Little Angels by Joseph Mulak is an interesting, albeit Polanski-esque novella about a suicidal main character and the literal and figurative demons he is forced to face. Using death as a centrepiece to the novella, Mulak manages to nail down the format in a very dogmatized manner. Although the novella is a tad bit depressing, Mulak ramps up the eeriness with stories of ghoulish deformed children and abandoned towns. If a young Wes Craven and David Lynch had a baby, we’d call him Joseph Mulak.
The author’s prose is slightly stacatto and repetitive, yet it’s not encumbersome enough to detract from the fleshed out story. The novella could also have done without the couple of spelling and grammar mistakes, but that’s semantics. We should look at the broader picture here – Mulak is an extremely talented author. I devoured Little Angels twice. It’s just one of those novellas where you feel the quintessence of the story. I also found a slither of Ingmar Bergman in Little Angels and yes, I know I’m referring to auteurs of the cinematic kind, but let me have this allusion!
A creaky floorboard always creeps me out. Combine the bump-in-the-night with some dream imagery and you have yourself a winning formula. It truly is a pity that Mulak didn’t write an entire novel about the deformed children and the secrets they hide. I would have loved to wrap myself in a blanket, sip on my coffee and get lost in the gothic leitmotif of Little Angels.
Aside from the minimal technical errors, Mulak wrote a story worth reading. It’s short (10 000 words), but it packs a horrid punch. Emotions rise at the end and the climax? Absolutely spot on!
Mulak deserves a gold medal for this one.
RATING: 4 out of 5