As I sat down with a copy of PERIPHERAL VISIONS, I thought to myself, “Who is Paul Kane, and more importantly, is he going to tell me a good story?” Now that I’m done with the collection, the more apropos question is, “How big is the rock I’ve been living under to have missed out on such a wonderful talent?!?”
What sets this collection apart from all the others is its undeniable creativity and originality. You won’t find tired retreads of common genre themes; hell, you won’t even be able to pigeonhole Kane into any one genre. PERIPHERAL VISIONS runs the gamut from horror to suspense to dark fantasy, and the author nails each and every one of them.
Take, for instance, “Yin and Yang”. Never before have I read a more eloquent story about the dichotomy of the forces of nature. It was not only my favorite story of the collection, but is one of the best short stories I’ve ever read. “Suit of Lies”, about a man who is a compulsive liar, showcases Kane’s use of visualization as he describes the physical effects the protagonist’s lies have on him. “1, 2, 3…1, 2, 3” is a challenging read, but Kane’s talent shines yet again as he digs into the pain and compulsion of a troubled woman as she recounts her past.
But wait…there’s more! Kane also gives readers a liberal dose of thrills and chills. “Homeland”, another of my favorites, tells the story of a group of people who must clean out a house after its owner passes away…and the secrets they find within. “Guilty Pleasures” offers a look at why people succumb to their indulgences, whereas “Nightmare on 34th Street” is an in-your-face shoot-‘em-up that will likely make you a little more wary during the Christmas season.
And I can’t finish this review without praising Kane on his ability to write top-notch short-shorts. I don’t recall another author being able to pack so much story in so few words. Three pieces -- “The Opportunity”, “R.S.V.P”, and “The Protégé” – only cover six total pages of the book, yet they pack a wallop seldom seen by stories of this length.
Paul Kane has a helluva toolbox at his disposal – characterization, visualization, creativity, success with multiple themes and genres, the ability to tell a good story at any length. Simply put, the man is wildly talented. I give PERIPHERAL VISIONS a 9 out of 10 and highly recommend grabbing a copy.
PERIPHERAL VISIONS was released as a trade paperback from Creative Guy Publishing for the low price of $15.95.