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"Hearing Aid" / Rick Hautala

thpostscripts_10.jpgfrom Postscripts #10 / Spring 2007
Reviewed by: JG Faherty

Some people might pick up the latest issue of Postscripts (Number 10, Spring 2007, edited by Peter Crowther), because of stories by Stephen King, Joe Hill, or Tim Lebbon. Or maybe because of the whole section devoted to Michael Marshall Smith. But every anthology has its hidden gems, and one of the best in this anthology is “Hearing Aid,” by Rick Hautala.

One of the things I’ve always found refreshing about Hautala is his no-nonsense approach to horror. Hautala’s stories are back-to-the-basics, straightforward dark fiction, sometimes dealing with monsters and boogems pulled from the depths of Maine’s deep well of supernatural myths, and other times providing a quiet but chilling look at the world.

Hautala admits that one of his main influences is Rod Serling, and the Twilight Zone/Outer Limits style is certainly evident in this story of a man who gets fitted for a hearing aid and ends up with something much more than he bargained for.

If you’ve read any of Hautala’s previous works, you know things are not going to end well for the protagonist. The story is short, with no wasted words. We know everything we need to about the main character in a few brief sentences, and his problem is thrust upon him, and us, immediately.

I’m a sucker for traditional horror, and “Hearing Aid” is the kind of story I grew up reading, and still enjoy. It’s a modern campfire story. It creeps you out, makes you feel sorry for the main character, and might even make you think, ‘Wow, what if...” long after you’ve read it.

In short, it’s a damn good story with no verbal doilies or pseudo-literary pretense.

But then, what else would you expect from a storyteller from Maine?

Purchase Postscripts #10 featuring Rick Hautala's short story "Hearing Aid"

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2007 at 03:26PM by Registered CommenterDark Scribe Magazine in | Comments Off

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