Friday, January 8, 2016

A Laymon Kind of Night

Mark Allan Gunnells
Sideshow Press
4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Nancy


A Laymon Kind of Night is a three story collection:

"Van People" – When father-to-be David sells his beloved Mustang to buy a mini-van, he begins to change.

"The Snoop" – A compulsively nosy neighbor decides to check out the house next door while the owner is away.

"A Laymon Kind of Night" – Tina is having a rough night. After working the late shift, she must trek home through a hostile urban landscape.

My Review

Though this is Mark Gunnells’ first published book, I had the pleasure of reading one of his earlier short stories when I received a signed copy of Tangle from him on PaperbackSwap.

Since then, I explored more of his writing on various high-quality e-zines that are now defunct. If those stories have been resurrected and compiled in an anthology already, someone please let me know!

I really enjoy his style and how he incorporates regular people and ordinary situations, lulling the reader into thinking all is well, and then creating a horrifying twist that manages to be unsettling and sometimes humorous.

This collection of three stories is short, fun, and perfect to read on the bus, on the beach, on the toilet, or anytime you need a quick horror fix.

A Laymon Kind of Night is about a woman who closes up shop late and on her way home has several creepy encounters that become increasingly more terrifying than the last, a deliberate nod to Laymon’s “women-in-peril” stories.

The Snoop is about a man who gains pleasure from snooping through other people’s things. An opportunity presents itself when his neighbor asks him to feed his dog while he’s away on vacation. To say more would ruin the fun.

Van People is a story of a solid friendship between three long-time neighbors, Travis (a single gay man), David (a father-to-be), and Keith (a divorced man). The dialogue is clever and reveals details about the men’s lives, their loves, and their work. When David decides to sell his Mustang for a Dodge minivan to accommodate his growing family, his friends notice he’s changed.