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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
I read Gristle and Bone: A Short Story Collection written by Duncan Ralston shortly after Halloween, a fitting time for such a read. This anthology begins with Baby Teeth, the tale of a woman unable to have a child...or is she? Just how far would a barren woman go to carry a child in her own womb? The tales continue with Fat of The Land--have you ever wondered about some of the tasty meals you are served? I suggest you don’t let curiosity get the better of you. Another tale is about a man bullied as a child, aptly named Beware of Dog.
Do not read Gristle and Bone on a dark night when you are alone at home. The stories are clever like the Twilight Zone, but are often quite frightening. I have only mentioned three of the stories but they are all very well done. Fat of The Land was definitely my favorite. The author does a good job giving the characters real depth and creating the world around them, especially given that these are short stories.
Duncan Ralston is a talented writer capable of bringing out the darkness of humanity. His tales slowly build up to the crescendo that will leave the reader more than a bit fearful. The short stories begin inconspicuously, just ordinary days that are soon filled with unimaginable horror. Each story drew me in and made me shiver as I read on through the night. Duncan Ralston is a name to remember.