I’m gonna be honest – I can’t remember how Jim and I got to talking on Twitter. Knowing me, it was probably something perverted. That being said, he was one of the people who responded when I sent out a call for chapbooks to review.
I was mostly responded to with poetry, but Jim’s book is a collection of ghost stories and I was up for something different and thought “what the hell, let’s give it a whirl.”
- 6×9 in dimension
- Approximately 126 pages
- Printed by Anubis Press
- $10 for the paperback and $4 for the Kindle edition
- Glossy cover, glue binding and cream colored paper.
American Cryptic is – as I said – a collection of ghost stories. What makes it different is that it’s split into three sections; ghost stories that happened to him or to people he knew, creepy places located in his native wester Pennsylvania, and legends originating from the same area.
I have to say that I’m one of those cynical folks who just doesn’t believe in ghosts — which is funny because I’ve had several strange things happen to me throughout my life. Still, though, here we are.
Even though I’m a non-believer, this was still a fun read. I was particularly interested in the urban legends section which gave me the same thrill as when I used to read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark when I was a kid. It was interesting to see how some of the stories from his native PA (which isn’t far from where I am in NY) bled over the state lines – like the Green Man – and how some I’ve just never heard of (like the Six Toed Man)
I was particularly fascinated by the story of his apartment in Philadelphia which he and his roommate got the fuck out of because it was so creepy. Or at least he said it was creepy – Jim’s a bit light on the details here. I need to know what the roommate’s girlfriend said was in the house, I need more creepy shit that happened there. That story in particular could be pretty interesting as a film, too!
Overall it was a good read – my only critique is that I’d have liked more details in some of the stories to shore up why things felt weird, or were creepy.
I’m shipping this book to my mom because I know that she will absolutely adore it!