Postcards From Purgatory


So I just finished reading Sam W. Anderson’s short story collection Postcards From Purgatory. I could say “Well, the final story is about a little person who keeps taking laxatives to help him lose weight for an upcoming dwarf-tossing competition, and that’s really all you need to know,” but that would be inaccurate. Oh, I’m not lying about the laxatives and dwarf-tossing competition–that just doesn’t give you an accurate view of the book’s tone.

Don’t get me wrong: Postcards From Purgatory is a demented book. From beginning to end, it’s the work of an unwell human being. But though this certainly isn’t quiet, literary horror, it is serious horror. He’s not going for the gross-out, and he’s not just saying “Oooooh, look how messed-up I can be!” And don’t look for werewolves, zombies, vampires, mummies, or anything like that–you won’t find ’em here!

It’s sixteen stories, and really, there’s not a dud in the bunch. I will admit to my favorite being “Tossing Butch, Saving Theodore,” but they’re all good, from the creepy-crawly (“On You; In You”) to the darkly humorous (“If Mama Ain’t Happy”) to the short-but-disturbing (“To Die Dreaming”) to the just-plain-freaky (“Sifting Through the Ashes of His Gutted Being”).

The book doesn’t come out until this summer, which means that to remind yourself, you have to bookmark this review and revisit it on a weekly basis. Or you can check out the Sideshow Press website and/or Sam W. Anderson’s website.

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