Cover image for B. Horror : and other stories
B. Horror : and other stories
Mayo, Wendell.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Livingston, AL : Livingston Press, The University of West Alabama, [1999]

Physical Description:
129 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
I. The watchers. Robert's bride -- B. Horror -- Mortal sins -- Day cook -- Who made you -- Mary Magdalena versus Godzilla ; II. From the wall. Going long -- Dance of eights -- The California Franchise Tax Board -- What rough beasts -- Overtures -- Woman without arms.

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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Wendell Mayo's second collection probes behind the dailyness of life by using horror movie images and plots as metaphors. Has Robert's bride forsaken her selfness for Robert just as the Mummy did for the Egyptian princess? Will an older brother's lifelong efforts in mimicking Godzilla eventually reach through to his ever more withdrawn sister? Or are there depths that even "Big Greenie" can't plummet? Do werewolves stalk the streets of a Lithuanian village? Or do the vintage WWII fighter planes flying overhead remind us that something much more horrible, much more concrete, might yet remain? While Mayo's vision is dark, it is not unremittingly so. In the playful "Who Made You" the Baltimore Catechism's rote questions offer an unexpected anchor to a couple on the verge of separation and financial disaster. Dark or light Mayo's skein of words threads insistently, beautifully, and poignantly.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Real life isn't real life," philosophizes a cook at a fast-food restaurant while observing the panorama of human existence unfolding over the otherwise predictable course of his shift. Indeed, the characters in these 12 quirky slice-of-life stories, set in a fun-house version of middle America, often find their personal lives reflected in the bizarre yet oddly apt circumstances of their jobs. In "Who Made You," a man realizes that his unemployment and indolence during a stifling summer heat wave are the coordinates of his self-created hell. An automobile factory worker in "Robert's Bride" discovers that his disaffection with his assembly-line job is mirrored in the strange mutations he observes in the appearance of a co-worker's fianc‚e. In the title tale, an actor who dresses in drag to play the victim role in party reenactments of B-movie horror scenes finds himself screaming more believably at the cruel behavior of his audience than at the monster. "It wasn't the kind of scream I'd trained myself to make... it was a scream that came from within, a hellish scream, the kind of scream that shocks the screamer." Mayo's (Centaur of the North) gnomic parables showcase his facility for reading deeper meanings in the banal moments of ordinary life and the disposable artifacts of popular culture. Some are sketchy and too reminiscent of experiments inspired by writing-class assignments. The best piecesÄmost notably, the poignant "Mary Magdalena Versus Godzilla," in which the narrator uses a monster mask to scare his younger sister because it's the only way he knows to connect with her emotionallyÄshine with the professional polish of subtly wrought revelation. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

I. The Watchers
Robert's Bridep. 3
B. Horrorp. 17
Mortal Sinsp. 35
Day Cookp. 47
Who Made Youp. 56
Mary Magdalena Versus Godzillap. 68
II. From the Wall
Going Longp. 87
Dance of Eightsp. 97
The California Franchise Tax Boardp. 104
What Rough Beastsp. 108
Overturesp. 114
Woman Without Armsp. 125