by James R Cain

Reviewed by Mario Guslandi

There are writers who are devoted to a certain genre and don't realize that their true vocation is different. Cain's literary background certainly labels him as an horror author, but the content of this chapbook from D Press just makes me wonder... There are four short pieces of poetry

( “Time”, “Television”, “The snail” and “Greed”). I don't feel qualified to comment upon them, but, as a simple reader, I'm really moved by the first one, “Time”, a very short , doleful poem about life and the passing of time ( “...eddies of my life, vanishing as dust”). It's one of those infrequent examples of writing skill where the lyrics touch a secret chord in the reader's soul, just because they express eloquently in plain words what we all deeply feel about the human condition.

The booklet also includes three stories. The first one ,”The house on the cliff” is a rather conventional horror tale revisiting the time-honoured cliché of a remote mansion where an imprudent recluse pursues dangerous studies and finally summons evil forces that are better left alone. The story drags around without ever taking off , leading to a predictable ending.

“Thin and alone” has a promising start, portraying very effectively “a thirty-three year old virgin” and her repressed desires ,but somehow the narration loses its way as long as the story proceeds , in the attempt to combine a mild eroticism with a bit of horror.

But, fortunately, the best has yet to come , only to prove beyond doubt Cain's talent . The title story “Tear drops” is a stunning piece of prose where every teardrop falling from the single eye of a weeping, lonely god is a world, a universe of its own, filled with stupid, insensitive inhabitants. Again, like in the poem “Time” a genuine, touching account of what being human really means.

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