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  • ★★★★-4

Review: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke & Other Misfortunes by Eric LaRocca

Most people would eat cake on their birthday, but I decided to treat myself with this macabre delight instead.

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

We already know I'm obsessed with this story. It got me hooked on Eric LaRocca. Read my full review of it here!

The Enchantment - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

He gazes at the portrait longingly as if it were the first time that he was seeing it, as if it were truly a sight to behold, as if he would do anything to endure such wondrous suffering.

This story is a lot. I can definitely see how it's too all over the place for some people. But I could not be happier with the direction it goes in. The opening few chapters act as set-up before the story morphs into a gothic, isolated mystery. This shift was exciting for me personally because it's incredibly similar to a short story of my own, down to individual word choice and tone. I also have a feeling that some aspects (black beetles and the phrase "I'm thinking of ending things" as a double entendre) may have been inspired by the works of Iain Reid, one of my favorite horror authors of all time.

Immediately upon finishing, I flipped back through the whole thing and found so many inklings of foreshadowing. I've already decided I'm going to have to read it all again during spooky season (which can't come quickly enough, might I add).

"You'll Find It's Like That All Over" - ⭐⭐⭐

This story didn't quite work for me. It's much shorter than the other two and reads more like a fairy tale in the sense that it has escalating trials that culminate in an obvious "moral". Maybe if I read it again, I'd find something new, but upon this read I didn't get much out of it.


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