Book Review; American Nightmare

The Book: American Nightmare (Edited by George Cotronis) Kraken Press

The Blurb: It’s the 1950s. There’s always something good on the radio, cherry red Cadillacs cruise the streets and everything is always perfect. Marilyn is still alive and the War is over. America goes to bed, nuclear annihilation postponed another day. Welcome to the American Nightmare.


The Review:


Short Story collection packed with the following;


Grandma Elspeth’s Enchiridion for Domestic Harmony – Rachel Anding In the Blood – Mark W. Coulter Chiaroscuro – Dino Parenti Bow Creek – Raymond Little Glow – Adrean Messmer Lucy’s Lips – Madeleine Swann Pear People from Planet 13 – MP Johnson Ghost Girl, Zombie Boy and the Count – Chris Thorndycroft The Two Monsters of Levittown – T. Fox Dunham Double Feature – Neal Litherland The Black Pharaoh of Hollywood – Ian Welke The King – W. P. Johnson A Night to Remember – Tim Marquitz All the Beautiful Marilyns – Max Booth III



Welcome to the humble 50’s kiddos. Grab a blender and mix in some Stand By Me and The Sandlot movie nostalgia, mix in some Bradbury-honeycoated memories and prose, and spike with Lovecraftian beasties. Pour in a glass, and slam it down for a wild ride through the shadowy corners of drive-Ins, dusty diners and that abandoned house with the crooked white picket fence.


After finishing the first two stories, I had to pause to see if maybe this whole collection was created by a prompt in which the stories had to contain a drunken father figure and Mickey Mantle references. And then one even brought back a line from the movie Stand by Me. But by the time I was done with In the Blood, I was willing to give this collection a shot.


The creepiness spews out with stories about serial killers, small town dark secrets, meteors from beyond, girl crushes, sex-kittens, and pears (Yes fucking scary ass fruit)!!   Ride on and cheer a beautiful father and son story, get lost in the hazy vengeful shades of Halloween, and it wouldn’t be the 50’s Horror without a Nazi Mad Scientist!


Get that Bradbury feeling as you visit a Drive-In, get a taste of Hollyweird, and bow-down to the seed spreading king.   A diner dulling out dark coffee and dark visitors (check please)! Topped by cruising for the chick and getting more than what you would expect.


Really great bundle of short stories, with just a few issues (first two stories, very similar), And a Coors Light/ TV remote reference that zapped me outta the way back machine for a few.


The writing is tight. Some of the stories are so short and sweet that they flash by…but you will finish this collection with a smile. I am surprised this has remained such a hidden gem. I would gladly buy American Nightmare ll, if it was ever produced.


*Copy received for review.


Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Books, Horror

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s