Released through Delirium Books on October 13, 2000, Cage of Bones & Other Deadly Obsessions includes 20 erotic horror stories, eight of which are exclusive to the collection.
Long Distance Call
Cage of Bones
Dead Girl on the Side of the Road
Every Last Drop
When Barrettes Brought Justice to a Burning Heart
Remember Me, My Husband
Swallowing the Pill
Murdering the Language
The Last Plague
I was first introduced in the fall of 2008 to John Everson's works and have since read almost all of his works, minus a few random short stories. This is one of three short story collections he has out and this is by far my favorite of the three. Pretty much all of the stories in this one have some kind of erotic theme to them in addition to being a horror story, so I'm sure that helped put it over the top of NEEDLES & SINS (which is also a FABULOUS collection!!!) with me. 17 out of the 20 stories in this collection were new to me, but the 3 that were repeats are 3 of his best stories... BLOODROSES, PUMPKIN HEAD, and SWALLOWING THE PILL... the other 17, well... I am having a hard time picking favorites! I was trying to determine before starting this review my top 5 and I honestly can't limit to just 5 as I have 7 I REALLY liked and honestly there are aren't any in the book I didn't like. But... here are the 7 I picked that I liked most and I will attempt to put them in my order of preference, but it's not going to be easy as I enjoyed them all so much:
7. Murdering the Languages - I enjoyed this one because I liked how John actually entertwined an experience from his past to write the story. The story did make me very sad though as I hate that someone could actually deface books in the way the character did, but... in the end she got what she deserved so it was nice seeing the books get their revenge!
6. Dead Girl on the Side of the Road - I thought this was an odd little story and a really neat idea. I actually would've been curious to see what would've happened after the "signing" at the end of the story!
5. Direkit Seed - A bit of fantasy was interwoven into this story as well as horror and erotica so it was a well-blended mix. That appealed to me as well as the sense of domination that was carried out throughout the story. Poor helpless guy is in bar alone... pretty girl comes along and invites him home... pretty girl chains him to her bed and implants dragon eggs into helpless guys testicles... no big deal, right? LOL!!! The story shouldn't have been amusing, but yet at times it was!
4. Every Last Drop - I enjoyed how it seemed sex pretty much overpowered the main character of this story. So much to the point he didn't seem to be even realizing he was at work or what other people were saying to him. It seemed like the only thing he could here were the summons of his "mistress" (if you want to call "her" that!)
3. Long Distance Call - This was just a good, creepy horror tale! I think it actually would've been good even extended into a full-length novel as it definitely had potential to have more going on! (Of course, there are so many phone movies out right now from Japan we'd have to avoid titles like The Ring and One Missed Call... LOL!!! Long Distance Call would work though!)
2. The Mouth - I don't understand why so many people find kinky sex to be bad. I mean, yeah, I know some of it is said to be taboo, but I'm sure vanilla sex is just as taboo in some areas of the world if it's done for pleasure rather than procreation. This story was all about a freak that had her vagina and mouth reversed. The story itself was very "enlightening" (for lack of a better word), but it just made me sad to think that those that can't help being different whether due to a physical deformity or for having different desires in life are considered "freaks" and treated differently. I mean, I consider myself to be kinky in a lot of respects and I'd hate to think I'd be looked down upon as a freak just because of that. (granted, being called "freaky" in a good sense isn't bad. *grin*)
1. Cage of Bones - This story made me wonder about Mr. Everson a bit. LOL!!! I've met him and chatted with him on several occassions, but sometimes I wonder where authors come up with their ideas! I just gotta say... WOW! I had a mouse in my apartment last year that I couldn't manage to get rid of, but even I wouldn't have done what he did to the poor li'l mouse in this story! I'll just leave it at that! This was one f'ed up story, but I thoroughly enjoyed it... despite the mouse part... and love that their are minds out there that think up this stuff to give us readers that enjoy the sick & twisted good books to read. Thank you John!!!
Definitely a good first book for 2009!!! I hope my future reads for the year can at least be marginally as good as I'm sure it'll be hard to top my favorite author.