Nayad Monroe (nayad) wrote,
Nayad Monroe
nayad

2007 Books #23: Fear in a Handful of Dust, by Gary A. Braunbeck

This is a hard book to write about. It's non-fiction, subtitled "Horror as a way of life;" it's about horror films and books, Braunbeck's own life, and writing, pretty much in that order. I have honestly not read many accounts of a person having more terrible, tragic things happen to him, throughout a lifetime, than the one written here. Braunbeck never seeks sympathy, but writes matter-of-factly about the events of his life, and his reasons for becoming a horror writer. He earns my utmost respect for getting on with his life, doing his best with the aftermath of his traumatic events, and writing hundreds of short stories and lots of books, too.

I've only read two of Braunbeck's books so far, and a couple of his short stories that were included in Fear in a Handful of Dust, but I will certainly read more of his work. If you read my brief blurb about his book, In Silent Graves (originally titled The Indifference of Heaven), you'll remember that it wasn't a book I loved, because of the horror content, but it was one I respected for expanding my ideas about what horror fiction could be. Having read more about the background of that novel, and a related short story that he wrote before the novel, increased my appreciation for his work, for what he tries to achieve with it, and especially for In Silent Graves.

Fear in a Handful of Dust was worldview-changing for me, and that's not something I say about many books. I recommend it, but be prepared for some seriously upsetting material.
Tags: 2007 books, gary braunbeck
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