Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories – Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward (Crystal Lake Publishing)


I’m sure the average reader would never consider a horror story beautiful. A true horror fan, however, knows that there can be much beauty in the shocks and the gore, the fear and the fearsome. We read scary stories for the thrill of the tingle in our spine. The vivid descriptions of seemingly helpless situations and the tension we feel for the characters in the darkened room as we sit on the couch with all lamps blazing is a gift given to us by the authors. This is what Crystal Lake delivers with Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories. They give us chills, paranoia and that oh-so delicious need to turn on a nightlight in the hallway when we go to bed. With this tome they also give us stories that are visually striking without giving into the need to deliver blood and guts on every page. Some of the tales included herein are very nearly poetic in their styles and none of them will leave you unmarked. There’s even one story that’s like those classic Choose Your Own Adventure books many of us enjoyed as children. I would say this collection is appropriately named and deserves to earn each and every author worldwide acclaim. Yes, it’s that good.  Jim Dodge

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