I first heard about the works of Thomas Ligotti after picking up the graphic novel of The Nightmare Factory, based upon his short fiction. So utterly unnerved was I by The Nightmare Factory Volume 1, that I made a mental note to try one of Ligotti’s books, without pictures. My Work is Not Yet Done appealed to me, with its creepy cover. Said cover consists of a white background, with a man in a black suit holding a gun by his side, standing above his own reflection at his feet. I hate to give away too much plot detail, because I think that spoils it for you, the reader. So, I will do what I always do with reviews, and supply only a bare bones description. What surprised me about My Work is Not Yet Done, is that it is composed of three stories. Nowhere on the cover or the back flap does it mention that there are other stories, apart from My Work is Not Yet Done, the first novella. My major critique of this collection is simply that I had no idea it was a collection when I ordered it. Furthermore, the first novella is 138 pages, while the other two stories are much shorter; I have a Special Plan for This World is 23 pages, and The Nightmare Network is a mere 12 pages. All of the stories concern office related horror, but The Nightmare Network doesn’t quite seem to fit with My Work is Not Yet Done, and I Have a Special Plan For This World. The Nightmare Network seems more like science fiction than horror, and it hops into the future (I think). I Have a Special Plan For This World is about a tense office that has recently moved into a seedy neighborhood that goes by the foreboding nickname of “Murder Town”. I could lie to you good people, and say that I think these two shorter stories add to the collection, but I don’t. My Work is Not Yet Done is such a powerful tale, that to tack on two stories afterwards merely seems like an attempt to fill out the book. I get it, it might be hard to sell a novella that’s only 138 pages, but the other two stories seem more like an after thought, than an essential part of the book. All nit picking about the set up of the book aside, My Work is Not Yet Done is one of my new favorite novellas. It deals with an employee that gets fired, who plans to go back to his office, and exact a little revenge with some bullets. However, something happens to him before hand that shifts the narrative into the realm of the supernatural. My Work is Not Yet Done is profoundly nihilistic, and has a bite to it I haven’t been able to find in more popular horror fare. Ligotti’s style is engaging, and leaves you ill at ease, with just a few short sentences dispersed. So rarely do you find a horror tale with a unique style these days, so when I found such in My Work is Not Yet Done, I smiled and added it to the very top of my bookshelf. If you want a tale of working in an office, and all the frustration involved therein, spliced with a revenge and supernatural fiction tale, look no further than My Work is Not Yet Done. But make sure you keep the light on; things will be getting quite dark. Spooky Sean is a guest contributor to Horror Fix. To read more of Sean’s review be sure to follow him at http://www.spookysean.com
Tags: Thomas Ligotti
Ash Hamilton is not only the owner of Horror-Fix.com, but also one of its major contributors. A long time horror movie enthusiast, Ash has lent his personality to radio and television and continues to support his favorite genre through his writing and art. He also loves beef jerky and puppies... and low-grade street-quality hallucinogens.
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