Soft and Others--F. Paul Wilson

I had three books to review.  I thought I'd start with the easiest.  For fans of dark fantasy/horror, it's really very simple--get it and read it.  I don't know if it is any longer available in print; however, it is easily available in Kindle format and is bargain-priced at $2.99.

This book is worth that price for three stories along--"Cuts," "Buckets," and "Soft."  Add to that the "prequel" or backstory to The Touch--"Dat Tay Vao" and you have a superb collection.  And those are only the highlights.  "Cuts" is a nasty revenge tale that very nicely shows the position of those who seek revenge.  "Buckets" is a disarming and difficult tale that addresses a modern topic in a way that many readers simply will not care for--but for those of a bent similar to mine, simply puts the truth out there to see.  And of "Soft" Wilson indicates in his preface that it was inspired by the incipient epidemic of AIDS--a disease at the time of the story not well understood.  But its progenitor aside, the story is a powerful  parable of mortality and how one lives one's life.  Finally "Dat Tay Vao" is the story of how the Touch came to arrive in America at long last--another tale of greed and redemption.

I'm not certain Wilson would like the characterization, but he is a hghly moral writer with a moral end to nearly everything he produces.  Mix that with a peculiar political bent and you have an idiosyncratic and satisfying collection of dark fantasy tales.

Recommended ****


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