Thursday, July 7, 2016

After the People Lights Have Gone Off

After the People Lights Have Gone Off
by Stephen Graham Jones

This collection of fifteen stories taps into the horrors and fears of the supernatural as well as the everyday. Included are two original stories, several rarities and out of print tales, as well as a few "best of the year" inclusions. Stephen Graham Jones is a master storyteller. What does happen after the people lights have gone off? Crack the spine and find out.

My Reaction:
I was drawn to this book by its eerie title and cover art (the twilight scene of a woman facing a house with a lit upstairs window), so I decided to give it a try.  Modern short stories can be hit or miss with me, and this was my first experience with this author, but it had a lot of positive reviews.

Unfortunately, I've come to the conclusion that this author's style just isn't right for me.  I've read four of the stories, and while each had some promising moments, the pay-off isn't there (again, for me).  I think part of the problem is that the endings are (usually) too ambiguous for my tastes.  I don't expect everything to be spelled out in a horror short story, but I could use a few more dots to help with the connecting.

I'm not enjoying it much, so it's time to declare this a DNF (Did Not Finish) and move on to something else.

(I may go back and read the title story, though, as that's what drew me to the collection in the first place-- and because I've seen some reviewers who seemed to think it was the strongest of the bunch.  If I find I have more to say after reading it, I'll come back and edit this entry.  Otherwise...)