Seven Feet Under by Matthew Weber
Horror author, Matthew Weber offers seven stories steeped in the urban legends and ancient superstitions of the Deep South. Each story is unique in its own right, with a weaving of tales who’s connection is of hot summer nights and southern culture at its scariest. Characters are multi-layered and many do not live happily ever after; if they live at all.
Weber has clearly done his research, creating a world where the reader is immersed in the supernatural and the macabre. We are schooled in the hard lesson of dabbling carelessly in Voodoo. Then, we experience the tribulations of teenage angst when combined with a quasi-creative writing-telekinesis. In one of my favorite stories, we as readers are on the run from whatever mutant lurks down at the old fishing hole. His descriptions of southern life and backwater people captivated me as a reader and drew me into the minds of his tortured characters.
If I had one thing to improve upon in Seven Feet Under, I would say it was perspective. Readers who are contemplating reading this short story collection all in one sitting should take note. Some of Weber’s stories are written in first person and some in third person. Changing of one’s internal narrator may be required when ending one story and immediately beginning the next. That weak point for me may be a strong point for others. Each story could be read on a lunch hour or two and even better yet, on a flight to the Big Easy.
Seven Feet Under is listed as general horror, but all of its stories are void of extreme scenes, as well as blatant sexual content. So often, I am asked to recommend horror novels to young adults and those copies are few and far between. Alas, Seven Feet Under is one I can recommend safely while simultaneously singing its praises for scare factor and vivid, concise writing for all readers teenage age and up.
Many authors test their chops by way of short story. Fan bases and readership are made from horror anthologies. It is my sincere hope that Matthew Weber gleans an audience for his back country, home-spun horror tales. If we are lucky, perhaps he will delight his readers with a much longer, full length singular tale that will let us get to know the types of characters that I love; simultaneously flawed and heroic, a mixture of good and evil.
As the days get longer and the nights grow colder, new books call to those who love to read. Whether you take Seven Feet Under with you as you crawl under a pile of blankets or you beat the cold by traveling south, this book is a worthy page turner.