Friday, May 3, 2024

REVIEW: Welcome to Your Body: Lessons in Evisceration by Ryan Marie Ketterer


Each limb tells a story. Every organ shares a secret.

A woman saves the leg of her dead child. A man leaps from soul to soul, trying to find a pure heart. Uteri wander, skin peels back, and human bodies liquify all over this world.

Slice into the anatomy of this collection to discover all the unseen horrors the human body can deliver.

Brand new stories from Alex Wolfgang, Ai Jiang, Mary Rajotte, Julie Sevens, Christopher O'Halloran, Sasha Brown, Bridget D. Brave, Taylor Ketterer, Demi-Louise Blackburn, Lindsey Ragsdale, Emma E. Murray, Johnathon Heart, P.L. McMillan, Rachel Searcey, Bryan Young, Kai Delmas, and David Worn, with a foreword from Paula D. Ashe.

Format 234 pages, Kindle Edition
Expected publication May 28, 2024 by Salt Heart Press

About the Author

Ryan Marie Ketterer is from Malden, Massachusetts. Her work can be found in anthologies from Dark Peninsula Press and Dark Pine Publishing. She’s a fan of the weird and uncanny, and her writing draws most of its influence from the works of Shirley Jackson and Thomas Ligotti. When she isn't writing stories, Ryan is writing code for a software startup in Boston, MA or training for another road race. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @RyanMarie47. 

My Thoughts

Welcome to Your Body is a collection of short stories in the "body horror" genre. I did not know that this was a thing! "Body horror" is horror that involves the human body. Anything horrifying, cringe-worthy, or downright disgusting that you can think of that revolves around the human body would be "body horror".

I was reticent going into this and not sure what to expect. I knew I'd read body horror before but didn't realize that it had a special classification and was a "thing". I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

What I found was a girl battling the tooth fairy for her teeth.
How much money did the Tooth Fairy have? Where did it get it? What would it do once I'd surrendered all of my teeth? I imagined going even deeper. Taking my fingers, bone by bone. Maybe it would never be done collecting me.
A mother who keeps the leg of her dead child. A woman who finds her own body decaying. 
A sense of peace overwhelmed Rachel. The idea of dying became petty, a fear born entirely of ego. This was the way of things. Whatever she lay on would be gone soon, but there would remain something else, the writhing mass of insects that would eventually be eaten away by another, then another, then another, transforming it into itself again and again until the endless, hollow march of decay wore it away to nothing.
A man who becomes an Ouroboros. I especially loved this reference since my first tattoo was of an ouroboros, and it's rare that you hear it referenced. If you don't know what an ouroboros is, it is a snake or dragon eating its own tail forming either a circle or a figure 8.

But by far my favorite was Vincent is a Poseur Asshole. Equal amounts irreverent and revolting, this was a great finale for this collection of stories. 

My final word: This is a short story collection, so there are varying writing styles, and there are going to be some stories that you like more than others. It wound up being even better than I'd anticipated. Many of the stories had a real "literary" feel-- well-written, probing, surprisingly developed for some quite brief stories. Overall, I enjoyed this collection and found it adequately creepy and at times thought provoking.

Pre-order Now from the Publisher:

Contains graphic death and decay, sexual references, violence.

My Rating:

The Cerebral Girl is a middle-aged blogger just digging her way out from under a mountain of books in the deep south of Florida.

I received a copy of this book to review through Book Sirens. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release.  

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