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book cover of Knuckles and Tales

Knuckles and Tales

A collection of stories by

Bram Stoker Best Collection (nominee)
Although best known for her hip horror novels featuring punk vampire Sonja Blue, Collins shows an innate aptitude for the classic southern Gothic in her third collection (after Nameless Sins and Avenue X), the contents of which are exclusively the fruit of her Arkansas roots. Nine of the 15 selections are set in Seven Devils, a decaying bayou backwater that epitomizes the "dark side to small town life." The stand-out opener, "The Sunday-Go-to-Meeting Jaw," sets the tone for the rest of the selections with its haunting account of a returned rebel soldier whose mutilated face is a grotesque symbol of the defeated Confederacy. Despair, insanity and violence achieve near elemental force in the more modern stories. "How It Was with the Kraits" takes a page out of Tennessee Williams in its grim chronicle of family dysfunction and a doomed mother and son "needing each other so bad love and hate became one and the same thing." One of the few stories with a standard supernatural theme, "Raymond," paints a sympathetic portrait of a child whose lobotomy seems a greater perversion of nature than the werewolf instincts it's meant to curb. Collins largely eschews the degenerate stereotypes and suffocating atmosphere of dread typical of the southern Gothic, building her stories instead on studies of characters just desperate or dim enough to indulge base motives that drive them to criminal or supernatural ends. Her strategic deployment of local folklore and cornpone colloquialisms gives her homegrown horrors authenticity and helps make these dark slices of southern life as chilling as a mint julep in summer.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Used availability for Nancy A Collins's Knuckles and Tales

Hardback Editions

July 2002 : USA Hardback

Title: Knuckles & Tales
Author(s): Nancy A Collins
ISBN: 1-58767-015-1 / 978-1-58767-015-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Cemetery Dance Pubns
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

June 2003 : USA Paperback

Title: Knuckles and Tales
Author(s): Nancy A Collins, Jk Potter
ISBN: 0-9729485-1-1 / 978-0-9729485-1-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Biting Dog Pubns
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

March 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Knuckles and Tales
Author(s): Nancy A Collins
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA