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The horrors of our town: a review of “the worst book 2019”

Russian horror is very much alive. This is honest to describe in one sentence the importance of the series “the worst book”. Much water has flowed since 2014, when the domestic fans for the first time noticed it on the shelves of bookstores, and every year star SSK is not quenched, but burns brighter. The light has already seen the first novels from authors, recently started talking about the conquest of the cinematic borders – is not an indicator of quality? “The worst book 2019” became the sixth under the account the collection, assembled with the participation of the target group of readers. Who can assess the product better than its target audience? Not to say that such a choice always work perfectly, but in the main it is true, as we can judge by the already published yearbooks.

Let’s find out what the authors offer us a taste this time.

Mr. Elefant

Author: Anatoly Umansky

For the second year in a row, the collection opens with the story of Anatoly Umansky – and again at colossenses theme. The story is a good guy who wanted a bad crime, and for this purpose hired at the circus (in the middle of a performance to seize the moment and deal with the victim, a high-ranking official) is written in the traditional author’s highest level. Supply polished to every comma, the style transferred well and unobtrusive (which is very pleasing – the last SSK, many writers were so fascinated by the form that miraculously didn’t forget about the content), but the story itself is multifaceted and interesting. But the thing that horror as such, there low, and he entirely fit in the violent and bloody ending, the description of which openly revels in Uman. Yes it happened this time, it’s pretty straightforward – the final story is easily predicted from the first pages of the narrative. In any case, listen to a talented storyteller you always want more. Well, how often do you meet scary stories about elephants? All I can think of only one episode of x-files, but that’s another story…


Author: Alexander Matyukhin

Matiukhin pulled off a true magic trick – put in one story a mental disorder, quite a few unexpected twists and lovcraftian monster, and filed everything correctly so that no advantage components is not felt at all. The old man rarely comes by his claim on her daughter to help her deal with one very sensitive and the jurisdiction of the case. The grandfather agrees, but terrible secrets of the past begin one after another to emerge in his sick head… have a fascinating story which is hard to put down until the last line – beautiful vidovoe decoration collection.

Calling the darkness

Author: Ivan Belov

The remains of hundreds of Mongolian and her gallant leader accept unusual offer survivor of the extermination of an entire village of women – in exchange for his life and protecting his child, she offers to take the Mongols in the heart of the forest, where unknown treasures. Which, moreover, protected by the terrible and all-powerful spirits. Heavily involved in the folklore story Belova is no surprise, developing it is a typical story about human evil that has faced the evil of the inhuman and many times superior force. However, to a confident styling is difficult to fault, the story is fascinating and at the right time convincingly brutal. Hardly “Calling the darkness” will be remembered for a long time, but their history functions performs, what put the author plus.


Author: Vadim Gromov

The first, but strong sagging of the collection. The story about the teenage bullies who mocked the child, and then got on his head the curse as a monster-“Laily”, unless to say rude Internet slang, like “Pumpkinhead on the minimum salary”. The author felt the desire to tell (or show) a spectacular body horror, only to surround him with such a depressing story, and even to serve in such a raw form-definitely not. Hence, the disadvantages of young gornica expressed long pretentious sentences, the same construction of phrases and style of speech from all the characters in the story (except for the deliberately comical pensioner and one of the heroes with excessively annoying saying “Epir-jopari”), weak motivation of action and zero desire to give us something to dilute covered with years of dust, the structure of the plot is about revenge. Yes, and the title monster nothing but smile, his “mythology” and the description is not – it was quite possible to do without it, limiting the notorious curse. At the end, “Molded” is not hopeless, but disappointing on almost all counts.

My other half

Author: Oksana Vetrovska

And here is the story about conjoined twins living in a boarding school for children with disabilities, encouraged not so much a story with an interesting perspective how much writing. Beautiful language, unique pure rhythm of the story and entertaining the setting do their thing and make reading “My other half” in a real aesthetic pleasure. It is a pity, horror this was not so important, scary and intense in the rich text places it wasn’t found.


Author: Elena Schetinina

Constant guest of the anthology invites us to go into the dark basement flats, where he settled something terrible. The story of “Scarecrow-myauchelo” – by far the most macabre in the work Shchetinina. Here are all the strengths of the talent of the writer play most vividly, and its inherent flaws (sometimes quite strange thinking and therefore unpleasant protagonists) though not disappeared, but is reduced to a minimum conciliatory. A journey into the darkness not be painless – reading will be tense until the very end with a fun “Chernomorec” interchange. Now you definitely will think three times before you go to an unknown place, the plaintive meow of a kitten.

There is no place on earth

Authors: Yaroslav Zemlyanuhin, Larisa Lvova

Joint work Lvova and zemlyanukhina that came out a bright, albeit oversaturated events in these 38 pages instead of so many that would be enough for a full-fledged novel. And the complexity of the “compaction” is clearly felt in every page. In the middle of the story, the pacing rushes with such mad speed that every paragraph begins to tell an episode which could easily have been to share with the Chapter. Because of this story in some way resembles a brief retelling of some much more epic ideas. In any case, to complain about something else tandem does not give a reason – and horror, and flavor abound here. A well-deserved hit in the collection.

The call of the tall grass

Author: Alan KranK

Very intriguing idea, but too dry for the execution of the story about the scientists who managed to literally “reach the heavens” – and the answer came threatening. Full of mysteries and occasionally indulgent unexpected solutions the plot is really “catchy” to the end. Anyway, it would not hurt very much more alive and vivid realization, because in the final form, it gives the impression almost of a screenplay – there is no detail study of the characters and is characteristic of literary language epithets to transfer the right mood. However, read the “Call” definitely worth it, if only because of the great ideas at its core.


Author: Maxim Kabir

Chief visionary Russian horror film recalls Mongolian legend about a huge desert worms, Olga-horaah – and, of course, it plays a very interesting way. Scary monster chose to sacrifice two hapless scientists – and in order to overcome it, will have to begin to understand its nature. And maybe look at it from a different, unexpected perspective. In the stories of Kabir to the language and ingenuity of the author to find fault is almost impossible. “Crawling” is no exception, it just measure and drama, and biting irony, and memorable toppings. Keep ‘ em coming!

In the house

Author: Ksenia Kashnikova

But this story gave me a unique feeling – never before have I had to squint and throat had not risen from kom extremely naturalistic and causing nausea description. And, damn it, it’s very cool! Even if in the whole SSK-2019, there would be the story Korznikova, it is simply necessary would be to have in their library to anyone who is interested in the genre. If the ending level of the voltage sagged, and would have been cruel and played the very necessary high note “In the house” would be. In any case, his idea the author has conducted a “five-plus”.

Vankina love

Author: Ivan Belov

At first a bit off-putting nod to the style of Russian folk tales about “force of evil” in the story Belova rather quickly fades into the background, when the case included a very interesting story about a simple Vanka, who climbed to the lair of the monster, about to devour his bride. Which, moreover, the neighbors Vanka voluntarily brought this monster into a victim. Dark fantasy with a generous pinch really (and unusually!) a good humor cause you to forget about horrornot component, but the aftertaste is a pleasant one. Very vivid and beautifully written story.

Whisper Creek

Author: Alexander Matyukhin

Collection of “maniac” stories SSK filled up by deaf serial killer who is able to hear only cries of pain of their victims. Fascinating story Matyukhina is broken into two lines – first we get into the head of a mad psychopath, and the second accompanied by the guy who is looking for his missing beloved. Both lines are exciting and finely executed, and their intersection, and the ending features a very creepy scene. Although, maybe without paranormalis still it would be better?


Author: Julia Sinonasal

And once again disappointed, and again the confusion – as this story is generally passed through the sieve of the readers ‘ opinions? Not only that, the plot is a lazy carbon copy of “Nightmare on elm street” and even “Country Christmas” Joe hill, so he still enjoyed a very malosedobnaya. Advanced characters behave incredibly stupid, are reasons in doing so anyway, characters children-students are not marked in any way, which makes them generally difficult to distinguish from each other, and the ending is “sewn” together. The result of this extraordinary story about a maniac in a bus, kidnapping children and returning every 20+ years (Hello, Pennywise) collection would benefit.

Purple cloth

Author: Michael Sakurashin

And in this work all the spotlights aimed at the head of the hero – his psychological childhood trauma, later to speed up his fears, obsessive thoughts and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Read the story Zakovryashina akin to deep dive into a world where something went wrong and it turned out quite convincing. Here only the end of the weave “flashbacks” of the narrator and the reality of horror mixed in too thick sur, and ending a few days after reading completely flies out of my head. In any case, the “Rag” in the FCS is the place.

A little love

Author: Elena Schetinina

The second story Shchetinina in the Yearbook from the first page plunges the reader head first into the dirt and stench of the apartment of a lonely old woman, next to which is growing rapidly somewhere in the pile of junk unknown to science creature. Thing, incidentally, really scary – it can be made to the lists of the most cruel and disgusting monsters in the whole series. Story enjoyed in a big way already for several years, but assembled it correctly and is told briskly, so bored will not work.


Author: Yuri Lantana

At first seemingly another variation of the “wrong Turn”, the plot of the story Lanthanum quite unexpectedly throws the trump card and transforms into a beautiful addition to the classic Lovecraftian topics. And the question “was it anyway?” will haunt the reader until the very end, and even after. And let the technique of writing there are still issues (some thought the story could not chew in a couple of paragraphs – the reader is nevertheless not a fool), “Chatter” remains one of the most interesting gems in SSK-2019, which leaves a pleasant aftertaste and an urgent desire to read a volume of “Myths of Cthulhu”.


Authors: Alexander Matyukhin, Alexander Podolsky

Familiar to our regular audience SSK Podolsky and Matyukhin Lodge, the heroine of his story next to a dark and empty building, where the mysterious Church. Inside the Church, of course, hiding something terrible. Of this framework has turned out a strong horror film on a solid “b-plus” – some plot twists are really surprising, the scene chosen, and for the characters to go through. Significant plus would have added a clearer explanation of the purpose and nature of the opposing sects, but without it the story can become one of the most successfully written in the book.

The deal

Author: Maria Antilophia

One of the final collection of stories, unfortunately, has turned out very unsuccessful. And it’s not in writing – the language here is quite well built, albeit aimed in the wrong direction (so ironic I write fantasy and not horror stories). The point of filling. It’s another boring fantasy on the theme of a “deal with the devil”, that’s just the main character in it does not cause virtually any signs of sympathy – literally her whole trouble lies in the impenetrable stupidity of her actions in repelling the malice of her thoughts. Throw in a blurry final and almost complete lack of intrigue – under the weight of these disadvantages, the story simply does not stand up and finally squashed in a grey plane.


Author: Stanislav Minin

As the cherry on our “worst cake” is a great story from one of the FCS-newcomer, Stanislav Minin. This is a paranoid and surreal story about a woman who falls under the influence of evil forces rapidly challenging control over the city. Necessarily it is necessary to praise the author’s writing is strong, which is never until the very end can’t interrupt with a specified rhythm and decorates almost every sentence. And feelings of the heroine, and the descriptions of the surrounding world, and even adds special the absurdity of the insertion of “lifehacks” (method of Palahniuk?) perfectly formed into a coherent and exciting plot, and from the elegance of the final I want to applaud standing. Cool collection of cool the end!

So, friends, let us summarize.

“The worst book 2019” confidently takes the baton and does not extinguish the blazing fire of the Russian horror. And “lighters” are not only “old” but also new voices, willingly and confidently tells its dark, scary, disturbing, dramatic and living history. The horror is almost non-stop evolyutsioniruet, and the FCS developing in step with him, snatching out of the darkness more and more talented and fueling your raging flame. SSK-2019 is another fire, full of bright ideas. Another conductor in a scary world, lurking near us. Another event in the Russian horror, to ignore which is strictly not recommended.

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