Tuesday, 30 January 2018

'Inside Out'

Ruschelle Dillon's story - the last in WHA 2 - is a grotesque horror-comedy about our shallow, narcissistic, commodified culture. Shea is desperate to lost 15 pounds to win an obscure beauty pageant, and she has to do it fast. She is referred to a Chinese restaurant, whose owner has a remarkable weight loss gimmick. Needless to say, Shea's fixation on weight loss does not bode well for her future.

While it's a bit baggy round the edge 'Inside Out' is an enjoyable story, poking fun at the world's obsession with looks at the expense of character, empathy, and indeed basic common sense. The horror element is neatly done, and the conclusion satisfyingly unpleasant. It also makes me wonder - not for the first time - about what goes on in restaurant kitchens.

And that's all from this enjoyable anthology. While a bit patchy, WHA 2 is pretty good. As well as a number of very good stories it contains an entertaining essay by Horrorella (really) on the changing status of women in the genre.

So, that's the end of a running review that has introduced me to quite a few interesting authors. More of my opinions coming soon. In the meantime, check out WHA 2 at the link above.

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