When Publishers Weekly describes someone as “…a rising purveyor of high literary strangeness…” a reader can justifiably hope for more than a touch of awesome in a chapbook called Nowhere Hall written by a writer known only as Cate Gardner.
Ron is a faded man, seemingly untouched by life; conversely, he makes no impression on the skin of the world. He’s on the edge of despair and enters a hotel, hoping to find a foothold in a world that appears to be moving along quite happily without him “Perhaps he should staple his soul to his skeleton”. But inside there’s police tape, an umbrella that bites, and ghosts. Lots of ghosts.
Nowhere Hall is yet another of the excellent chapbook series from Spectral Press.
The writing is elegant, well-chosen phrases and words have the same quality as an autumn breeze, landing lightly, changing direction, then lifting off again and dragging the stunned reader’s brain in its wake. Gardner does for men in pinstriped suits with umbrellas what Stephen King did for creepy clowns. She not only gives us a strange and disturbing story, she also produces one with hope in its tail.