I read Dark Celebrations during the Halloween spooky season, but Calvin Demmer’s flash fiction collection is appropriate for horror fans to celebrate all year long. He takes typical holidays and events and turns them into extraordinary—and gory—celebrations.

Honestly, no one does flash fiction horror like Demmer. His imagination is darker than an attic room with a burned-out light bulb on a moonless night. Whether exploring a tradition to honor dead ancestors or working the Spring Break beach in some sunshine noir, Demmer’s prose is spare and consistently haunting.

Demmer creates creatures that only appear once a year and family members who return for vivid revenge. And every story is a freight train from start to finish, without a single wasted word.

My conclusions

If someone granted this blogger and reviewer wishes, I’d ask for commercial success for this author. Dark Celebrations is the third collection I’ve read from Demmer, and it won’t be the last. He is an excellent author in his genre and deserves widespread recognition.

Pair with either of his previous collections, The Town Who Feared Dusk or The Sea Was a Fair Master, which are both equally well-done and chilling.


Thanks to the author for a digital advanced reader’s copy in exchange for this honest (extremely belated) review.