Hunger Pangs - by Scott J Moses
I first came across Scott’s work in his Anthology “What one wouldn’t do”, a collection of wonderful stories by some of Horror’s brightest and finest. His own piece “The witch of Flora Pass” set a tone that resonated, but left me bereft – and proved to be typical in tone to the pieces contained within Hunger Pangs. Though the stories contained within the book all have their own cadence, rhythm, mood, and voice, there is one word that summarizes the entire experience, and that word is “Bleak”.
Moses’ horror strips away hope. It drops the reader to the bottom of the horror emotional whirlpool. It is exquisite in its journey, my notes contained several instances of
“Literal quality to the writing – sublime, yet bleak.”
– you can’t help but admire the mind behind the stories yet at the same time, worry for the man from which they came. It is a journey through a darker side of Horror – one in which the monsters and vampires and killers contained within the pages, hold no peace. There is not one piece in this collection from which I did not despair to an extent – either for the situations the protagonists found themselves in, or the state of mind in which the author must have been in to conceive of them. It is like watching a friend on the edge of despair. Moses clarifies in notes where he was when he wrote the stories, often in pain, often on the edge of life-changing events. This novel then seems to be literal cries in the dark, places, and people that could be found nowhere else but teetering on the precipice.
As I said, Bleak.
But the beauty of Scott’s prose provides light in the darkness. Pretty much in the same way as Greek tragedies, the outcomes to the stories are almost always foreseeable, unavoidable, yet that narrator’s voice, the lyricism, and self-deprecating honesty of Scott’s prose bleed off the page.
It leaves you just wanting to hug the man.
Hunger Pangs is not an easy book to read. It demands time, calm, reflection, it needs to settle on your soul. It doesn’t offer humor or morality, it simply offers honesty, and courage, and raw pain. It’s the kind of book that is going to move you. Make you aware of the tragedy in other people’s lives. Make you aware that you never know what is going on in another person’s life, but despite whatever problem you are experiencing, there are people in the world out there suffering more, and sometimes we need to see that. Take a good honest look at them, and reevaluate our lives accordingly.
A hard-fought 4 ⭐’s from me, my deepest respect to the Author, and my need to tell Scott that no matter what pain he is going through, no matter how low he might feel in his life, his work, his family, that he is worth every moment It took to read this collection of heart-breaking, emotion-bleeding horror. I have no idea what this collection cost you, Scott, but you have our thanks.
Shout out to the wonderful (as ever) cover by Daniele Sera , who captured the tone of this book.
You can buy Hunger Pangs (American Amazon), HERE.
You can visit Scott's Website, HERE
You can find Scott on Instagram, HERE
You can find Scott on Twitter, HERE