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Brian Keene ‘Blood on the Page’ Review


Written by: Matthew J. Barbour

While the cover to Blood on the Page introduces the book as “the complete short fiction of Brian Keene,” this is simply not so. As discussed in the first paragraph of the forward, there are two other large collections in print that offer additional tales: The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World and Earthworm Gods: Selected Scenes from the End of the World. It is also noted that Blood on the Page is the first is a planned multi-volume set.

Hence, Blood on the Page is not the complete short fiction of Brian Keene. Anyone purchasing this book under the impression that they will have read everything Keene has written in the way of short stories is in for a disappointment. All of this aside, it is one hell of collection containing 29 tales from one of the best horror writers today. These include:

Portrait of the Magus as a Writer (previously unpublished)

Captive Hearts

Johnstown

Waiting for Darkness

Dust

Burying Betsy

Fast Zombies Suck

I Sing a New Psalm

Caught in a Mosh

I am an Exit

This is Not an Exit

That Which Lingers

Halves

Without You

Couch Potato

Fade to Null

Babylon Falling

A Revolution of One

Full of It

Two-Headed Alien Love Child

Bunnies in August

The Wind Cries Mary

The Resurrection and the Life

Stone Tears

Red Wood

The Ghosts of Monsters

Slouching in Bethlehem

Marriage Causes Cancer in Rats

Golden Boy

As with any collection, quality of the works varies wildly. Yet, some of these stories are among the best Keene has ever written. “The Resurrection and the Life” is a surreal look at the tale of Lazarus. Here Keene combines The Bible with his own work, The Rising.  Lazarus does indeed rise as Jesus commands, yet it is with a hunger for human flesh.

Zombie stories abound. In “Couch Potato,” a small child living in the inner city watches on tv as Hamelin’s Revenge rages across the globe. Her mother sits nearby on the couch smoking her cigarettes and crack. When she runs out of both, the woman abandons her child in search of her next fix only to return a zombie. Sometimes the more things change; the more things stay the same.

Several stories are also set in LeHorn’s Hollow, made popular by Dark Hollow and Ghost Walk.  References to these novels and others are prominent throughout the collection with many of the stories offering interesting insights into Keene’s other works.

For fans of Brian Keene and the uninitiated alike, Blood on the Page is a must read. The book has a little bit of everything. There is action, humor, romance, along with lots and lots of horror. The stories expose readers to most of the different worlds and stories the author has written through the years. Keene has a spectacular imagination.  It is on full display in Blood on the Page.

Order it here..

Rating: 4/5

brian keene

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About The Overseer (1663 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

1 Comment on Brian Keene ‘Blood on the Page’ Review

  1. Ronald Weston // April 15, 2015 at 11:39 pm // Reply

    The cover picture on the Amazon page does indicate that it is Volume 1.

    Like

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