Monday, October 22, 2012
Reader's Diary #883- Graham Masterton: Eric the Pie
I was reminded of this when I began Graham Masterton's "Eric the Pie." It begins by describing how a boy named Eric began to fret over his diet after hearing the expression, "you are what you eat." After getting a scab on his knee, Eric is convinced it's the beginning of a pie crust.
At Graham Masterton's website, the link to this story adds the blurb, "the story that was responsible for the demise of horror magazine, Frighteners." Mistakenly— very mistakenly— I had theorized that the reason the story brought down a magazine was because it "jumped the shark" so to speak. I thought that a boy turning into a pie would be too cutesy for horror fans and that they cancelled their subscriptions accordingly. Oh how I wish that was the story.
"Eric the Pie" isn't about that at all. I remember reading about people with dissociative disorders having trouble with taking idioms literally. Of course, many young children have trouble with such phrases, but most grow out of them. Eric does not. He's psychopathic. And by the time you figure that out, you might just want to stop reading. "Eric the Pie" is one of the most disturbing, horrific stories I've ever read. It's well written, mind you, but really over the top in its gore and perverse content. Think Jeffrey Dahmer type stuff. I normally don't offend or shock easily, but perhaps it was the cute hockey memory and my expectations that got my defenses down. It'll be a hard story to block out and I can't in good conscience recommend it.
Apparently Frighteners ended after just four issues. The very first issue featured Masterton's story and the accompanying art work by Oliver Frey that graced the cover so offended consumers that it had to be pulled from the shelf. Maybe had I known this ahead of time, I could have avoided the story. Or at least I would have had a better idea of what to expect.
Incidentally, I've seen the cover image and it's nothing compared to the story itself.
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