Review: The Uncanny Valley by Gregory Miller

The Uncanny Valley: Tales from a Lost Town

I am partial to creepy. Always have been. As a kid I read most of the Goosebumps books, several Christopher Pike books and checked out from the library those Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books more times than I can count (does anyone else remember those? – Ha!) Halloween is my favorite time of year and I’m always excited to find another fabulously creepy book to read.

So you can imagine my delight when I had the opportunity to review this book, The Uncanny Valley: Tales from a Lost Town by Gregory Miller. This collection of 33 nightmarish tales reads like a complete novel, each short story building on the last. Each story is a letter written by a different member of a strange town known as Uncanny Valley, in response to a Central-Pennsylvania NPR affiliate’s call for entries for a narrative project with the prompt: “Describe a specific event – historical, ritualistic, or personal – that typifies the culture of your hometown.”

Miller’s intriguing premise and incredibly creative stories had me completely enthralled. It is like a grown-up version of Scary Stories and one of the best eerie books I’ve read. From the ghost on the fourth floor, to the enchanted lake, the unexplained murders, the jack-o-lanterns that seem to carve themselves, to the ghoulish old woman with the collection of dolls, this is every ghost story lover’s dream come true.

Miller has an impressive ability to smoothly transition from one voice to the next, all 33, without pause. The stories are reminiscent of all the timeless creepy tales, but with refreshing, new twists. As an added bonus, the whimsy illustrations by John Randall York, bring to life the already vivid imagery of the stories. And the twist at the end – perfectly macabre.

I highly recommend this short, delightfully dark book to any reader who loves a good scare.

Content note: Occasional foul language and creepy gore/violence.

To visit the author’s website CLICK HERE.


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