The Little Dixie Horror Show by Mer Whinery
Published by Literati Press; available in e-book and print formats
Mer Whinery’s collection of location-specific horror stories run a unique gamut: ghostly ghoulish lot lizards, the selling of your soul for comfort and new chances, children turning to rational (hallucinogenic?) violence, a beautiful short about a haunted movie house, and a decidedly unserious novella about a transvestite monster hunter.
The sheer variety of these bizarre and genuinely creepy tales is supported by the main character – the setting. Little Dixie is a spot in Oklahoma where all the worst parts of the Deep South uprooted and made their home, spawning generations of cultural, economic, and spiritual malaise. It’s a place of deep dark and people with secrets. Whinery shows us the darkest corners of Little Dixie, sparing no detail in what amounts to grisly, gore-ific, and straight up disturbing close ups on what goes bump in the night out yonder.
Whinery’s stories, while dripping with horror, are also full of love for a bizarre and dying community of swamps, abandoned truck stops, and both the living and the dead.
I’ll buy anything Whinery publishes next. His sense of voice is fantastic, and he’s got a great appreciation for horror (Lucio Fulci gets more than a few references) literature, films, and culture.
My only complaint about the book is the editing. Another pass or two by an editor would have made a world of difference in catching a variety of errors. If my criticism seems petty, good. Because a few misspelled words and clunky fonts shouldn’t dissuade you from grabbing this spookhouse ride of an underground collection.
5/5 Ghoul-infested Truck Stops