by Simon Kurt Unsworth
Published by Spectral Press, 2012.
The short format is often the most appropriate length for horror stories, it allows the author to condense our fears into nightmarish snapshots of text without over staying their welcome. The Spectral Press chapbook range continues to publish some of the best short horror fiction around, all in nicely produced, signed, limited editions.
Simon Kurt Unsworth’s Rough Music is a near perfect example of how it should be done. Take a not very likeable main character (Cornish), throw in some self-inflicted personal issues and then add some weird happenings to spice the whole thing up and sit back and watch as the character endures the consequences.
In only a few pages we get depth of character, intrigue and pathos and its all beautifully written to keep the pages turning. Bridging the gap between short stories and novellas these chapbooks continue to demonstrate that in horror fiction the short, sharp, shocks are often the most memorable ones.
Rating 4 out of 5