I just found this recent review of HUNTING MONSTERS IS MY BUSINESS on Goodreads. It was written by a reader from India. It’s quite a thrill to know that my book reached a reader so far away and that it struck a chord in him strong enough to sit down and pen a really thoughtful review.
He grasped a significant fact. The Slate stories aren’t about the horror, violence and blood they contain, but rather they’re about the impact these things have on the characters. I appreciate the reviewer’s comparison with the work of Joe Lansdale. But my intent has always been to follow Stirling Silliphant’s example and try to write about the characters’ humanity–either their universal humanity or their own special individual humanity. It’s really the only thing worth writing about in my opinion.
Anyway, here’s the review on Goodreads, written by Mr. Riju Ganguly. Thanks Mr. Ganguly.
Weird Western is a sub-genre that has straddled across two mainstream genres since
its inception: ‘horror’ and ‘western’. There have been several practitioners, among whom the big daddy would be Joe. R. Lansdale who, with his own take on “Jonah Hex” as well as his unique creation Reverend Jebediah Mercer, practically created the tracks for smooth running of this particular railroad. Lansdale’s works glisten & glow with his unique wit, raucous humour, jaw-dropping action, and horror that originate from supernatural as well as very human atrocities.
The book under discussion is a modest walk along those tracks.
Mordecai Slate is a proper demon-hunter, who can be hired to take care of such business that nobody talks about, forget about anybody dealing with them.
Above all, he is a human being, with strengths & limitations befitting a fit & determined person who knows that, no matter what happens, he must go on.
In that process, he has several adventures, most of which are tragic, but strangely redemptive with their human tone. This book contains almost all of them, except the major saga that has got its own life as a stand-alone novel named “Vampire Siege at Rio Muerto”, to be found elsewhere.
Followed by an authorial introduction, these stories are:
1. The Last Payday of the Killibrew Mine
2. Samurai Blade
3. Little China
4. Rancho Diablo
5. The Shape of a Cage
6. Undead Empire, Gog!
7. The Man Who Had No Soul
8. On the Camino Real (this one is NOT a story, but a vignette that would keep on echoing through the next novella)
9. Hunting Monsters Is My Business
These stories are special because of their gentle and pathos-filled tone, irrespective of all the blood & gore that get spilled in course of action.
So, if you are in the mood for reading some gentle weird western, this book would be good for you.
If you simply want to read a few stories about a character who rides across the fictional landscape of the great American West, then also this book might cater to your needs.