Christopher Stanley is making ever increasing waves in the horror genre and his latest offering of The Lamppost Huggers creates a tsunami of macabre delights, sweeping the reader off their feet and dragging them into the frothing deadly undertow that are his words and visceral imagination, prepare to be scared, entertained and scarred by this new offering from a writer who is slowly becoming a master of the horror scene!
The Lamppost Huggers is a first, a collection of intricately crafted horror flash fiction, it’s a medium that gives the reader a short and blunt club to the face and sits back to watch them writhe around on the floor struggling breathe with the weight, or the sheer impact these stories deliver. Each one is like a thrown axe, sharp, heavy and to cause damage, you are just a target during the reading of The Lamppost Huggers and Stanley’s offerings always find their mark.
The decision to create a collection of horror infused flash is both delicious and brutal; it gives the reader just enough, each story pulls the reader in quickly, and then leaves them gasping for breath at the end, or as I did with a few, pulling at Christopher’s trousers, begging him for more, begging him to finish me off, finish the job he had started as I lay prostrate on the floor in a bloody puddle of filth.
Stanley is a writer that I’ve read previously this year with his short novella The Forest is Hungry from Demain Publishing (more about them here Demain Publishing) which if you’ve not read yet I would highly recommend you remedy that situation right now. You see when I find an author that I like, one that causes me great joy and delight whilst reading, I always follow through and support them as they develop as a writer, and that’s what I’ve done with Christopher Stanely, because in my personal opinion, this writer, this creator many beguiling horror tales is going places and I want to follow wherever he leads, to be there cheering him on – because you can be guaranteed one thing by Stanley, and that is that he will scare the hell out of you!
You see Stanley has been carved from the very fabric of horror, he seems to have been molded by it, refined by its sharp edges and its grisly underbelly and what he puts out, and The Lamppost Huggers shows what a great raconteur he is and how in tune he is with the genre.
The collection floats between many horror tropes such as the macabre, the strange, the uncanny and the paranormal – but each is told with an unflinching and unapologetic prose that is horrifically beautiful, but having said that, poetry and a deftness of touch can also be found withing the guts of all his tales, causing them to linger like ghosts in your mind.
‘The Lamppost Huggers is a Pandora’s box of bite sized terror. Delightfully macabre, grotesquely disturbing and insanely original… horror has a new name, and that is Christopher Stanley.’
I know, I know, it’s odd to read a review where the reviewer doesn’t tell you anything about the stories held within the collection, but that is just what I’m going to doing, and for good reason. You see the stories held within this collection need to be discovered by you, weary travelers of all things horror, because they are short and punch;, that if I were to dwell on them for too long I would ruin the spell that Stanley has cast. So, discover this beast of a collection now, and you can at least say you knew Stanley at the start of what I believe will be a career in terrifying us for years to come!
The Lamppost Huggers is published by The Arcanist Press and is available here.
Christopher Stanley creates dark and unexpected worlds where monsters lurk in the plumbing and dragons linger in the basement. His stories have won prizes with The Arcanist, The Molotov Cocktail, The Short Story, ZeroFlash, Retreat West, To Hull & Back, Raging Aardvark and Corvus Review.
Review by Ross Jeffery
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