Publisher: Mortbury Press, 2013
Author: Anna Taborska
Overall Review: 4/5 – Very Good
Reviewed by: Sandra Scholes
The daughter of a Polish poet, Anna Taborska introduces us to her brand of horror stories, eighteen in all and all guaranteed to send a shiver up your spine. Anna’s themes are varied and may appeal to those readers who like stories with a difference, stories that deal with a sadistic baker, wolves, werewolves, Nazis, devils, serial killers, ghosts and other demons you might not already know of. The point of the book is that by reading each story, the reader will be facing their individual fears, phobias and what might be the cause of their nightmares. There are monsters everywhere and Mortbury Press are used to publishing the scary, haunting and truly terrifying; Charles Black’s The Black Book of Horror anthology series is proof enough of their merit.
Anna writes with knowledge of horror, and the kind of horror she writes about is at the forefront of what most of us think about. Real-life is full of drug problems, murderers, psychopaths, and other people who might not be who they seem to be. In “Halloween Lights,” it’s the fear of being alone in the night, in “Fish,” it’s the fear of what happens when thugs invade a person’s home and in “Cut,” it’s using a potential psychopath in a new movie. There are more I can think of but these are some of what I consider to be the most unusual stories. Stories are set in mostly urban areas where anything can happen, but you don’t expect it.
Reggie Oliver introduces and illustrates them with his old etched look for “Fish,” “Little Pigs,” and “The Girl in the Blue Coat.” For those of you who are artistically minded, you will spot the Goya style cover art and title. The cover is haunting enough with its image of a skull in the background; and the creatures that cover it are the ones that cause nightmares. The sleeping woman in the foreground is unaware, yet could be dreaming of any one of them.
For Those Who Dream Monsters is a nightmarish journey into the human psyche. Characters that are thought to be normal at first change within two or three pages, and could leave readers reeling when it comes to the end. All the stories are different, darker and some can have a little humour in them, though some are far-fetched but never boring. Anna times her prose so that readers can experience the true horror of their everyday lives, what they feel and how their stories came about in such a short length of time.