The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Having spent a good deal of the last couple years delving into horror and weird fiction when it comes to my adult choices, a book that kept popping up on a few recommendation lists was this novella, The Visible Filth. I figured I'd like it, but certainly not as much as I ended up loving it.
The story is about a bartender who grabs a cell phone left behind after a fight. He tries to communicate with a friend of the owner, but what he thinks is a prank quickly escalates into something much, much more sinister.
Why this worked for me is, in part, due to a lot of the weird/horror stuff I tend toward, which either takes place in alternate worlds entirely or exists in a world where technology isn't central to the story. This tale instead takes the existing tropes (it's The Ring-esque in some regards) and adds a technological element to it that is both relatable and uncomfortable along the way. The reminders to the popularity of shock sites from early internet days was not lost on me, either, and all combined made for a creepy and awesome read.
Got this one from the Amazon Prime Lending Library, so it's worth a read if you're into this and have a freebie for the month. I assume it's Unlimited, too.
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