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Mama Root: Tales From the Old Woman of Loop…
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Mama Root: Tales From the Old Woman of Loop Road

by Phil Penne

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Since I am the author of, MAMA ROOT: TALES FROM THE OLD WOMAN OF LOOP ROAD, I'll defer to a review for my collection of linked horror short stories written by a fan on Amazon:
"When _Mama Root: Tales From the Old Woman of Loop Road_ is adapted to a _Masters of Horror_ or _American Horror Story_ type series it will be a time to celebrate for lovers of the macabre. Author, Phil Penne, creates images in Mama Root which dance and hiss before the reader who experiences life in the sights, sounds, textures, tastes and smells of sticky south Florida near the Everglades off Tamiami Trail (US 41) and down Loop Road. Mr. Penne knows this area of Florida like a true native (there is a beautiful dedication to the Miccosukee People in the foreword), and he nails the subtle change of season (yes, season, singular) where the damp cold stiffens one's joints.

Mama Root is a thousand times worth the candle and respects the reader's valuable time by presenting short stories of pour quoi tales and eerie, briefer yarns of Twilight Zone caliber (there are even chocolate morsels hidden in the form of word puzzles to be solved, if the reader is of a mind). Mama Root, herself, is the thread, the MacGuffin, who keeps the tales alive, and just when the reader begins to see the old lady as some good witch-like protagonist with supernatural powers, she, too, shows she is vulnerable like any human would be in a land still dominated by mosquitoes, snakes, 'gators and who-knows-what critters; still, she prevails by the strength of her polite nature. (Critique aside: This reader sees in Mama Root a symbol of The Everglades, themselves.)

Therefore, don't let her frail stature fool you. She demands good manners, is all. Yes, the dialect is infectious.

Mama Root may not be flawless, for it is only the beginning, yet its potential belongs in the canon of such giants as H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King -- who did the same for Ipswich and Castle Rock, respectively. Loop Road and the Florida swamp are back on the proverbial map if Mama Root's suspected immortality is any indication.

Read Mama Root. The Old Woman commands it (critic and character, alike)."
  philpenne | Nov 2, 2014 |
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