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Parallel Hells

Parallel Hells

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Leon Craig confidently navigates real places and imaginary spaces most of us shy away from and leaves us deliciously teased, unsettled and hungry for more .

All of the stories play on surrealism and I love that they are influenced by folklore and other gothic literature. The stories are in a very short space of time able to give you this intense burst of emotional connection to characters that are either very human or very intentionally NOT, but allows you to empathise with them all the same. There are plenty of jokes too, and striking turns of phrase, as well as some weird and wonderful surrealism of detail and conception.There are a lot of turns of phrase that I lingered on because they were either quite romantic or just particularly lovely to read. I found the best stories were the ones that were a little longer, because they gave Craig a chance to flex her impressive writing muscles and created more space for her examination of the human condition through these surreal vibes.

Through those concepts, Leon Craig explores identity and queerness as she modernizes the familiar tropes — the satanic ritual is suggested by a character in response to trauma; a father who sacrificed to have a child can’t accept that his son is actually his daughter; the shame-sucking demon is trying to figure out whether or not to be honest about their true self with friends; a haunted book is used to help a student get ahead in their über-competitive doctoral program at Oxford. Overall, the longer of the stories worked the best, allowing Craig to get into their stride and flesh out characters to their fullest potential, without losing the tension and the mystery of the unseen crucial to a great gothic tale.Throughout these startling and original short stories, readers' expectations are regularly subverted - and amply rewarded. Carly had attempted to explain her sexuality to a male character, Luke: “why should I put myself through something I know I won’t enjoy. When Stan, who is white, confronts Gary, who is black, the encounter bristles with accusations of racism.

By turns unsettling, funny and fiercely intelligent, Parallel Hells is a queer carnival of monsters and masks. Leon Craig has reinvigorated the Gothic genre, investing it with a witty and iconoclastic contemporary sensibility.It is a sentiment that Craig, Ridgeway, and all bibliophiles share: the pleasure of being able to vividly feed off other people’s dramatics, like a demon, but then close the book without consequence once we’ve got our fill. raw pork and opium: 2 stars, I liked the 2 parallel perspectives up until the girl had sex with her friend because he suddenly had boobs and then told him that she did not want him and was the other part a metaphor for how gay the two men are for each other? It instantly reminded me of Tell Me I'm Worthless but I feel that it felt a lot more gimmicky in this book/didn't work/wasn't necessary for this story whereas in Rumfitt's novel, it complemented the story? Macabre, Gothic, sensuous (textures are everywhere), sharp (neither too rich nor too sparse) extraordinarily, varied from Icelandic sagas to London sex dungeons (OK, maybe not that varied! Even stories I found less enchanting were still a good read, and while I didn't connect as much with all of them none felt like filler, which is always a worry with any collection.

But maybe it’s something to do with living through a pandemic, it just doesn’t scare me as much as it used to… Although don’t get me wrong I am still a wimp haha. Each story deals, in some way, with what it means to move through the world at an angle to the perceived norm. We watch David as he eventually discovers pornographic photos of the couple: “In the mirror there is a reflection of a fourth man, naked, with an erection, holding the phone that is taking the photos. In some way in a lot of these stories there's this element of characters thinking they're in control, when they're absolutely not, and they're totally in denial and there's a refusal to accept powerlessness or lack of authority.These are characters in the background of someone else’s story, who are later given the chance to be the main character in their own. Craig takes figures and tropes familiar to the horror genre – the vampire, the undead bride, the haunted book in a dusty library, demons, possession, haunted houses – but skilfully integrates them with the sensibilities and concerns of readers today.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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