“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”
“What I saw this morning at Jack’s Hill pierces my mind with thorny vines. I hesitate to relate the dark and ominous visage I laid eyes upon for fear the demon will manifest.
Moon Hill endures eternal autumn. The trees boast full heads of colored hair, and yet leaves fall from the sky as though showers from clouds, allowing the trees to retain their autumnal glory. It was from within this seasonal rain I witnessed a pumpkin-headed creature descend the hill and lock horns with mere children.”
BREATHE DEEP OF THE NIGHT.
Greetings from Moon Hill is a collection of darkly bizarre horror stories culled from the deranged mind of Anthony J. Rapino, author of Soundtrack to the End of the World.
Somewhere in Northeastern Pennsylvania, nestled between the forests and foothills of the Poconos, you’ll find the forgotten town of Moon Hill. It’s a surreal place of arcane magic and natural wonder, where a hint of autumn lingers in the air, the leaves are always turning, and the shadows grow long no matter the time of day.
You might say Moon Hill is special, an eerie pocket of Americana frozen in time, filled with eccentric characters and deathly secrets that transcend reality. And like most small towns, it also has a dark side.
This book is a roadmap to the lost town’s terrifying mysteries. Wander through the brush of Moon Hill State Forest and explore its otherworldly flora in “From Your Body They Rise.” Bear witness to the interdimensional war raging above Old Road in the novella, “Reality Engineers.” Conjure autumnal spirits with Handy Weber in “Halloween on the Hill,” sample the peculiar glowing ale brewed by Slow Ewan in “Struck by Golden Lightning,” and pay your respects with blood at the old Whistler place in “Just Once More, Little Sister.”
As you explore Moon Hill’s darkened corners, you will discover a town built upon a foundation of nightmares, proving once again that Anthony J. Rapino is not only a master storyteller, but also a dark architect of the imagination.
Welcome to Moon Hill. Your definition of weird is about to change.
“He tried to remember that before death there was repentance, and after death there was salvation. The death of the body traded for the life of the soul. God’s will.”
Greetings From Moon Hill is a superb collection of small town, quiet horror. Expanded from its original form, rebuilt, remastered, and given a fresh heartbeat, it’s the small Pennsylvania town of Moon Hill that you know and love with a more intimate view. The shadows are deeper, the characters are more solid, the musty seasonal scents are more intoxicating.
Homey and inviting, this town of Moon Hill achieves a warm orange glow most prevalent in the fall like Connecticut’s Oxrun Station. And like Charles L. Grant’s established town, Moon Hill has it’s fair share of darkness, but what is a picturesque small town with out some quirk and shadows? There are not just terrors to be found here, there are also some curios and youthful lamentations. Treat yourself to a tour of the streets, kick around some multi-color leaves, have a bottle of home brewed craft beer, just don’t bank on staying long because the shadows lengthen as the sun goes down.
Quite an enjoyable read in its original form, the tales from that lineup that stuck with me the most over the years, making me ache for the late October season are: Struck by Golden Lightning, Just Once More, Little Sister, The Plumber, and From Your Body They Rise. These tales stand just as strong now as the first time. Maybe even more so as they are revised into a more cohesive piece.
Of the newly added stories The Topsy-Turvey Man (1 & 2) and Camera Obscura are highlights, tickling my fancy. This definitive Moon Hill also incorporates a couple of “classic” Rapino novellas, Loosely Enforced Rules & Reality Engineers. The awesome Loosely Enforced Rules is a longtime favorite of mine, featuring a delightful character by the name of Sunshine. Reality Engineers, formerly an audio exclusive (and a first time read for me) knocked my socks off with its nearly psychedelic flavor. Without this rerelease, I don’t know that I would have ever had the opportunity to experience Reality Engineers, something I am grateful for.
The new additions really add another level of depth and immersion. The book has a better flow, a stronger sense of urgency, and a higher level of connectivity. It had become less of a collection and more of an experience.
Anthony J. Rapino is the kind of writer I seek out in the quiet moments, when I am reading for myself and not for a deadline. He crafts charismatic & off kilter characters with a wonderful small town mentality. And as small towns go, Moon Hill is draped in shadows and as quirky as they come. A definite Charles L. Grant glow illuminates between the pages of a Rapino yarn. It’s a curio I’ve been missing since Grant’s passing.
I greatly look forward to more musings from the mysterious town of Moon Hill. And if the excerpt of The Shadows of Flies tells us anything it’s that we are definitely in for another treat… possibly another trick. Till then, breathe deep of the night.
“I gauged the time by the number of bottles that had built up on the floor next to my chair. At two beers I had read a little about the pinhole camera. By four beers I had found my first webpage about the camera obscura, a larger version of the pinhole camera. A room, really. Five beers found me reading about Leonardo Da Vinci, and six beers brought me to this dude Giovanni Battista Della Porta. He was some kind of philosopher. Wrote a book called Magiae Naturalis. ~ Where is my mind in this whole mess? The ringmaster in my bodily circus. I’m asking myself this question, but it’s not on the surface because, shit, how can I think only one thing when the world has gone out from under my feet and I’m lost in oblivion?”
Overall score: 5/ 5
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
ANTHONY J. RAPINO is a horror writer and sculptor. He’s also a teacher, and somehow that makes more sense than it should. He spends his days among people and things that demand shaping: Words, clay, or minds, it amounts to the same job. Though the minds are a hard sell, you can find his fiction and sculptures online.
Praise for Greetings from Moon Hill/Rapino
“Anthony Rapino’s collection Greetings from Moon Hill is his best work so far. Don’t miss these fascinating and scary stories from a master of the craft.” –Kate Jonez, Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author of Ceremony of Flies and Candy House
“Anthony Rapino’s work is uniquely infused with horror and a type of childlike innocence that makes the darkness that much darker. Greetings from Moon Hill invites you to a place that is both tragic and extraordinary. Once you enter, you’ll never be allowed to leave.” – Mercedes M. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Little Dead Red and Pretty Little Dead Girls
“Greetings from Moon Hill […] displays Rapino’s range, which is vast and varied, yet unique, and always dark as well as entertaining. With effortless grace and ease, and weaved like a seasoned professional, this collection proves that Rapino’s career is destined to be a long and fruitful one. I cannot think of a higher compliment.” – Ben Eads, author of Cracked Sky
“A master at the art of tale-spinning, Anthony Rapino infuses a sense of creeping dread that immediatelyentrances and bewilders. To enter his world is to become unsettlingly accustomed to those tales that exist in the shadows.” Mary Rajotte, Bloody Bookish
“Want thrilling, scary, moody stories that put you on edge and play with your emotions? Well if you’re looking for that and you’re looking for an experience rather than just entertainment, one author comes immediately to my mind and that author is Anthony Rapino.” — Benjamin Kane Ethridge, award winning author of Black & Orange and Divine Scream
“In Greetings from Moon Hill, Anthony Rapino is at times a sorcerer, and other times a madman. His work is both that of a puppeteer and a sadist. He tends to detail much like a chef, as he parses imagery throughout his work morsel by morsel, which we ravenously consume, until we realize that with his fiction, actually it is us that are being consumed.” – Eryk Pruitt, author of Dirtbags and Hashtag
If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and you would like to feature Greetings from Moon Hill or Anthony J. Rapino in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Precipice Books is a small press specializing in horror and speculative fiction, delivering a unique premium experience to readers across a variety of mediums. Find more on their website.
And while you’re here, check out The Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, stop by and say hello.