Title: Before you Sleep
Author: Adam L.G Nevill
Publisher: Ritual Limited
The words ‘Three Horrors’ and a skull of a ram’s head. This is what stuck out to me as I was scrolling through a recommended list of horror books. What is it about the corpse’s of dead animals that are so creepy? It reminded me of the rabbit in Donnie Darko, one my favourite films of a time. I think its the lack of eyes that make it so terrifying…
Anyway, Before you Sleep, is a short anthology compromising of three short-stories by horror writer L.G Nevill, written between 1995 – 2011. It was only published last year, but I wondered why I hadn’t seen it yet.
I love horror, especially short horror stories as there is definite skill in writing something short and terrifying. The stories chosen for this book undoubtedly share a common theme: houses. Yes, its the typical, over-used horror trope that has made many a new horror half as scary as it used to be. Haunted house, monsters in the closet, creepy old ladies that shift around in the protagonist’s dream – we’ve all seen it a million and one times right?
No. There is something about Nevill’s writing that gives these classic themes a unique make-over. Angels appear in the first story ‘Where Angels Come In’ and we get a creepy and bizarre look at the path to death. The second story was my favourite; ‘The Ancestors’ – about a house full of dolls which sends a beloved father-of-one slowly mad. The final story however, was perhaps the most emotionally jolting. Frank’s move to his new house kick-starts him into the early disintegration of old age and there was something slightly moving about the lonely and isolated world he begins to find himself in.
Though I didn’t find these stories particularly ‘horrifying’ (let say, I didn’t lose any sleep) I’d still suggest there is something eerily thought-provoking about each story and would recommend to those thinking about dipping their toes into the horror genre.
Author Links: http://www.adamlgnevill.com/