Sick? Absolutely. Genius? Perhaps. Rage? All the way.
We have a certain adoration for Steven Rage at the Authors Speak. He may be one of the sickest, most twisted writers writing today, but there's a mad brilliance to his work. Reading one of his texts is like growing wiser while simultaneously suppressing the urge to vomit. And, there's the funny, too. Rage brings the funny in a big way.
I'm no fan of shorter fiction. I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure why I feel the need to say that everytime I review a collection. I guess I say that because it speaks worlds when I do like a collection. "The Place in Between" is a brilliant collection of some of Rage's best work to date. And, if you're going to do short fiction, at least tie it together. Steven Rage does this flawlessly.
On the surface, the stories in "The Place in Between" are some classic noir pieces that we've heard before. If you've read Rage's previous works, well, you know the man has a few tricks up his sleeves. Rage pulls out all the stops to showcase his twisted reality in which these tales take place. The landscape itself becomes a character of his crazy brain, thus giving these somewhat familiar tales a whole new slant.
"The Place In Between" is the title of the strongest piece in the collection. Imagine a Fasutian tale that were written and directed by John Waters and David Lynch and you start to gather a little of where Steven Rage's mind is. The book feels heavily influenced by both talents - the seedy, dark, weird spliced with the scatological.
Go ahead and order it, folks. But be warned: this book is disgusting. You'll need a strong stomach to handle it. But the reward and payoff is huge. It's not gross for the sake of gross. It's dark fiction at it's finest.
If you've read any Steven Rage before, please chime in this Saturday - 9/25 - and share your thoughts with the diabolical deacon. Steven Rage will join us live at 12pm (EST) on our new blog talk radio show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theauthorsspeakcom/2010/09/25/the-authors-speak-the-reverend-steven-rage
. It will be a fun time, to be sure.