Written by: Chad Lutzke
This collection from Mr. West brings together a well-rounded display of his work. Coming in at 271 pages, the book holds 5 stories. Let’s dissect this beast and weigh the contents:
- Servant of the Red Quill: I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one because I did a nice review for it earlier this year. Allow me to sum it up in just a handful of words: Great characterization. Intelligently written. Feels like an old classic horror film. Exorcism.
- Cecil and Bubba Meet the Thang: With the right director who understands the cheese that belongs between the tongue and cheek (yeah, it sounded better in my head but when written out it’s gross ain’t it?), this would make for a great little movie. Think John Dies at the End or Feast. Cecil and Bubba have become quite the redneck, evil-fighting combo after being cursed to face otherworldly challenges on a regular basis. This is the second in a series of stories containing the characters, but West gives us a crafty “previously on” at the beginning of this tale. I stand by my initial interest in seeing this on the big screen.
- Heroin in the Magic Now: West shows us a modern world inhabited by “The Night Things” where ghouls and zombies alike are following the masses to the unemployment line. And main man, Gary Hack is there to provide; however, they may not like the retirement plan. Sleaze ball Hack is an indie film maker who found his way into the adult entertainment scene yet takes it to a whole different level. This new age society West has created just so happens to be hungry for Hack’s productions. The story touches on things that may seem objectionable to some, and though I’m one who stays clear of such debauchery, I certainly appreciated the world created by West and would like to see more of it. Minus the….well, I don’t want to spoil anything for you.
- Hair & Blood Machine: Fairs and circuses have always creeped me out. While for me this story was the weak link, like all of West’s work it’s well written.
- Midnight Snack: I can tell West has a good time letting us in on the deep, dark secrets of the characters he creates. While much of this story reflects on main character’s troubles, in this story it helped build some intensity and was essential for the smile-inducing ending it provided. West was able to instill a real concern and wonder regarding a scenario outside of a diner. Though the scene was unsettling, the ability West holds to create that feeling was comforting.
Overall, I think The Night is Long and Cold and Deep makes for a great collection that appropriately exhibits Terry M. West’s talent of storytelling.