Scream Horror Magazine


Posted on: January 10th, 2017

This recent offering from Edward Lee, Terra Insanus, is a collection of four short stories. Reader beware: this is Edward Lee at his foulest, most depraved, and perverse and it’s important that you know that going in! The whole collection is a pretty quick read.

The Stick Woman: This is a strong opening to the collection. A sadistic husband forces his wife to do the unthinkable to protect their son. It’s fascinating, brutal and you might just lose the contents of your stomach. I’ve never read so much shit related content in such a short story. If you’re thinking of something gross that can be done with shit, it’s in this book, and there’s a lot worse than that. This is classic Lee. Vile but enjoyable.

Shit-House & The Ushers: I’ll cover these two stories in one. These are not typical Edward Lee stories that we’d expect. They are more like stream of consciousness pieces about the horrors in the world. As such, they are a bit hard to read because of the style in which they are written. They make very depressing reading. What’s horror without some fun? These are too dark, no fun, and don’t have much plot – just disturbing imagery in a ripped from the headlines style. If I’m honest, they were bland and a chore to get through.

terra-insanus-coverThe Sea-Slop Thing: June doesn’t have a great life. She works long lonely hours in a deli, in a painfully redneck dump of a town. Then she gets fired and things get worse. Just when she’s at rock bottom she’s offered a new well-paying job as a boat painter working for salty Captain Kupjack. Captain Kupjack is a perfect caricature of a wizened sailor. The job is not what she expected, but for this lady, every cloud has a silver lining. This is a funny, outlandish, and of course pretty demented story, with a sex scene much longer than you’d ever wish to read.

The first and the last stories in the collection are great fun, despite the vulgarity and obscene imagery that is Edward Lee’s calling card. If only the other two stories had followed in a similar vein. They let down what would be an otherwise excellent collection.

Reviewed by Andrew Tadman. @thebooksofblood.

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