Ian Kappos' Crossfaded in Narnia was published by Eibonvale Press in April 2018.

Information about Ian Kappos:

Ian Kappos was born and raised in Northern California but currently lives in Los Angeles where he is an MFA candidate at CalArts. His writing has appeared in numerous places and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His first chapbook collection of fiction, Crossfaded in Narnia is his first chapbook collection. In addition to writing, he co-edits Milkfist, is an editorial assistant at Sublevel, and plays in the hardcore punk band Cross Class.

Click here to visit his official website.

Information about Crossfaded in Narnia:

Broken homes, drug addiction, lost causes.

These five stories follow disaffected youths through the day-to-day routines that help them cope and into more surreal territory, where the destitute and the otherworldly intertwine.

From exploding televisions and absent parents to concerned therapists, crustacean junkies, and friendships cut tragically short, Crossfaded in Narnia burrows into the grit to take a closer look at the mystery beneath.

REVIEW: CROSSFADED IN NARNIA BY IAN KAPPOS

Ian Kappos' Crossfaded in Narnia is the fifth chapbook in the Eibonvale Chapbook Line.

Crossfaded in Narnia is an excellent debut horror chapbook. It demonstrates how versatile a genre horror fiction is, because it's not your typical kind of horror fiction, but something different and more meaningful than normal horror fiction.

I consider Ian Kappos to be an author to watch, because he delivers thought-provoking and memorable stories. He has a gift for writing psychologically hard-hitting stories that demand attention from the reader and lead the reader into a world where the mundane and the weird converge and merge with one another.

This chapbook contains the following stories:

- My Childhood as a Student of Chemical Warfare
- The Key of Joy
- Scoring for Ridnour Before High Tide
- Hervé
- Tell Me More

These five stories focus on youths' struggles and problems. The author doesn't shy away from writing about how the characters experience addiction, abuse, loneliness and isolation, but captivatingly explores and examines their lives. The intimate look at their lives is incredibly revealing and also shocking in all its grittiness.

"My Childhood as a Student of Chemical Warfare" tells of a boy who lives with his mother. One day the boy's mother brings home her new boyfriend, Danny, who wears a gasmask and is an expert on World War I. This story is a bit different kind of a look at family life and adolescence.

"The Key of Joy" is a story about a boy who lives in a foster home and has a friend, Seamus, with whom he spends a lot of time. I found this story excellent, because the author writes about such things as abusive father, friendship and homosexuality in an effortless way.

"Scoring for Ridnour Before High Tide" tells of a man who is dopesick and is waiting for a fix. I find this story fascinatingly strange, because it has an intriguing feel of strangeness and surrealism to it.

"Hervé" tells of Luke who has come back from rehab and is watching his friend, Josh, smoking heroin off of a sheet of tinfoil. This story has a few memorable and gritty scenes that will stick to the reader's mind. What the sixteen-year-old Sandy does in this story will not be easily forgotten.

"Tell Me More" is a story about Daniel who meets Doc after finishing his sixty days in-patient treatment. I liked this story, because it's something different. The scene in which Daniel sees a small blue man is fascinatingly surreal.

I find the author's prose excellent. The writing in these stories is engaging and vivid, but also strikingly raw and uncompromisingly direct and honest, not to mention heartbreaking. With his prose, he blurs the line between reality and surrealism with ease and subtlety and brings weirdness to his stories. There's something slightly Joel Lane-ish to his stories that appeals to me.

I look forward to reading what Ian Kappos writes next, because I was impressed by these stories. I hope that readers will take a look at this chapbook, because it showcases stories by an emerging author who has a strong literary voice.

Ian Kappos' Crossfaded in Narnia is a compelling chapbook. If you enjoy melancholy horror stories with a strong touch of rawness and are intrigued by stories in which darkness and weirdness intertwine, I urge you to take a look at this chapbook, because its contents will impress you. It's a little slice of awesomeness that is definitely worth reading.

Highly recommended!

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