Fear in a Handful of Dust
This is a handbook for those of use that have struggled
with our work, our relationships, and our lives. Its self-depreciatory
brilliance. While there are several non-fiction books that every
horror writer should read, Fear In A Handful of Dust is a
book everyone involved in a writers life should read,
for not only is this a book for writers, it is a book for lovers,
friends and family of writers. This is the book you can shove in
their face and say, 'Read this-then MAYBE, just MAYBE, youll
get it.' Gary A. Braunbeck would never presume to speak for us all,
but if a vote were taken for a spokesman, hes certainly got
mine. Because the best leaders to not advertise themselves as such:
instead they turn around as they trudge along, and are amazed to
see anyone behind them. Lead on, Gary. The rest of us may only follow.
"Gary Braunbeck is one of those extremely rare writers capable
of making his non-fiction as moving, gripping, and poignant as his
fiction. Once again he manages to imbue his work with slashing wit
and probing philosophical questions that allow the reader a chance
to delve into the rich textures and inventive surprises he offers.
This is honesty at its most raw and meaningful. Fear In A Handful
of Dust is not only wildly entertaining, its so illuminating
youll never be able to forget it."
I read it in just two sittings. Couldn't stop, actually.
I dont think I've ever read anything so painfully honest about
one's craft and personal demons. This is one hell of a special book
from one of our best. Braunbeck takes us on a journey into the dark
maelstrom his life has become. We share his passion and his pain
as he explains why he must be a horror writer. Frightening, brilliant,
compelling, and yet oddly wonderful. These words don't do Fear
In A Handful of Dust the justice it deserves . . . but they're
all I have."
"Gary Braunbeck is well known within the horror genre for
his fiction, particularly a succession of first class short stories.
What I hadn't realized was how extensive a body of non-fiction he
has written as well, reviews of films and books, overviews of the
field in general, and other related subjects. Much of that material
has been incorporated into this book, which is also more than a
bit of an autobiography, and Braunbeck uses his personal life and
his commentary interactively, so that each helps to clarify and
expand on the other. There's very little here that's light and fluffy;
most of it is very serious and some of it movingly revealing. If
you're serious about writing, you'll want to see how a serious writer
examines his relationship with the craft."
One part memoir, one part writing workshop and one part film
what makes Braunbeck's book succeed is the way he unflinchingly
explores the relationship between genre texts and his own approach
to both writing and the world giving us insight into his
horror "aesthetic" and elaborating on why reading in this
genre means so much more than sticking your hand into goopy buckets
of broken bone and blood.