"Life is often interspersed with events—happenings which are just enough out of the ordinary so as not to be easily dismissed as . . . random good fortune."

Imagine the end of all childhood fairy tales or that something as beautiful and stately as a Morton Bay fig tree transforms into the beast of your nightmares when darkness falls. These are just two of the scenarios contained in this highly entertaining 18-story collection. Taylor’s knack for the curious and unusual is evident in stories such as "Time Enough in Hell," in which Jonathan James Goodman reaches the final depths of despair in a lonely apartment, and "Parasite," the journal of a man who, having returned from “a salvage operation in the Arafura Sea one week ago” is feeling not his “usual self.” Other notable offerings in this volume are "Hypnagogic," in which, confronted by a visit from an old friend, a man convinces himself to do “a noble thing” and “dose” himself with alcohol, and the surreal "Dark Gallery" with its ominous orb of regrets.

Taylor’s work is an amazingly diverse offering of dark tales featuring a wide range of characters and settings. Though each is unique in plot, they all share a common theme of absurdity or bizarreness. Ranging from delightfully disturbing to significantly strange, they are filled with characters facing inward as well as outward demons, mental illness, regret, and numerous other tribulations. Each offers a glimpse into the psyche reminiscent of those iconic television programs of the 1960s—The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. Those who enjoy stories that push the boundaries of reality or include studies of the psychological aspects of human nature will enjoy these fascinating tales. This is a reading experience that will keep readers engaged throughout and stay with them long after the last story is finished.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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