DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

Falling Idols
Brian Hodge
Silver Salamander /211p./No ISBN
Limited (300 Cloth) $35.00
Trade (500 Perfect) $15.00

In his endnotes to Falling Idols, Brian Hodge refers to the book as a journey he didn't recognize as being taken until it was nearly over. "It was a journey," he says, "toward that state of being that Kahlil Gibran describes in The Prophet as being able 'to bless the darkness as we have the light'." There is distinct spiritual exploration in these the stories; nothing assured, nothing dogmatic, nothing didactic -- but a sense of asking the higher questions and learning a meaningful balance between the light and the dark. The exploration demonstrates a depth and maturity that adds a new level to Hodge's already distinct talent and defined craft.

The one new piece in the collection -- a transcendent novella "As Above, So Below" -- may be the best thing Hodge has yet written. If you know his work already you know that's saying a lot. Take note of this one for any very short list of the year's best.

Also included is the exquisite (and noted for award nominations and yearly bests for last year) "The Dripping of Sundered Wineskins," originally done for the "erotic vampire" anthology Love In Vein 2 that goes far in showing what a writer of imagination and feeling can do with a "standard" theme.

Hodge sears with pain ("Stick Around, It Gets Worse"), rethinks the Frankenstein mythos ("A Loaf of Bread, A Jug of Wine"), grips with a gritty urban myth ("Graphic Arts"), takes on the rational madness of an irrational killer (Sensible Violence"), and throws in a clever Lovecraft joke ("Blind Idiot Lovecraft") for comic relief.

The perverse irony of being published by the small press means that although a collection like this -- non-commercial, thought-provoking, relying on two novellas for more than half the content -- gets published, it doesn't get sold to more than 850 people. If Silver Salamander has any left, get one. You'll find a masterful writer at the top of his form offering promise of even more in the future. -- Paula Guran

|back to index|

Many of the books mentioned on this site are available through By using the link to the right to search for and order books (or anything else) you are benefiting this site. Thank you.
In Association with

[main] [about] [features] [reviews] [interviews] [link] [search]
Copyright © 2002 Paula Guran. All Rights Reserved.