Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NOWHERE HALL by Cate Gardner

Nowhere Hall by Cate Gardner is the latest volume of Spectral Press’s chapbooks, and like previous books, it continues the tradition of high-quality, thought-provoking stories. This was the first of Cate Gardner’s work that I’ve had the privilege to enjoy, and if this chapbook is a good representation of her work, she is an up-and-comer to keep your eye on.

Here’s the description from the back cover of the book:

In the ballroom, wallflower mannequins stretch their fingers towards Ron. He can’t ask them to dance. He’s already waltzing with other ghosts.

Someone stole the world while Ron contemplated death. They packed it in a briefcase and dumped him in the halls of the ruined hotel—The Vestibule.

After reading this story, I felt like I had just returned from a visit to a creepy, otherworldly realm of existence. Intensely haunting and mind-bending at times, Gardner’s tale stuck with me long after the words The End. This small book challenges the reader’s notions of reality and life, and as you turn the pages, you feel like you’re chasing something that’s always just out of your grasp. Nowhere Hall is an emotion-packed ride into another world . . . or is it really a different world?

I’ve reached the point that I now look forward to each new volume of Spectral Press’s chapbooks. While each story in the line is unique, it’s a guarantee that I’ll walk away every time in introspection. It’s like holding a mirror in front of me and taking a deep, long look. Sometimes I like what I see. Other times I don’t. Bottom line, I can’t ask for any more from a book, much less an entire line of books.


Ginger Nuts said...

This is an excellent line up of chapbooks, and I agree you do have a introspective feel after reading them. Powerful stuff

R.E. McDermott said...

They sound creepily addictive. Perhaps I need to give them a try.

Brenda said...

Sounds very intriguing. I think I need to check these out. Thanks for the interesting description, Neal.

Neal Hock said...

Thanks for the comments! I haven't come across anything quite like Spectral Press's chapbook line.


Lee Thompson said...

Hell yeah! Cate is one of my favorite writers! Glad you dug her work too, Neal!