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Parallel Hells

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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! Raw Pork and Opium was a story in here I found particularly interesting, because I've never seen the format used before, and I'm all about experimental stuff, and collections with a range of styles in. A teenaged girl is drawn to a female vampire while on holiday in Mexico, a Viking child bride picks a bloody fight that kills thirty men, a daughter inherits a cursed bracelet from her mother, a golem finds it is more powerful than its maker, and an ancient demon feeds on the shame of modern-day Londoners. The first story in the collection 'Unfinished and Unformed' promised much and left me excited to read the rest. She holds her breath and tries to squeeze further along, her left arm outstretched towards the light, such as it is, a glow from the kitchen”.

Alongside his work at Insider, he is also studying for his MA in Literature and the Arts at the University of Oxford. There are plenty of jokes too, and striking turns of phrase, as well as some weird and wonderful surrealism of detail and conception. But, on the whole, the collection had a well-judged pace and it is difficult to pick out a favourite story amongst so many full of such intriguing characters. Her academic work focuses on contemporary trauma literature and theory but her freelance and creative work covers any and all topics, particularly those which deal with the horrors of capitalism and issues of gender and class. The short, twisted tales collected in Leon Craig's Parallel Hells have a laconic elegance that's both chilling and pleasurable .But yeah- Leon's writing has the perfect sense to describe and flesh out the characters in just a few paragraphs.

In his seventh book, A Shock, Keith Ridgway is like a croupier, shuffling together southeast London lives and doling them out to the reader. In one story, titled “raw pork and opium,” a character re-applies her lipstick in the only reflective surface to be found “the kitchen knife we used to rack up lines. My favourite stories included ‘Raw Pork and Opium’ and ‘Lick the Dust’ and I will probably reread them in the future. I n this deliciously strange debut collection, Leon Craig draws on folklore and gothic horror in refreshingly inventive ways to explore queer identity, love, power and the complicated nature of being human. You have this story telling you about the demon's past, their relationship with their friends, their guilt over lying and presenting themselves as a human to people they've genuinely come to like, and then talks about shame as a negative emotion.As Ridgeway explores the landscape of queer London through frank and unrestrained gay relationships, Craig explores queer identity through a selection of tightly-knit gothic tales. But anyway, keep that in mind when looking at the rating, I'm definitely not the best judge of the genre.

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