Review: ‘Greetings from Moon Hill’ by Anthony J. Rapino

Greetings from Moon Hill by Anthony J. Rapino
Precipice Books (October 2016)
300 pages; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I wanted to love Greetings from Moon Hill and I can’t quite put a finger on what went wrong. Conceptually, it’s a great idea. A small town “tucked into the folds of the Pennsylvania countryside.” A place of “Unseen things that are all around us. Impossible flowers, witches, interdimensional beings, murder cover-ups” and more. These are all things I love, so what went wrong?

Once I finished the book and checked the copyright, I discovered the stories were written over the last decade. This could very well account for the disconnect I felt and the seeming unevenness between some of the stories. Ten years is a long time and I’m sure the writer has honed his skills significantly over that time. Some of the stories felt incomplete yet others were as good as anything I’ve read this year.

I was nearly 20% into the collection before finding a story I found satisfying on all levels. “Camera Obscura” is about a junior high science fair leading to an obsession with one student’s project. That and a bit of a drinking problem lead to some interesting results.

Others winners in the collection included “From Your Body They Rise,” “Morning Espresso at the Church of Me,” and “Loosely Enforced Rules,” the latter about an unorthodox gang of miscreants, with plenty of gore, and it took a stand on how french fries should be prepared (I couldn’t agree more).

“No Touching at All” was very clever and “Struck by Golden Lightning” introduced us to Ewan, a wonderfully complex character who would show up occasionally throughout the collection.

“Just Once More, Little Sister” was a truly demented story and one of my favorites, as was “A Very Large Bird.”

As you can see, there are some gems in Greetings From Moon Hill, just not enough for me to fully recommend.

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