I am only sorry I didn’t read this novella by Michael Wehunt sooner! I bought it then slipped it onto my bookshelf. It’s so thin, I didn’t see it, snuggled up to that big fat hardback by a very popular horror novelist, whose fiction is good, but not as good as the fiction Wehunt is writing here.
I am not only in awe of the sharp, lean prose style and insight into character the story shows. It is also entertaining, enjoyable to read, creepy, haunting, a sneaker-upper on you; and it seems craftily self-aware of the dark nature of its own beauty. You can sense this in the story’s misleadingly mild tone, and in the careful descriptions—and thoughts and behaviors of—characters Lorne and his wife, Gwen, both of whom tell the story along with a peripheral narrator who lurks in the shadows.
There is also a unique prose structure to the tale that I really like and a texture to the sentences I have not seen before, like those of a poet, each word ripe with meaning and depth.
You will leave The Tired Sounds, A Wake aware of the fact that a hitherto unknown dread lurks quietly along the periphery of your awareness. It will feel as though it has always been there, under the other side of the bed, quiet and waiting. And, because Wehunt is such a masterful writer, the effect of this realization will leave behind an ashen mark that will not wash off.
Good fiction is wonderful. But great fiction is rare and not something we genre lovers and horror readers talk about enough. Wehunt is among the great literary weird fiction writers writing today. And on my own personal list, he’s in the top 5. So, go and buy his story collection, Greener Pastures (link below), so we have something worthwhile to talk about on FB, for god’s sake. (Wehunt has other stories out there online. And a novel coming soon.)
Check out his website here:
The Tired Sounds, A Wake was a limited numbered print edition novella and I believe they are already sold out. But hopefully Wehunt will collect the novella in a future story collection.
Until then…Link to purchase Greener Pastures: