What Price Gory? by Terry M. West
Published by Pleasant Storm Entertainment, Inc 2013
Review by: Alicia Banks
Synopsis: WHAT PRICE GORY? is the new horror collection from Terry M. West, the critically-acclaimed author of A PSYCHO’S MEDLEY and the filmmaker best known for FLESH FOR THE BEAST. WHAT PRICE GORY? is a collection of weird supernatural stories. Monsters and demons dwell in these tales. The collection is 48,000 words.
Our Thoughts: The collection starts off weak with CAR NEX. This tale of summoning an evil being from a book found among family heirlooms in the attic has been done before with much better results. The writing is poor, and the incorrect use of commas and semicolons is distracting. I was worried the rest of the stories would follow suit.
Luckily that was not the case. Redemption was found in the next story, CECIL & BUBBA MEET A SUCCUBUS. While the story could have added a little more meat to its bones, the idea is a good one. I noticed it was also mentioned at the beginning of the collection that the Cecil and Bubba stories would continue after this one, and I think that’s a smart move on West’s part. The characters are interesting, and a series has great potential. There’s even a sneak peak at the next story in the series at the end of the book which I found had the extra I was looking for.
HELD OVER was a great zombie story, one I’ve never read before. Consider a facility that will take care of you once you’ve crossed to the zombie side, a rest home for your final rest. All it takes is your estate and a signature on the dotted line.
The HAIRY ONES was a dud. It had great potential but fell short for lack of an actual story. It was more like a snapshot of a story, one frame which should have been expanded upon. With a rewrite, it could be great.
THE HERMIT’S CREEPY PET also had potential, but it needs a little more oomph. It could also use a better title. Still, I enjoyed the idea of the town hermit finally capturing the local urban legend.
PUT ON A HAPPY FACE was a fantastic story. It was crazy creepy and well thought out. It was fleshed out well, and the characters came to life.
MIDNIGHT SNACK was clever and descriptive. Most people have ended up stuck behind a car accident on the highway late at night and decided to veer off the beaten path and find an alternative route home. A few of us have ended up getting lost, making wrong turn after wrong turn. Never have we imagined where a wrong turn could lead us as it lead Calvin Winslow on a midnight drive home.
The title story of the collection, WHAT PRICE GORY?, was the best of the bunch. What does it take to become the king of horror? What lengths will a writer go to in order to be crowned the victor of that title? How far will he go? And what will he lose in the process?
All in all, WHAT PRICE GORY? is a decent collection with some good hits and a few misses. It’s not a must-read, but it’s a good collection to pick up if you want something quick and entertaining. Be on the lookout for more of Cecil and Bubba if you end up liking that piece and the snip-it of CECIL & BUBBA MEET THE THANG; I foresee them encountering some nasty things in their immediate future.