I read Greener Pastures almost two years ago (what is time) and I still can’t get over that dark little ‘weird fiction’ collection. If you’ve been around for a bit you already know that I love Appalachian writers. We speak the same language. Their words remind me of home. Like me, Michael grew up in the metaphorical shadow of the Appalachian Mountains; not quite in the middle of them, but close enough so that the culture still seeps into the soul. From the very first story to the last, a haunting familiarity lurked just beneath the surface. You feel like you’ve been here before—but you haven’t. Not in this life. Reading Wehunt’s fiction is as surreal as waking up in the morning and peering through a frosty window; distorted visions set the scene for the world beyond—a world you both want to know and yet, cannot. Not fully. Not until you open the front door and let the cold in, which perfectly describes what it’s like to dive deep into Greener Pastures. Thoughtful and unflinching prose drives each and every story. Michael isn’t just a writer who can dream of other worlds, but he can bring readers into them with ease because of the quiet nature of his writing. Reading feels like talking to a lost friend. I feel that this element really added to the folkish, slow-burning horror themes found within many of the stories.
So many of you have already discovered this wonderful book, and I love reading about your personal connections to the writing. My favorites from the collection include Onanon, Greener Pastures, October Film Haunt: Under the House, and Bookends. While I really did enjoy the collection, those four stood out to me the most. For those of you who haven’t read the book yet, I highly recommend you pick it up on your next book haul. I’m happy to include Greener Pastures in my blog ‘debut’ because I think it represents so much of what I love and enjoy when it comes to literature. It is unapologetically visceral, and I hope to read a lot more of Wehunt’s work in the future.