A Different Darkness and Other Abominations

Valancourt. Nov. 2022. 316p. tr. from Italian by James D. Jenkins. ISBN 9781954321748. pap. $17.99. HORROR
Italian author Musolino is one of Italy’s most well-known horror writers, and this collection, translated into English for the first time, is a great introduction to his particular brand of dark fiction. Whether it’s a trucker stumbling onto a highway exit full of horrors, a mountain climber’s discovery of monsters at the literal top of the world, or a family who lost a child, but they found her voice calling to them from a hole in their basement, the characters in his stories are built into living people with lives and motivations only to be torn down by traumatic circumstances and existential dread. The themes of cosmic horror and folk horror that permeate these stories also add to their oppressive and unsettling atmosphere. There may be fans of gothic and folk horror who have yet to hear of this author, and this collection is a great way to remedy that canonical oversight.
VERDICT Worthy of being mentioned alongside his horror contemporaries like Joe Hill, Stephen Graham Jones, and Paul Tremblay, Musolino is a writer whose stories are a dark journey through the shadowy Italian countryside, the depths of human despair, and the heights of imagination.
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