Alaric Cabiling

Reviews of Mr. Cabiling's Published Works

"Modern literary short fiction is not unusual: many attempt it; relatively few do it well - especially in the style of the gothic horror approach so aptly explored by Poe, Hawthorne, and other greats. That's why it's such a pleasure to read Insanity by Increments: it takes some of the methods and madness of these greats and moves a step further, presenting nine short stories of contemplation and quiet horror." - Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

 "Cabiling is a master at creating moods, especially those which border on the macabre, the obsessive and the melancholy. Each word seems selected carefully, examined and put in place just so, and the flawed and flailing characters he peoples his work with become almost familiar to the reader as he himself is...and that's a pretty scary thing, and the handiwork of a powerful and creative writer." - Jack Magnus

"Insanity By Increments is the best short story collection I've ever read." - Author's Reading

"Cabiling's stories are grounded in one of the long traditions of American short stories, from Melville's "Bartleby" to the Montana of Richard Ford: lonely men at odds with bleak landscapes, traumatized by a childhood that was often violent, and always lacking true emotional warmth. These narrators are frequently writers, artists, young men who are capable of creating their own strange stage settings so that even within this tradition, they come off as memorable.

Some of Cabiling's protagonists live prosaic lives, some are definitely out on the fringe. The photographer of dead beauty queens in "Frailty" is as proud of his aesthetic skill and success as is the novelist in "Dulcinea," and Cabiling eases us through these nightmarish sequences by tossing in some Latin American magic realism. The tone throughout many of the stories is that of a surrealist move, where one absurd scene after the other continues to mount toward some dark inevitability. The endless days slipping away in a "wash of gray" against a pale sky are contrasted by closing time at motel bars, dark, gaudy rooms inhabited by people who do not really belong there—people on their way to and from somewhere else. You cannot help but be impressed by the author's ability to establish scene and pace within the first few paragraphs of his stories." - Bookreview.com

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