Lonnie, Me and the Hound of Hell
By Marian Allen
The best word to describe Marian Allen’s short story collection, Lonnie, Me and the Hound of Hell, is extraordinary. Extraordinary in the most literal sense, for starters, because there isn’t a single story among these ten that could be described anywise as “ordinary.” Here is a partial summing up of their themes: In trying to negotiate a deal with the devil, a man believes he’s summoned up instead the devil’s own dog. Two tiny mice come to the rescue of a terrorized little girl. Hmm—over here, we’ve got zombies and man-eating wolves. Not to mention Wicca and dueling sorceresses fighting over a horse and a sort of fish. Plus an extra-terrestrial dog. Vampires fixing horse races. Metaphoric (I think) crocodiles, and a gay cat who outwits more aliens to save his boyfriend. So, mostly animal tales, but definitely not your run of the mill animal tales.
They are all of them extraordinary as well in the quality of the writing, which is brilliant indeed. To be sure, there are chills and thrills here and some mystery, at least in the sense of the mysterious, and even romance (if you can think of a gay Persian in romantic terms) but what strikes me as the most salient element in all these stories is a razor sharp and often wry wit.
Well, if all this sounds a little outré to you, be assured that the author makes it all not only believable but quite accessible—I suspect there’s a little witchcraft at work there, frankly. My advice is, just get the e-book for yourself, especially if you like animals – priced at $1.49 on Smashwords it’s a true bargain. Just don’t expect to read Dick and Jane and Spot. These are not those kinds of creatures.
Oh, you can read excerpts from the stories at http://www.marianallen.com/stories/lonnie-me-and-the-hound-of-hell/lonnie-me-and-the-hound-of-hell-excerpts/