The Web of La Sanguinaire & Other Arachnid Horrors by Ronald Kelly
I recently had the privilege to read and review a short story collection from Ronald Kelly called The Web of La Sanguinaire & Other Arachnid Horrors. Every single story in here involves spiders in some way, but they are all unique. There are the type of stories in here to make you squirm and shiver, but there are also stories that will leave you feeling rather emotional. I will highlight my favorite stories from the collection below.
The Web of La Sanguinaire
This is a story about a wealthy and rude man, who has hired a local southerner to deliver him to the mysterious giant spiders that live deep in the bayous of Louisiana for his own research purposes. This voyage may end in ways the rich man had not imagined. This was a strong opening story! I love reading stories that involve the swamps and bayous of the south, so I knew right off the bat that this would be a favorite for me. Kelly has a way of writing that places you right in the story along with the characters, although in this case I was ready to start rowing away immediately!
This is a story that is also featured in The Sick Stuff, another collection of vile and rather extreme horror from Ronald Kelly. A man inherits a house left to him by an aunt who has died. Aft er a night of unpacking and relishing this good fortune, with a bit of mockery of the old woman, the man decides to throw a classic rocker party. When the party winds down, and it’s time for sleep, you know who comes out of the woodwork to invade the man’s life. This is among the more unsettling of the stories in the collection for the sheer invasion of creepy crawlies, and the places they decide to call home.
The Creeping Sands
Even at the beach, you aren’t safe from spiders! A family spends their vacation camping out on the shores of a beach in Australia. When a mother with arachnophobia hears the neighboring campers talking about a legend of buried treasure, and the eight legged consequences that came with it’s resurfacing, alarm bells go off. When her daughter comes from the water holding a mysterious coin, panic sets in. I really liked this one simply because one place I thought I was safe from spiders was the beach, but thanks to Ronald Kelly, now I can be paranoid when I am trying to get my tan on. Good horror stays with you, and I know this one will linger for a while.
Hugs and Kisses
A lonely teen girl chatting online finds love with another lonesome but lovely soul. But this boy isn’t quite who she thinks he is. Remember when MJ kissed an upside-down Spider-Man in the rain? This isn’t that. But somehow I was still rooting for this couple.
Come See Spider Cave!
You know those roadside attractions that advertise oddities, and sometimes you contemplate stopping to see what’s really going on at those places? DO NOT! A family of four decides to stop at a cavern that advertises THE WORLD’S LARGEST UNDERGROUND ARACHNID SANCTUARY, they decide to stop, against their better judgement. Who knew that giant, free-roaming spiders could be an issue? Clearly not the Stantons. This was a great ending to Kelly’s signature, southern-fried writing. The things people won’t do to keep a business running.
This was an easy 5 stars from me, just like all of Ronald Kelly’s books. Though not an easy read for someone with a screaming fear of spiders, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Isn’t there a saying that confronting your fears makes you stronger?
You can find the book available to purchase here.
You can view Ronald Kelly’s website here.