<a href="http://The Four Gentlemen of the ApocalypseThe Four Gentlemen of the Apocalypse by Douglas Hackle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We begin with Douglas Hackle’s Ballad of Terror Tiny Tim. This story was the least predictable of the bunch and that is saying something considering the company he is sharing the book with. The absurdity is off the scale, and I am at a loss for where to begin. So many random occurrences and one leads to another, and another, and… To a reader not open enough to receive it, this could be seen as a detriment. For me this only added to the experience.
Dustin Reade’s The Canal was the funniest of the four. A man with an interest in taxidermy makes a “suit made of cat”. He embodies the feline persona to a ridiculous degree, and the story really takes off from there. Besides the humor, there are themes of loneliness and isolation that all together made this one even stronger. The ending wrapped this one up perfectly for me.
Next, G. Arthur Brown’s I Took One Apple to the Grave is a strange tale that is both intriguing and very hard to describe. While grounded in a bit of folklore, there is nothing traditional about it. There is an attention to detail that shines through. Things tended to wrap around each other. I was pulled along, never quite being able to tell what was coming next. In all, the results were pretty unique and the more I let this one sink in, the more I enjoyed it.
Last, my favorite of the book was S.T. Cartledge’s Wizard and Robot in the Land of Sand and Bones. Both magical and majestic, there is a specific way that this is written, and I was instantly pulled in. The world building and the degree to which Cartledge can write from the point of view of such unique, non-human characters is mindblowing. You become the girl robot. You are the wizard made of glass. You experience everything just as they do.
Considering all of the authors involved and the anticipation I had for this book, I took my time with it, and am happy I did. The stories fit well together and amount to a solid first release from Strange Edge Publications.

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