Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mama's Boy - A Review

I find it very hard to believe that, upon reading Fran Friel’s novella, Mama's Boy that it was written by an author who had just made her debut. This is a piece that has already earned her critical acclaim, a piece that turns your blood to crimson ice. You find yourself constantly wondering how a nice lady like Fran could produce a story so disturbing and macabre, yet so enjoyable at the same time.

The writing within the novella is so crisp and flowing that you could swear Fran had been churning out best-selling work for years – such is the quality of her writing that only recently earned her a Bram Stoker nomination.

As you read the first page, you’re thrust into the dark, chilling landscape that makes up Frank Doe’s soul. Frank is a mental patient warehoused in Penn Asylum and has resided within its walls for the past twenty years. In all that time he has remained mute about the goings-on in his past – until Rebecca, a young doctor freshly recruited by the asylum manages to crack open Doe’s mental vault, peeling away at the complex layers of his psyche that have remained hidden for so long. Then we begin a journey into the turbulent events from Doe’s doomed life.

Even though numerous scenes disturb you and rock you to your core, you simply can’t help but turn page after page until the very end, until you discover the reasons behind Doe’s activities. Fran keeps the momentum going at a cracking pace and doesn’t disappoint.

With a delightful little twist at the end with a strong underlying Psycho-like theme that fuels the book, I guarantee that this nasty little read will resonate with you for quite some time after putting it down. There’s so much more I could say about this brilliant book, but to do so would give too much away – you’ll just have to be on the look out for the various clues strategically scattered throughout the text.

Sadly, Mama's Boy has sold out due to a limited print run from Insidious Publications. However, don’t worry too much. Fran has mentioned that Mama's Boy will be available again; this time paired with a short story collection that’s hopefully going to be available some time next year. I know it is going to be some hot property to own, let me tell you. I can’t wait!

So keep an eye out for Fran in the future – she’s going to be around for quite some time. She’s just getting started!

For more information about Fran you can either visit her Blog at:

Or you can catch her on The Horror Library’s Blog-o-Rama where she regularly contributes a column:


Wandaful said...

I was lucky enough to be able to purchase a copy from when it was originally released and shipped to Australia.

One of the best stories I have ever read.....

Fran Friel said...

Wandaful - What an amazing thing to say. Thank you! I'm honored beyond belief.

Hugs from America,