Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Stepan Chapman's 'The Stiff and the Stile'


This is an incredibly quick-paced short, with a lovely tumbling rhythm reminiscent of children’s cautionary tales and rhymes. But don’t think it isn’t a little gory. What ‘The Stiff and the Stile’ (1997) offers is an absurd tale of an old woman buying a corpse for dinner. It is filled with not just horrific imagery, but will bring a smile to your lips when you read it as you follow the patterning of the tale. However, there is no tension to the horror or the unexpected as traditional horror might be able to bring.
It’s incredibly short, funny and intelligent and I recommend it to anyone (though children may have nightmares).
4/5
Check out ‘The Weird’ edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer for this story and others in the same field of weird and terrifying.  

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