Cover image for The ushers
Title:
The ushers
Author:
Lee, Edward.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Seattle : Obsidian Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
301 pages : illustrations\.; 23 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781891480034
Format :
Book

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Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Over the past decade Lee (Area 52) has built a cult following in the small press for hardcore horror fiction that pushes the envelope of taste. This first collection features 19 of his best shorter works (six original to the volume), most of which demonstrate the limits of an aesthetic steeped in blood and other bodily secretions. The world of these stories is a sordid place, where the innocent and the na¬čvely idealistic are preyed on by religious hypocrites ("Scriptures"), sexual sadists ("The Wrong Guy"), child pornographers ("Almost Never") and psychotics with a fetish for amputating limbs ("Hands," "Torsos," "Please Let Me Out"). A lurid poetic justice governs events as the bad guys usually get their comeuppance in spectacularly gruesome fashion, including several episodes of grisly Lorena Bobbitt-style sexual mutilation. Lee's outrageous imagination and sardonic sense of humor are served well by his kinetically fluid prose style. Plot takes a backseat to elaborate descriptions of the depravities of his polymorphously perverse protagonists in all but a few stories, notably "Xipe," a taut horror-suspense story with a supernatural twist, and the episodic title tale, about the nightmares that haunt a horror writer. At their best, these stories are a reminder that horror is a fiction that challenges taboos. Too often, though, they revel in a prurience that gives those taboos added weight. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved