Published by Cemetery Dance Publications on October 2, 2017
Genres: Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Lovecraftian, Noir, Psychological Horror, Supernatural
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I'll Bring You the Birds From Out of the Sky is a tale of art and obsession, of a dying heritage and cosmic horror, brought to rustic life with full-color paintings by artist Kim Parkhurst.
I’LL BRING YOU THE BIRDS FROM OUT OF THE SKY, by Brian Hodge, is a story that captured my undivided attention immediately. I’ve been impressed by this author before, but each book of his stands out as so “original”, that I’d have a difficult time in saying which was my personal favorite. I believe that it’s his writing style combined with his incredible imagination, which makes his books so consistently good.
This particular tale showcased some incredible characterization to start, and only got better from there. When Nora Conklin–a young college student from a very remote, rural community–first walks into Timothy Randolph’s “folk store”, we get an instant, distinct impression of both characters through the observation of their meeting. Nora has brought a sample from the painting collection left to her by her great-grandfather–a man as enigmatic and mystifying as the fevered art he created.
“. . . He never should’ve gone over the mountain.”
In addition to the intricately drawn characters, Hodge weaves a tale of observation, superstition, emotions, obsession, and Lovecraftian elements into this intense story. The paintings of the long deceased Cecil Conklin stand out in a most unusual way. They had the power to instantly captivate–some viewers felt with madness, others still, with a type of genius creativity–trying to impart its secrets through the fevered paint strokes.
“Art of great power was like that. It hung on, waiting. It wanted to be discovered.”
Besides the paintings, Hodge shows us the dying town where Nora comes from. In turn, it is both something that was once beautiful and still longs to be, and yet now nearly dead–the town dying out after the closing of its coal mining industry.
“Was--there’s times I hate that word.”
The real pull for me in this story were the characters, and their individual reactions to the “thoughts” inspired Cecil’s art. It was the implied meanings behind his work and early death, rather than something blatantly stated to the readers that really tell this story. Hodge seems to go out of his way in avoiding a direct label for the paintings, as well as anything concrete that family and neighbors would attribute to Cecil’s obsession. This was something each reader needs to get their own mental interpretation of.
“. . . nobody should see the world that way at any age . . . “
I found this an almost poetic writing style, drawing visions and inferences from each minute detail seen through the characters’ eyes. This is the kind of book I can see myself re-reading, and gleaming more perspective from each successive time.
“Who you are, you take it with you wherever you go . . .”