Teeth Marks by Matthew Weber is a voracious anthology by a very talented author. The stories, billed as “12 Twisted Tales from America’s Deep South”, are interesting, excellently written and extremely dark. The first one, Suburban Facebreaker, reminded me of Desperate Housewives gone wrong. It was so much fun to read. Weber’s way with words is unparalleled. He manages to create a piece of prose that not only captivates, but also enthralls. His descriptions are powerful, his similes are magnificent, and his writing is world-class. Teeth Marks is an unsettling work of dark fiction. The stories contained within are tainted by Weber’s macabre imagination. This is what differentiates horror fiction from brilliant horror fiction. If an author can work with his characterization, his climax and denouement, and also pull off the grammar aspect, then it most probably means that said author is remarkable at what he does.
I loved, loved, loved Teeth Marks.
Admittedly, there were some less important technical mistakes. One of the most glaring ones was Weber’s use of uppercase in dialogue segments. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: NEVER USE CAPITAL LETTERS TO EXPRESS EMPHASIS! There are billions of adjectives, adverbs and other fun language tools to use. Don’t go the cheap route – Teeth Marks is an important literary anthology. In fact, I’d rate Teeth Marks as one of the best anthologies I’ve read this year and I read a lot (765 books since January the 1st and counting).
The twisted tales lead into each other. It’s like watching a Weight Watchers conference moments before the All-You-Can-Eat prawn buffet is opened. Each story queues up and waits for the dust to settle before you’re transported again. I stopped after every installment, took a smoke break and went back for more. This is a sign of greatness. This is a sign of impeccable writing. The fact that Weber was able to captivate me so much speaks volumes!
Should Teeth Marks be listed among the greats of the year? One can only look at Black Friday by Michael Hodges to know what type of talent is out there. I can unequivocally say that yes, Teeth Marks belongs on the top ten list of best horror literature of 2017. It’s a ghastly fun ride. And one you shouldn’t take alone. It needs to be discussed with friends. If I were a book club starter, I sure as hell would have brought this book to the manicured table, but alas, I’m not in a book club (Tupperware scares me). But if I were…
I don’t usually dole out compliments. I am a tough critic and can easily find fault in a work of literature. Unfortunately, due to the use of uppercase in Teeth Marks’ dialogue, I cannot give the book a full five stars. It’s a technical error which needs to be corrected in order to make this a five-star review.
However, with that being said, I must recommend Teeth Marks to any horror fan out there. You need to have this book on your shelf.
RATING: 4.5 / 5