Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Review | No Mercy by Alessandro Manzetti

No Mercy is a collection of horror poetry from Alessandro Manzetti.

From the Bram Stoker Award-winning poet that brought you Eden Underground...

The Lady in Black shows no mercy to anyone; she has cold skin, a job to do, and many lovers on Earth: Despair, Loneliness, Madness, and their soldiers and killers of daily life, armed with blades, hammers, teeth, and illusions. There are strange and bloody stories that tell all about it, if you want to hear them…

Are you sure? Well, you’ve found the right place, but consider that in turning these pages you’ll be thrown forward through time, until you reach the Apocalypse—the last stop.

So, like the Lady in Black, show yourself no mercy—sit down and read these stories, listening to Janis Joplin with a bottle of Southern Comfort cradled in your arm.

Don’t worry, you’ll find both of them inside this book, along with so many other dark pleasures.

No Mercy is dedicated to the late, great Janis Joplin. Some of these poems placed me right into Port Arthur, Texas and "the smell of river and summer". I had to look up where Alessandro Manzetti is from to find out if he is simply that big of a Janis Joplin fan or if he is actually from my part of the world. It turns out he lives in Italy.

I cannot claim to be an authority on poetry. I love reading it when I come across it, but I've never really made an effort to seek out modern poetry. I used to subscribe to a lot of fiction magazines (mostly horror) and that's where I've been exposed to most of the modern poetry that I have read save for a few anthologies that have included them. My personal feeling toward poetry is that it should evoke some sort of emotion from the reader. Perhaps I only feel that way because all of my favorite poems have done that, and as I stated, I'm not any kind of an authority on what poetry should or should not do.

For me, No Mercy was very successful in evoking emotion. For that, I think it is a wonderful collection. Unfortunately, the emotions it evoked for me were not pleasant. I feel like No Mercy did it's job, but I wasn't the perfect audience.

No Mercy is a perfect title, I suppose; it's a very bleak collection.

I have no doubt there is an audience that will connect with all of the poems in No Mercy, and it will be a solid collection for those readers. If you look at the ugliness of horror and see beauty, you might be the right fit. I look at horror as something to overcome. I see horror as a balance to the light. It's more of a source of entertainment for me than something I try to internalize. I don't want to dissuade anyone from reading this collection, though, because your mileage certainly could vary.

6/10: Good Read

Review copy provided by publisher


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  1. I don't read a lot of poetry but I can definitely see the appeal of it with a horror-related theme. Also, that cover is AWESOME! I'm glad you liked this one and it's cool when you can find some connection with the author.

    1. Yep, yep, it's hard to resist that cover and the genre.

  2. Me and poetry don't get along but horror poetry??? That could be interesting.

    1. I know. I'm wanting to see what other collections of horror poems I can find.

  3. I love that cover. Probably not for me but it sounds interesting.

    Love that blurb- Janis Joplin and Southern Comfort lol.

    1. It definitely won't be for everyone. I'm very glad to have read it, though. It has peaked my interest in horror poetry. Janis Joplin and Southern Comfort, well, I've always had an interest in those. :)

  4. Woah, that cover is pretty awesome, especially for the content. I'm not hugely into poetry, especially not bleak stuff, but your review has intrigued me and the line about Joplin and Southern Comfort doesn't hurt either! ;)


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