The Nightmare Factory by Thomas Ligotti (5 out of 5 stars)

This is the most refined, rampant brain sickness I’ve ever come across, and it was disguised as a book. Words can’t describe the impact of these stories. If you are a fan of Lovecraft, you must read this author. Just keep in mind Ligotti’s prose is even more nightmarish, vague and unsettling. It reminded me of an exhausted, fevered man, slowly drowning in quicksand made of leprous, rotting matter, struggling and screaming in vain. The landscape is desolate, swampy, forsaken. Every life born there is born flawed and sick, and serves only involution and degeneration. Each lungful of squirming dirt that man inhales takes root in him, killing him and claiming him, bringing ecstatic visions of death and the other side of Creation. It’s the side that serves only the blind, ever-changing void of reason, the Darkness that birthed everything and humans masked it as a benevolent God to retain their sanity. Ligotti sees behind that mask, and brings back gifts meant only for the brave, and those ready to embrace that same void inside them.

Please DON’T read this book if you aren’t a hardcore fan of Lovecraft ready to be taken several steps further into madness and decay. Here be dragons. End of transmission. Off to eat cake and hopefully restore a portion of my brain to a semblance of function.

*My star rating and what it means: 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren’t really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won’t be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh… I didn’t like it and won’t be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I’ll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don’t remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour… Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.