Cavallaro's Cavalcade of Carnage
Ok folks. This is how this is going to go: If you're already a Braunbeck fan and you just want to read my review of Gary's latest collection, (and skip my gatekeeping session), please proceed to the section labeled with these: ****

For everyone else: Alright, I'm not mad at you. Just disappointed. I know the excuses:

"I can't read ALL of the books!," (forget those and read this one)
"I have to work on my own book!," (your book will probably be better after having read this one)
"I have to read and review soooo many books!" (that's your own fault! Now read this one)

Tell me this: How the hell does an author win SEVEN Bram Stoker Awards between 2003 and 2015 and there are avid horror readers in 2021 that not only have never read him, but actually don't know of him? Unacceptable.

Let me give you a frame of reference.

Let's see...who is a current horror author that most of us like and/or respect...let's go with Paul Tremblay for example. I think we can all agree that Paul's work is incredible. We would probably also agree that he has had a very successful run with the Bram Stoker Awards. (Deservedly so!)

Consider this: In Paul's best 5 years of publishing (with Stoker nominations/awards as a gauge), he has won the award four times, with six nominations.

In Gary's best 5 years, he has won the award SIX times, with TWELVE nominations.

Does this mean that in 2035, A Head Full of Ghosts will be in one of those "really good horror books that you've never heard of" lists? I really hope not. It is up to us to keep these types of things from happening.

Wow, I've really gone off the rails on this one. My apologies (kinda). Listen, really beautiful and emotion horror is always in vogue, and Gary Braunbeck is the master. (I highly recommend Prodigal Blues). Do yourself a favor and discover him, if you haven't already.

****Oh yeah...this collection is really good. Even without the appearance of my two favorite Braunbeck stories, ("Haceldama" and "Consolation") it's still the best collection I've read in the last several years.

Grade: A

Review by Jason Cavallaro
Twitter: @pinheadspawn

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