This Way to Egress is the second short story collection of Lawrence C. Connolly’s that I’ve read. And, much like the first, I was not disappointed. 1 It’s a limited edition – I really have no idea how many Ash-Tree Press has remaining (if any at all).
I’ve had a growing feeling about Lawrence’s work for a while now. He often gets labeled as a “horror” writer, but I don’t think that’s quite right. He doesn’t write “horror” stories like Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, or even Stephen King. They’re strange stories – stories that are disturbing in a pleasurable way.
It’s no surprise that some of the stories in this collection first appeared in The Twilight Zone magazine. Connolly is a master of the twisted reality, where things seem just a little bit… off. The title story – “This Way To Egress” – encapsulates this sense of warped reality perfectly. Nothing much happens, but there’s a sense of unease, of dread, of… something just a little bit off-center that you cannot possibly put back.
If you have a chance to get one of the limited editions (or the 100 paperback copies from World Horror), do so. Failing that, check out Visions, another collection of Lawrence’s that came out last year.
1 Full disclosure: I know Lawrence, and have done readings with him. He has an excellent voice, and does wonderful readings. Definitely something to see.