porn magazines.

But sometimes...

Sometimes a used book store can provide, to the avid browser, a mystical experience. Sometimes, walking through that door, you are overwhelmed with a sense of awe, a sense that something powerful is being housed within the very walls.

...from "Browsers", page 9

There were several stories in this book that I liked for their originality but I'm only going to highlight three.

In "Treats", a man makes a disturbing promise to ease the fear of his dying wife. The whole idea of this story, what he did for his wife, was unsettling but the ending? I had to skim it because I did not want those visuals in my head. Still makes me shiver just to think about it.

In "From Out of the Night", a woman's paranoia is even more extreme than her long-suffering husband thought. This one surprised me. Maybe I missed something early in the story but when the object of her fear was revealed, I was caught completely off-guard. I love it when that happens.

In "Requiem", a man learns that collecting haunted objects can have unintended consequences. I liked the premise of this story and I particularly liked that a believable reason was given for why he didn't run away. In fact, I found the idea that he could never run away to be somewhat more horrifying than what was happening inside the house.

At the end of the book, Leslie gave some background for each of the stories and poems. I always find such notes interesting and I'm glad they were included.

If you like horror that (for the most part) isn't too graphic, you should give this one a try. At the very least, I'm pretty sure you'll never look at snowmen the same way again.

Reviewed by Lynn Bornath on 16 June 2009. Thanks to Mark Leslie and John Mutford for the book.

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Added 20 June 2009.
Updated 04 September 2013.