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Midnight Tableau

Midnight Tableau by Michael McCrann
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Whether it's a young man trapped beneath the sea in the belly of an iron behemoth or an old women trapped within the confines of an abusive marriage, Michael McCrann paints dramatic portraits of people in unpleasant situations.  Sometimes they're good people, sometimes they're not-so-good, but always the characters that inhabit these dark worlds are fleshed-out in remarkably vivid dimensions. The twelve tales of dark fiction contained in Midnight Tableau are sophisticated, character-driven, and crafted for a discerning adult readership.  The stories include; Lured, La Araña Afortunada, Forever Isabella, What Needs Doing Will Get Done, Awake, Down the Cellar, The Rubbish Man, The Pledge, The Wail of the Banshee, The Lizard's Tale, Close Your Eyes, Sweet Angel and the novella, Coven of the Unwanted.  Each of the settings — from the exotic to the commonplace — are more than mere backdrops.  They are carefully fashioned to lure the reader into the fictional nightmare.  The plots are filled with thrills and twists.  The malevolent forces within range from creepy-crawlies and viscous garden gnomes to more esoteric antagonists like an evil little secret from the past.  But, ultimately, it will be the people — the predators as well as the prey — that remain to skulk in the mind for some time to come.Midnight Tableau is a tightly crafted collection of twelve tales of dark fiction that is something noteworthy within the genre.  The stories are thematic portraits of the human essence, a shadowy montage of our dark, individual souls.   Michael McCrann purposely avoids the label 'horror' when defining his work because, unfortunately, the term is associated with writing that is juvenile in content and style.  There are no vampires, werewolves or gratuitous gore in the stories.  These select tales are sophisticated pieces that aim to be more creepy than scary, more chilling than shocking.  The collection contains developed characters, original plots, dark humor, and lively, active prose.  The author's writing has been influenced by the great works of Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Ed Gorman, Christopher Fowler, Ramsey Campbell, Shirley Jackson from within the genre and others, such as John Irving, Wally Lamb, and Tom Robbins from the mainstream.  Midnight Tableau has realistic, fleshed-out characters placed in precarious situations and explores themes including: isolation, social displacement, interpersonal control, fortune and misfortune as birthrights, and more. Taken as a whole, the collection depicts the dark facet, the black core within the heart of the human animal. But more importantly, Midnight Tableau is entertaining.  It will appeal to a broad-based readership. The collection was particularly written for all the discerning adults who don't much care for the current conventions within the horror genre…  And for those who don't become unsettled easily.
Double Dragon Publishing; March 2004
321 pages; ISBN 9781554041053
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Title: Midnight Tableau
Author: Michael McCrann
 
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ISBNs
1554041058
9781554041053