Item description for Confessions of a Ghoul and Other Stories by Lawrence Miller M. F. Korn...
"I am recording: Tim Meadows here doing his thesis: The matrix of grave markers are neatly trimmed in the evanescent moonlight. Helixes of crickets surround the paddock of mist. Silent screams bob up from cavernous graves of the recent dead. The banks of mausoleums stand on the north end flanking a thatch of dark woods. That is where the man lies who is forever alone. For a change he is sleeping both day and night. Then perhaps he will trap himself in the brick walls for two days in a row, mouthing Gregorian chant. Yes, he is a religious man. He scribbles astral charts and makes little Christian fishes like the symbol from 1000 A.D. It is almost the millennium again. Does that mark suffice again' Or will it be replaced by something else, something more arcane to fit these strange times' A collection of six short stories and one novella.
Contents: "Eternal Questions Posed at the International House of Pancakes" "And Now, the Wizard of Gore, May I Present the President" "The Great Find of the Nontraditional Computer Cowboys" "Rags to Riches to Hell" "The Unwelcome Guest" "Letters from Skitzo" "Confessions of a Ghoul"
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.48" Width: 6.36" Height: 0.34" Weight: 0.39 lbs.
Publisher Silver Lake Publishing
ISBN 1931095477 ISBN13 9781931095471
Reviews - What do customers think about Confessions of a Ghoul and Other Stories?
About the Author Jun 3, 2002
------------------------------------------------------- About THE AUTHOR of twelve novels and 240 published stories:
Three of MF Korn's books, CONFESSIONS OF A GHOUL AND OTHER STORIES, and ALIENS, MINIBIKES AND OTHER STAPLES OF SUBURBIA, and also SKIMMING THE GUMBO NUCLEAR were mentioned in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: Fifteenth Annual Collection. CONFESSIONS OF A GHOUL AND OTHER STORIES was mentioned in The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror edited by Stephen Jones. RACHMANINOFF'S GHOST was also mentioned in The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror edited the following year. ----------------------------------------------------------
A review ... May 28, 2002
M.F. Korn's new book, CONFESSIONS OF A GHOUL,appears to be the final nail in the coffin of Silver Lake Publishing, now gone to meet its maker (who is running from debtors no doubt.)
This is certainly not the fault of Korn as his book is generally above par. The best stories in this collection are the rollicking "The Great Find Of The Non-Traditional Computer Cowboys". For some reason that I couldn't quite put my finger on, it reminded me of Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson.
Three stories in a row: "And Now, The Wizard Of Gore, May I Present The President", "Rags To Riches To Hell", and my favorite, "The Unwelcome Guest" all concern themselves over variations of a central figure being the World's Greatest Horror Writer. They are brief bites of Horror tropes made all the more palatable for their unique twist ending and wry humor.
"Letters From Skitzo" is an uneven tale told entirely in letters back and forth. The ending is expected and the least of these stories.
Finally we reach the centerpeice of this book, "Confessions Of A Ghoul".
Everything that has come before this story seems naught but a series of movie trailers while waiting for the main feature.
"Confessions Of A Ghoul" is rich and textured in a way rarely seen these days. It takes its time without ever meandering through meaningless prose. M.F. Korn wants us to thoroughly get inside the head of the characters and does it in a way that never reveals too many secrets.
The story is about a Ghoul who has named himself Tiresias. He writes and babbles like a person going slowly mad from Syphilis. He shuffles through his life and a backwater University town somewhere deep in the bible thumping Louisiana South. Tiresias may or may not realize that he is being shadowed by a University student who has chosen him for his thesis.
Tim Meadows is the student intrigued by Tiresias and his ghoulish behavior, all the moreso because there is a rumor that Tiresias was once a brilliant student of the University.
Confessions Of A Ghoul delves page by page, ever deeper into the very dregs of human existence. Paranoia, perversion, and cannabalism are just the lynchpins to this tale.
The problems I had with this book seemed to have less to do with the author than with the editing. Spelling errors abound and whole paragraphs are repeated, over and over again turning what seems to be a fascinating story into a muddle. Notice this paragraph from page 73:
The night was black and dismal as midnight in the secret recesses of some sinister deep space. Whimpers whistled through the spooky paddock. Tiresias stopped and hunched over something in the thicket with the clearing just ahead. He waited, and then saw Tiresias brandish a sort of utensil, which looked much like an ordinary kitchen steak knife. He appeared to cut and thrash, and saw and hew away at a bundle of lifeless bulk which lay propped sideways on the very ground. The man was cutting away at a body. Very much deceased since God knew when, but now Tiresias was hungrily chewing at a now separated chuck of the meat of the remains. It looked like a frail body, perhaps that of a homeless bum or such. He wrenched more bloated flesh from it with a steak knife, diggin in as it were.
The scene is part of a fascinating whole. Too bad the whole thing gets repeated again on page 82 throwing the entire story off whack. I had to re-read it a second time, taking care to jump over the redux so that the story flowed the way it should.
Another place the book falters is with the very first story, "Eternal Questions Posed At The International House Of Pancakes". While the story has strands of self-effacing humor, it is also bloated with an overabundance of self-congratulatory sneer. M.F. Korn's character, Mark, makes secret fun of the multi-psuedo intellectuals and their conspiracy and UFO theories at a local eatery and bus station. Unfortunately, Korn gets so involved in the myriad progenitors of the form that the story begins to read more like a trivial pursuit game of junk science theorists than a humorous jaunt through this other world. As if name dropping alone betrays a studied knowledge and understanding of the crackpots.
This book, though flawed, is still enjoyable for all the best reasons I mentioned above and gets 3 BookWyrms from me.
The Best of Pulp, Comedy, and the Disturbing Aug 23, 2001
This outrageous, disturbing, completely original and often insane work offers an outpouring of stream-of-consciousness and completely off-the-wall fiction, anchored by the decadent and sometimes perverse title novella. It is not for the faint-of-heart. Nor is it without flaws--but much of it is immensely fresh and readable.
Sepulchered stories of a ghoul Aug 23, 2001
A book for the curious, the connoisseur of horror. M.F. Korn's title character, a flesh-eating ghoul, is an allegory for the rot that eats at the soul of society. The short stories that round out the collection peel off the pretty veneer of bourgeois life. The author's prose sets its own tempo, enhancing the terrifying timbre of the tales. Not a book for the faint-hearted.