Review of Snapshot, 1988 by Joe Hill

October 21, 2016

Spur of the moment, step aside reviews waiting in the wings because I get excited about reading a publication where I get to flip real life pages!

Reviewing magazines is a whole bin of candy worms, squirmies if you’re a Bulk Barn shopper, that Unnerving Magazine isn’t quite ready to jump into. However, there are exceptions to every rule, written in washable marker or not. The most recent issue of Cemetery Dance features a novella by Joe Hill, the following review is of said novella, as I haven’t had the time to read anything else of the magazine just yet, and as I mentioned, can’t really see reviewing a magazine, not with so many different parts.

Anyway, Snapshot, 1988. The narrator is a man recalling his chubster boyhood, a character that brings to mind Jerry O’Connell's performance in Stand by Me, the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Body, sincerely.  Once the brain settles in and stops spotting potential inspiration sources, the quality of this story reveals itself.

It’s intriguing and suspenseful from almost the very beginning, takes a designed dip, lulling for the notion of safety before a dark birdie chirps its hunger once again. There are hard truths in this fantasy and developing, rounded and plausible characters reacting reasonably really assisted in bringing across a message that demanded big emotion from a not so long story.

The idea is fun and no less sinister for its rather pedestrian seeming designs on tyranny. Presenting a tool of destruction in the body of an everyday object is great way to mount terror and rattle the rib cages over the long run. Can’t really call the cops with concerns about a man is rolling around in a Caddy packing a Polaroid, can ya?

High-quality writing, fine pacing, strong characters and a true notion of fear pack together in a truly heart-hammering, heart-wrenching tale of the fantastic.

Cemetery Dance has never failed me and featuring stories like Snapshot, 1988 is why.



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Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
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