Of Rats and Men

Of Rats and Men
by Luna Adler

On the eve of Thanksgiving, you open your front door to find a dead rat sprawled in the middle of the sidewalk. The animal resembles a half-smashed piñata, shapely but definitely battered, with blood leaking from its body. Sure, you believe yourself to be handy—you know the difference between a Phillips head screwdriver and a slot head and, to the chagrin of everyone who loves you, have never been afraid to mess with a few electrical wires. But you have major issues with vermin and in the past your boyfriend would have dealt with it. Now, three months after your break-up, there are less than 24 hours before your mother arrives for Thanksgiving dinner and a giant rat lays dead by your doorstep.

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Bodies Haunted by Stories, Bodies Remade: A Review of John Langan’s “Sefira and Other Betrayals”


John Langan’s fiction brings together two seemingly disparate strengths: his way of structuring narratives is often revelatory, and his stories and novels themselves are frequently unnerving. Langan writes horror fiction, but his isn’t so much about jump-scares as it is about being in the presence of the inexplicable. There are uncanny hauntings and bizarre fatalities in it, to be sure, but Langan’s horror takes a very different form from many writers in the genre, past or present.

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