Hideous Faces, Beautiful Skulls by Mark McLaughlin
Wildside Press, 2014
Available: New paperback
Hideous Faces, Beautiful Skulls is a wonderful collection of horror and the bizarre that spans the author’s career of original and compelling storytelling.
Among my favorites are “The Final Broadcast of Sugarville’s Channel 7 Action News,” an entertaining take on global warming and the destruction of the planet told in its entirety through the station’s final news broadcast; “Drool Tool: The Meltdown Mix”, about a band’s weird music that has a catastrophic effect on the people who hear it; “Agatha Says”, which deals with the weird changes taking place at a nursing home recently bought by an eccentric resident; “Claws of the Internet Witches”, which follows the internet chat room of a coven of witches out to destroy humanity; and “Soft Bones”, about a young man with a debilitating disease, and how one woman tries to help him.
There isn’t a bad story in the collection. McLaughlin’s style of writing is weird, quirky, and at times squirm-inducing; a very entertaining read. What I really like about McLaughlin’s writing is his ability to inject dry humor into even the most horrific of tales. If you like your horror weird, bizarre, and funny, then Hideous Faces, Beautiful Faces is right up your alley. Recommended.
Contains: blood and gore
Reviewed by Colleen Wanglund