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DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

The Troika
Stepan Chapman
Ministry of Whimsy Press/ 251 pp./$14.99
ISBN 1-890464-02-3

And now for something completely different.

Eva, an old woman, a jeep named Alex, and Naomi, a brontosaur are crossing a desert under the heat of three suns. They tell each other stories that they don't seriously believe. They don't remember how they got there, where they are going, or any of a number of whys. They are tired of one another's company and of the seemingly endless suffering. They occasionally kill each other or are tortured by engulfing storms. They always wind up alive again. Sometimes they switch bodies. They dream. They remember. Perhaps they do neither.

They are a family, like all families, bound together by pain, history, and the constant present.

Eventually we discover that the trio is dead and has been kept prisoner for centuries by Dr. Mazer, a mad psychiatrist and a sadistic angel. He tortures their souls in the name of psychotherapy or, perhaps, in the name of God.

Darkly surrealistic with some of the trappings of science fiction, The Troika is, believe it or not, an entertaining read. Chapman writes like Picasso made art -- in an original, playful way that astounds with new perspective. This one is not for traditional horror lovers, but it is an assured delight for those who can appreciate the brilliantly unique. -- Paula Guran

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