Jewish Book of Horror
Edited by Josh Schlossberg
Denver Horror Collective
“Dedicated to the persecuted throughout history and the world.”
An anthology consisting of twenty-five contributions, each perpetually bound with the common theme of cultural phenomena, folklore, legend and macabre oppression.
I’ll be the very first to go on record I’m more than a little embarrassed at just the kind of time frame I’ve been provided to read and present what we have before you, the review for Jewish Book of Horror. When faced with the very tangible reality that this book was curated nearly a full season ago, I feel compelled to elaborate on my extensive endeavor. The most undeniable horror that exists within our contemporary society is how our every day behaviour is dictated from an overly politically correct civilization.
Reviews are, to place it boldly are subjective, opinion pieces. Sure, there may or may not be varying elements of factual information. Yet for the most part there is without question a resistance to provide viewpoints depicting a specific cultural group and inadvertently indulging in stereotypes, offensive jargon and ultimately offending someone. We’ve become censored without fully realizing it.
Upon delving into the fray, I’d like to also add The Jewish Book of Horror is one in order to be best enjoyed, one to savour, take your time with and bask in all its glory. This collection of dark, ancient and contemporary mayhem can be equally enjoyed with an initial perusal and returning to the promise land time and again.
The anthology boasts an eclectic selection of origins in folklore, legends, moreover, accentuating lifelong fears. Stories within focus on the things our parents told us. The equivalent of campfire stories. Tales so far-fetched each stretches the imagination to a place of no bounds.
It is truly refreshing to be a part of a publication that not only celebrates its origins but invites the rest of us with a coy finger, a slight wink and sly, devilish grin. Jewish Book of Horror beckons a vast audience to enlighten, entertain and terrify each and every one of us.
One does not need to be a historian or even well versed to in the Jewish faith in order to appreciate the tales within. A gripping introduction by one Rabbi John Carrier to breathe a most critical sense of authenticity to the book, ignites it all. A special editor’s note from one Josh Schlossberg only accentuates the tone of evil lurking within the pages and sets the pace and tone for the remainder of the anthology.
A vast selection of varying authors contributes. Whether novice or well seasoned wordsmiths, Jewish Book of Horror boasts a fresh and intriguing group of short stories from varying points of view. Everyone from Molly Adams, KD Casey, Alter S. Reiss, Richard Dansky, Emily Ruth Verona, the true list of genre who’s who’s goes on and on.
Varying depictions, scenarios and primal or ancient fears are captured and conveyed from each author as unique as the creative artistry at conception. It is next to impossible to choose favorites, it would be the rough equivalent of a teacher choosing favorite students. A couple that managed to resonate with me are The Rabbi’s Wife by Simon Rosenberg and Catch and Release by Vivian Kasley.
The imagery within translated into a vivid technicolour dreamscape within the cerebral cortex. Each of these authors, not within standing the remaining twenty or so, unleash a very vibrant sense of emotion. The scripture comes across as mantra like meditation and we feel all what our protagonists feel in spine tingling grandiose.
Perhaps what is most difficult about completing Jewish Book of Horror and therefore this review, is deciding what horrific journey the next selection has to undertake in order to even reside within the shadows of this collection. I do believe while I ponder the next choice, I may just begin again.