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Strange Corridors-But First the Dark (2010)
Fiction Review by The Insane Old One

Strange Corridors-But First the Dark (2010) I was highly impressed by this collection of short, personal horror tales. This two book set (available separately) is comprised of twenty tales of the macabre (ten per book) in a stylistic yet easily read style, something that I would liken to tales told by old gentlemen in smoking jackets as they sat in their armchairs by a roaring fire.

Chigas masterfully draws you into his world; the stories are all set in the early part of the twentieth century, and his poise with the ambiance and vernacular of that era are spot-on. He mixes elements that hearken back to the works of Lovecraft and even Poe in his narrative style, but it's clearly done in his own voice, and that voice evokes some hair-raising moments of dread.

Each story in these two volumes reaches deep into the abyss of darkness, taking average people and seemingly innocuous, easily relatable situations and plunging them into a maelstrom of terror and hopeless despair. While the protagonists typically survive their experiences, they are always scarred, and we, the readers, along with them; worse the wear for our glimpse into the unknown. The tales are short, but that is not to say they are lacking in any literary sense; Chigas presents his characters in such a way as you immediately feel drawn to them, and share in their plights convincingly; indeed, I would venture that for tales of terror, they are all the perfect length. The reader is given all that they need to enjoy the ride.

For purveyors of truly dark, primordially frightening tales, I highly recommend these works.

By Frank Chigas

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