Going Home: A Horror Story by Lawrence Millman
Reviewed by Cynthia Reeser
Peter is what one could call an unwitting protagonist. A trip home to visit his fickle, aging mother results in circumstances that are simultaneously hilarious and horrifying. The maddening hilarity begins, for him, the instant he steps off the plane to greet his mother in the airport:
Later, his mother realizes, “That’s not cancer, dear. It’s chicken cacciatore.” What a relief.
Millman narrates his tale in wry, observant prose. His mother’s two-story ranch bungalow on Pleasant Lane is not merely foreboding; under Millman’s watch, it is infused with a personality all its own, so that it becomes empowered to “glare at him with undisguised hostility.” The plot thickens when Peter’s mother insists on showing him some of her most recent upgrades to the home, which include a retrofitting of his room which has essentially restored it to the abode of his boyhood:
Millman, in a very short space, conveys all the nuances of character and scene that make his story feel familiar, even for a reader who cannot relate to the situation. The end holds a hilarious, lovely and horrifying surprise that may cause a reaction somewhere between a wince and a chuckle. Going Home is a memorable little tale not soon to be forgotten.
Purchase Going Home: A Horror Story online at http://www.sunnyoutside.com/cat.html.
Cynthia Reeser, Editor-in-Chief and founder of Prick of the Spindle, is a freelance writer and web designer whose book reviews can be found on NewPages, Tarpaulin Sky, Bookslut.com, and in other places througout the web. Her poetry is present or forthcoming in 42opus, elimae, DOGZPLOT and temenos; and her artwork can be seen at www.cynthiareeser.com. She holds degrees in Music (Piano Performance) and in English Literature. Her poetry chapbook, Light and Trials of Light, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press sometime in 2009.
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