Bookshelf: Terrifying Lies

41mAcZjiV5L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Craig Nybo remains the Norman Rockwell of American monster fiction, and this collection of his short stories proves it.

A Nybo story is usually about a small-town here. Often, the hero is from a blue-collar background: a trucker, a bus driver, a cop. Things go to hell, in a bad way. The Nyboesque protagonist organizes his or her community and applies practical know-how to get the job done. A Nyboesque hero doesn’t fret or go insane when it turns out that reality is fragile; she or he rolls up sleeves and does the necessary thing, often unsure of the greater cosmic order of things, but willing to stand up for what’s right and hope there’s a God to notice.

Many of the Terrifying Lies are zombie tales, and connect to Nybo’s Zombie Sing-a-Long collections (full disclosure; I play a bad guitar part on one of those CDs). Of these, my favorite is without a doubt “Blue Rinse and a Shotgun,” in which a pedophile returned in zombie form gets put to permanent rest by… the kind of a heroine who rinses her hair blue. But Nybo strays into broader territory, too, as in “Hostile Takeover,” in which invitation into the elite inner circle of a law firm’s partners entails going on commando raids against rival firms.

This is a satisfying and entertaining collection. I would like Hollywood to notice Craig Nybo — his stories are visual and action-packed, eminently filmable, and his heroes are always imperfect people worthy of emulation.

About David

I’m a writer. This is my blog.

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