My biggest problem with Jason Brannon’s, The Misunderstood And Other Misfit Horrors, is the title. It would be all too easily, unfortunately, to scroll right past this super collection of fiction because of the generic title. I am very grateful Jason sent it to me for a review because I might have been one of the people that missed out. I also feel “horror” is a little bit of a misnomer. I do realize I’m splitting hairs, but it stuck with me.
Rest assured Jason’s brief collection of nine stories is dark, but its foundation is imagination and mystery rather than terror. Each of his fiction gems focuses on an atmosphere that is genuinely creepy. I really liked the quiet settings of most of the stories. I could almost feel the foreboding silence. I was happily reminded of several Bradbury and Matheson stories.
My favorites of the collection included “Beware The Death Angel” and “The Misunderstood” for their great additions to Halloween mythology. “Follow The Leader” was downright sinister in its delivery giving it an awesome Richard Laymon feel. I didn’t like the ending of “The Fourth Key”, but the delivery was perfect for a late night read on a quiet couch. “The Oracle” was a great traditional tale of terror, and “The Juggler” could have been an episode of Tales from the Darkside.
I immediately started hounding Jason for copies of his other books, and thank goodness he offered a few. This collection really wet my appetite for some of his longer works. I give The Misunderstood And Other Misfit Horrors by Jason Brannon a solid four severed heads delivered on a silver platter by Rod Serling. Don’t miss it.
Heads Will Roll,