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Scenes from the Carnival Lounge by Michael J. Picco #BookReview

What scares you?

Let’s consider fear for a moment…
Fear strikes in many ways. It titillates and terrifies. It can be prosaic or sublime. It’s grim, gritty, seedy, and dark. Fear can be subtle — something that bubbles just under the surface of our perception. It can linger for years, or effervesce before the page is turned. Fear transforms, mutates and evolves. It can be silent and gentle
or thundering and vicious. And, in large enough doses, fear can kill. But, there are fates worse than death.
Far, far worse fates, indeed…
Scenes From The Carnival Lounge is a collection of tales that explore the many facets of fear. Here, you’ll travel that strange shadow world between waking and sleep; where angels whisper to their acolytes; where monsters don the skins of their victims; where love and betrayal cross paths with deadly consequences; where things long-buried come lurching and hungry back to life.
Dare to enter The Carnival Lounge and remember: that which does not kill you, will probably try again.

Scenes from the Carnival Lounge book cover

Title: Scenes from the Carnival Lounge | Author: Michael J. Picco | Publisher: N/A | Pub. Date: 20, July 2018 | Pages: 245 | ISBN13: 9781548072902 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from the author for review consideration

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Scenes from the Carnival Lounge Review

I love the cover for Scenes from the Carnival Lounge. The art is fantastic. As is the art throughout the book. There aren’t any full page illustrations but small ones on the title pages that fit the stories they’re matched to very well. I really loved the stories. There was one or two that I didn’t care for, personally, but I’m sure someone will. The book and stories within were excellently written. If you like well-written horror stories then I strongly recommend it.

So. The stories.

I’m not going to do a story by story rating because I really don’t want to ruin anything for you. It’s hard to really even tell you my favorites because there were so many of them. Esrever Rapture was great, as was All Good Dogs, Agents of the Seraphim, The Baelaehgra of Llangennith Downes, and Chains of Darkness. These were my top favorites. I loved them. The only story that I really didn’t care for, honestly, was The Lost Tribe. And I honestly think that others might like it better than I did.

So, with all of this glowing praise, why the four stars? Well, it’s more like a 4.5. There were some very unnecessary footnotes in a lot of the stories. The author himself says that he knows he uses too many and actually took out some. I love footnotes and annotations if it’s information that I don’t already know, is very obscure or I can’t extrapolate from the story. There were very few absolutely necessary ones. It just felt as though the author didn’t want to slow down to explain in-story and so added a footnote. But it had the effect of taking me out of the story. Another, more minor, issue was the Author’s Notes on the stories. I really like to read the Author’s Notes on stories because it’s interesting to see how the ideas have formed or developed but it would be better if they had been after the stories instead of before.

I would definitely recommend Scenes from the Carnival lounge. It was a great read with some really creative ideas and fresh spins on older concepts. I really can’t say enough good about it and I don’t want to give the stories away so, really, just pick it up to read!

You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads; however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.

Published inAnthologies & CollectionsHorror Book ReviewsStarred Reviews
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