Review of Jonathan Moon’s “Mr. Moon’s Nightmares”
Mr. Moon gives us a bevy of tales that run the gamut from outright horror drenched tales that grab you immediately and desperately try to tear you limb from limb to the more subtle, nuanced stories that slowly reveal themselves, much like an old legend or ghost story told around a campfire on a cold, crisp fall evening. While I was perhaps expecting more tales like “Wasp Stings and Fever Dreams”, which deals with a blurred line between reality and dark fantasy, based on my exposure to another one of Mr. Moon’s works, The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole, I think I was quite surprised, in a very good way, that the author can spin a diverse range of yarns that are compelling and reveal themselves with a ease that is very satisfying. Mr. Moon is quite the story teller and he gives his audience an introduction to a region of the country that gains more richness with each story. I am reminded of Stephen King’s consistent return to parts of a gloom cloaked part of Maine when I read through each of Mr. Moon’s tales of the dark reaches of the mountains and forests of Idaho. It is clear that there is an affinity for this region that allows the author to present both an appreciation for this area of the world while still making it almost oppressively mysterious and frightening for the reader.
There is a diversity of stories here, a bit of something for everyone, with a couple of larger novella sized, along with several short stories and even a few poems. Grasshopper season is a winding tale that weaves in and out of this book in eight different chapters. I enjoyed most every story, but if I were to find something to critical about, it would lie with “What Really happened to ‘Dirty’ Dick Wilkins.” The story itself is a fine, creepy novella that takes us back to the old west and a mysterious town where no one seems to grow old, but the editing needed to be tightened up. There were some minor spelling gaffs throughout the book, but they were far more significant within that story. But again, the story was good-holding my attention throughout with its rich characters and gruesome secrets hidden inside the mountains. For punch in the gut impact, my favorite story had to be “The Little Box of Ladybugs” which was a quick shock to the system. “The Full Moon Express” and “Parched” also stood out for me as top-notched short stories that dealt with tantalizing, good old fashion horror that I found highly entertaining.
Overall, this book is eminently satisfying. Mr. Moon is a crafter of stories, pure and simple. He knows how to set the mood, give the right amount of ambiance, and then provides the eerie creepiness that immerses the reader in the doom and gloom of each tale.
Mr. Moon’s Nightmares can be found at Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Moons-Nightmares-Jonathan-Moon/dp/1451577249/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1280633669&sr=1-1