Book review website Home School Book Review, Wayne S. Walker
Do you like to read spine-tingling, scary stories? Some people do, and some people don’t. If you do, you will probably enjoy Night Shivers. The book consists of thirteen short stories which fall into the general category of horror from different genres. Some of them involve ghosts and skeletons, but most of them are a more Edgar Allan Poe-Alfred Hitchcock type of spooky, eerie tales. Are you the kind of person who can read stories like this, immediately go to bed, and still sleep peacefully at night?
Author Ed Pessalano has always liked telling stories, especially scary ones. Even when just a young boy, he would terrify family and friends with his special brand of horror. A couple of the tales are especially gruesome. In one a body is found hanging with a slashed throat and in another an elderly man eats corpses. The publisher’s website lists the book as being for adults, but there is no sexuality or bad language. The phrase “good Lord” is used once as an interjection, and the euphemistic “geez” appears once. Children who are very sensitive and people with an extremely weak stomach would probably want to avoid this book, but children who are able to read, into the macabre, and not bothered by such things should enjoy the book. Horror is not my favorite genre, but even I found the stories interesting, and my fifteen-year-old son said that they are creepy great.
Joanna P. Del Buono, in the 'Standing O' section of the paper Brooklyn News
It was a dark and scary night....
Scared ya, didn't it? Ed Pessalano, the Edgar Allan Poe of Brooklyn, can scratch one off his bucket list now that he's published his "Night Shivers" anthology. Thirteen deliciously devilish short stories scary enough to, well, scare your pants off. Ed's been scaring the bejezzus out of family members with his tales of horror, and now he's sharing his scaring of haunted honeymoons, ghoulish relatives and ghastly ghosts with the rest of us. Standing O is still sleeping with the lights on.
Heather J. Chin for the May 28-June 2 edition of the "Brooklyn Spectator."
For one summer, Bensonhurst resident Ed Pessalano lived out two dreams: to
frequent one of his “favorite places in the world,” Coney Island, and to write a
book of short stories.
“Astroland, the big Dante’s Inferno ride, that’s what inspired
‘Terror Park,’ which is one of my favourite stories [in my book],” said
Pessalano, 27, of his story about a day at an amusement park that turns into a
twisted nightmare. “The Coney Island experience always attracted me,
whether it be the train ride or the amusement park. Ever since I was a little
boy, going to the Aquarium with my father, I always joked that Dante’s
Inferno wasn’t as scary as what was in my own mind. So I decided to create
The product of that creative decision is Night Shivers, Pessalano’s
fiction debut – an Edgar Allan Poe meets Twilight Zone meets R. L. Stine
collection of 13 short stories that was published this past August by Moose
Ranging from a slightly twisted classic ghost story called
“Expected Company” to the fears of every late-night train passenger come to
life in “The Night Train,” the 73-page book tells horror stories without the
gore, giving readers stories “half inspired by urban legends and half from
[Pessalano’s] own mind.”
The lack of gore and kid-friendly material – not too many
nightmare-inducing twists and turns! – is by design. “If it were rated, it would
be PG because the only thing parents would find objectionable is mild
violence,” said Pessalano, who studied at the Institute for Children’s Literature
after graduating from New Utrecht High School in 2001. “No curse words,
no vulgarity. My main emphasis is on storytelling. That is where the skill is.”
Having grown up reading everything from R. L. Stine’s
Goosebumps to Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Anne Rice, and watching
“Twilight Zone” and classic and B-movie horror films, Pessalano has always
liked telling stories and scaring family and friends. It wasn’t until he began
freelancing articles for children’s magazines such as Highlights, Spider and
Turtle, and formally studying the craft, though, that he decided to really make
a go at being a writer and artist.
“My future ambitions are to write more scary short stories as well
as poetry that explores emotions: love, hate, dreaming, rhyme… I am inspired
by Edgar Allan Poe. I definitely want to follow in his footsteps. He had doom
and gloom, but could write,” Pessalano said. “If his writing could affect
generations to come, I would definitely like to follow in his footsteps, if I can
make it that far.”
In addition to working on his “primary goal” of achieving “a best-
selling status as an author,” Pessalano wants to pay it forward by “entertaining
the general public with top quality storytelling.”
If you are looking for great horrifying tales to get you in the mood for Halloween or just love the horror genre, then you will love Night Shivers. Pessalano creates such hair raising stories that it will make you go under the covers. There are thirteen stories in here varying from the wedding day that turns upside down to a camping trip with an unexpected visitor, and an oldie but a goodie when it comes to horror- the old abandoned house with revenge that goes into the paranormal. There’s more to choose from such as a story about a passenger on a train being perused by a deranged serial killer and an amusement park story that will have you thinking twice about ever going to a park again. Pessalano has a great gift, to entertain and scare the human mind with these horror stories. Those who love the genre and love a good scare will enjoy the book as much as I did. A fun, scary treat!
-The Pen-Muse Book Blog Reviews
Do you like stories that will make your cringe at times? Do you like to have stories that will give you a bit of the willies? This short collection of tales will definitely do this. I and my kids have always been interested in ghost stories. My eldest daughter always loves to hear the stories and amazingly she does not get scared by them. This book is one that I shared with her and she enjoyed them, though there were a few of the stories that we stopped as I did not want her to have nightmares. The only thing I would have changed in the entire book were the story headings, as they were very tiny and could have been better marked so that you could tell that the new story was starting. You could identify it, but they could have made it more prominent in the editing of the book. Otherwise a great book!
-Dad of Divas Blog Review
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