Shoebox Train Wreck
John Mantooth’s stories take place in a depressed contemporary “southern gothic” landscape, one where decaying plantation mansions and neurotic spinsters have been replaced by trailer parks and drunken, abusive boyfriends. In terms of genre, however, they are less easy to locate, being mainly off-kilter tales with a supernatural tinge and an acute, often disturbing feel for the psychology of guilt. Most often the guilt is felt by survivors who continue to haunt the dead in relationships of crippling codependency. A strong first collection from top to bottom, with noteworthy accompanying artwork by Danny Evarts.