ZThe Victorians took photographs of the recently dead.  Dressed ’em up nice, posed ’em on chairs or in coffins or surrounded by the living. That fact plays a role in Michaelbrent Collings’s most recent, Twisted.

And it’s the least creepy thing about the whole book.

C.S. Lewis coined the word “Gormenghastly” to describe the distinctive writings of Mervyn Peake.  Someday, I think we’ll look back and call a certain kind of book “Michaelbrentsian.”  A Michaelbrentsian tale features at its heart a threatened family.  This family finds itself unexpectedly under siege from a power that looks external, but turns out to be in some terrible respect internal.  What will ultimately determine the family’s survival or failure to do so in such a tale it its ability to stick together, through honesty, courage, and all the little details that make up familial love.

Twisted is classically Michaelbrentsian.  I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I think it’s not too much to say that this is a story about the lingering horrors of child abuse, and how what appears to be a haunted house can instead turn out to be a haunted family.

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