paper 0-942979-61-3 Top-drawer horror stories, by the author of Centaur of the North (1996), that distance themselves from the genre routine by depending largely on fantasy, fun, and a wonderfully supple prose style. This is grand writing conveyed in the simplest words without the faintest hint of pulp fiction, although much of the subject matter comes from pop culture. In the title story, B. is a kind of horror vaudevillian who entertains at high school parties and other social affairs by giving the guests a taste of famous film monsters in memorable scenes from their best pictures. Thus, garishly costumed as the Creature from the Black Lagoon, or a Teenage Werewolf, or Karloff's Frankenstein monster, he reenacts passages that have him violating a young girl, who is played by the narrator, a small-bodied young man who can shriek like Fay Wray or any other scream queen. The eponymous male protagonist of "Robert's Bride" works at the Oldsmobile factory, fastening emblems onto new cars, and is engaged to a beautician who faces endless reengineering (like an Olds) to bring her utterly dead beauty to its deepest polish. "Woman Without Arms" stars a poet who wears prostheses to write her poems or even to slip a stick of gum from a pack. She's so imbued with the metallic qualities of her arms that her very being, her mind and sexuality, shade off into metal. Another can—t-miss tale is "Mary Magdalena Versus Godzilla." Horror fans, do not pass this by. Others should note that this off-offbeat sheaf from a university press has strong literary worth.
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