Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be completely paralyzed, unable to move, or even speak, and then be slowly eaten alive by a dozen large rats?
Or have you ever dreamed of being strapped to a table, completely naked, while a crazy old woman started hacking off pieces of your body with a butcher knife?
Probably not, but if you read this book you will feel like it’s happening to you because those are two of the scenarios presented in this collection of short horror stories written by Ed Ferrara, who is primarily known for writing pro-wrestling shows (previously for WWE, then WCW, and now for TNA). Being an old wrestling fan, I was curious to see what kind of fictional stories Ferrara could come up with in a different genre, so I bought this book.
If features five stories, all horror tales, some supernatural and some psychological. My favorites are the first 2nd and 3rd stories in this book: the 24-page “Photo Finish”, in which a poor photographer thinks he lucks out when he manages to buy a cheap used color photo-printer which has some strange effects on the real world, and the 25-page “Show and Tell,” where a scheming college professor who likes to seduce his female students learns the (dark) consequences of his actions.
The other stories are also enjoyable. The book opens with a 12-page story called “More Than Meets The Eye,” where a man and a woman meet for drinks in a hotel, but neither is what they seem to be. There is also “Family Business,” a 26-page story in which a businessman learns the hard way that he should have taken better care of his poor old mother, and “Out of Area,” a 40-page story that shows just how evil telemarketers can be.
Despite the short lengths, I thought that each story was just the right size for drawing you into their world, with the right amounts of horror in them. Ferrara writes in a straight-forward fashion, which enables the reader to put themselves in the various protagonists’ place and experience the terror for themselves. There is not a weak link in the bunch.
It also ends with a 15-page preview of the full-length novel called “Father’s Day,” which Ed Ferrara has said that he is working on, although this collection was first made available in 2004 and nothing has come of it since, so I don’t know if the other book is still planned. I hope that it is, because, based on the strength of these stories, I would definitely be interested in reading some more fiction from him.
So, strictly based on the content, I would give this book:
I think most horror fans would enjoy reading it. However, the one thing that would make me a little hesitant about fully recommending it, is the price. It’s $14.95, and, with shipping and handling prices added in, it ended up costing me $21.87 for it. That’s a lot of money for a relatively small book. It’s not much larger than the little harlequin romance paperbacks that I could buy at Target for less than $5. It’s being sold through Cafepress, the print-on-delivery service, so it’s possible that the price is beyond his control. Nevertheless, if I were him, I’d consider trying another POD service, like Blurb or Lulu, to see if he could make it available at a cheaper price.
I mean, I do really enjoy this book, and I don’t regret buying it, but we ARE in a recession, so I know times are tough for a lot of folks, and it could be hard to justify spending that amount on a small book like this. But, if you’ve got a significant amount of disposable income, and enjoy a good horror tale, then this is the book for you!
UPDATE 08/09/14: Unfortunately, it looks like this book is no longer for sale via the links I originally included. I’ve asked Ed Ferrara about this on Twitter, but he has yet to respond. I will update this again when and if the book is made available.