The first Dark Arts Books release is Candy in the Dumpster, a compilation of 12 "new and used" horror stories by four Chicago authors: Jay Bonansinga, Bill Breedlove, John Everson, and Martin Mundt. This volume features an introduction by another Chicago horror veteran, Mort Castle.
Introduction: Candy in the Dumpster
A Perfect Plan
Babies Is Smart
The White House
Swallowing the Pill
The Lost Collection
Free to Good Home
Drowning in the Sea of Love
As with all anthologies, there were some stories I loved and some I didn't really care for.
Mundt's A PERFECT PLAN had me laughing like crazy every time I read the word "shit" and even though I really, really shouldn't have found the story funny, BABIES IS SMART left me in stitches! It's a HORRIBLY wrong story, but written extremely funny so I still enjoyed it. On the other hand, I just didn't get the point of his story THE CURE. I guess it just wasn't the story for me. *shrugs*
Now... Everson's stories on the other hand... I loved 'em all! No surprise there really as I have yet to read anything by him I haven't enjoyed. THE WHITE HOUSE story did start off a little slow for me just because I was trying to figure out what was actually going on, but once I got into it I really enjoyed it. SWALLOWING THE PILL had me from the get-go wanting to know what was going to happen. And PUMPKIN HEAD, well... EVERYONE should read PUMPKIN HEAD! I mean, it's just a really "bad" Halloween story... LOL! (and I mean "bad" in such a good way... hee hee!!!) And if you act fast you can check out the story on John's website as he has it up right now for Halloween!!! Click below:
Breedlove's stories... well, I wasn't really impressed with THE LOST COLLECTION, though the ending had a nice twist to it... and FREE TO A GOOD HOME was just a story. I didn't really get it I guess. However, I did really end up enjoying DROWNING IN THE SEA OF LOVE. It was VERY different compared to his first two stories and I was pleasantly surprised when I got to that one after being disappointed by the first two reads by this author. This just goes to show that I should never give up on an author based on just a few short stories!
Lastly, Bonansinga... ANIMAL RITES... meh... another story in the anthology that I just didn't really get the gist of I guess. However, STASH I ended up enjoying. I didn't think I was going to when I first started reading it, but as the story moved along I started getting into it and it ended up being quite a good story. The last "story", DEAL MEMO, I'm hesitant to call a "story" because it didn't have the feel of an actual story I can't really say whether I enjoyed or not because I can't say I totally got it. The reason being is, I haven't seen the movie THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. I guess had I seen it I might have been able to get this and laughed at it a bit more.
Overall though... I did enjoy this anthology and am looking forward to reading the other anthologies that Dark Arts Books has published.