“Fracassi sets the hook into a reader’s imagination, and as he reels the reader in through creeping dread and all-too possible darkness, you’ll soon understand that there is no escape.”
In his latest novella, Sacculina, rising author Philip Fracassi lures readers out into the middle of the ocean and does what he does best–scares the hell out of them.
Jim is roped into a family fishing trip when his older brother, Jack, gets out of prison. They’re both aware that their father, Henry, has been drowning in loneliness since his wife (their mother) died, and Jim is hoping that the fishing trip might be just what Henry needs to come back to them–even though none of them have fished much before. With Chris–Jack’s childhood friend and partner-in-crime–and a world-weary boat captain thrumming with violence, the men embark on a day trip out into the Pacific, hoping for the best. But this is a Fracassi story, it doesn’t take that keen a reader to feel the tension rising, and to know there will be a reckoning. From the first catch, the story builds like a storm and the waves rise and crash and … well, we can’t go into spoilers, now can we?
There is a purpose to Fracassi’s prose. He sets the hook into a reader’s imagination, and as he reels the reader in through creeping dread and all-too possible darkness, they’ll soon understand that there is no escape. The rushing horror is exactly where Fracassi wants them to go. His prose is strong and confident, without any extraneous subplots or false conflict. There are opportunities that arise where he could pad the story, but Fracassi resists. He knows what he’s doing.
Fracassi stories aren’t for those desperate for instant gratification–and even though it’s a quick read, he values a slow burn, compelling a reader through character growth rather than the cheap thrills of a jump-scare. He’s from the film industry, and understands the audience has certain needs, but Sacculina is more of an A24 arthouse horror film than a schlocky B-movie hoping for a quick buck. The potential is there–Fracassi knows the tropes–but he’s reserved with his execution, building a story that has more emotional resonance and a more satisfying ending.
Philip Fracassi is one of those names that will keep popping up to any fans of modern horror. Not only is he relentless with his output, but every published work seems to be getting better and better. Following fast on the heels of Fragile Dreams and his first collection, Behold the Void, Sacculina, is not only a damned fine yarn but a perfect gateway drug into Philip Fracassi’s fiction–and we promise you that when you’ve had a taste you’ll be begging for more.
Release Date: 12 May 2017
If you enjoyed our review and want to read Sacculina by Philip Fracassi please consider clicking through to our Amazon Affiliate links. If you do you’ll help keep the This Is Horror ship afloat with some very welcome remuneration.
Support This Is Horror Podcast on Patreon
- For $1 you get early bird access to all our podcasts and can submit questions to guests.
- For $3 you get access to our patrons-only podcast Story Unboxed: The Horror Podcast on the Craft of Writing.
- For $4 you get the full interview, no two-parters.
The best way to support This Is Horror is via Patreon. How much will you pledge? Go on. Be awesome.
This Is Horror Books
This Is Horror Books on Kindle Unlimited and Amazon
- They Don’t Come Home Anymore by T.E. Grau
- A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman
- The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud
- The Elvis Room by Stephen Graham Jones
- Water For Drowning by Ray Cluley
- Chalk by Pat Cadigan
- Roadkill by Joseph D’Lacey