By Brian Hodge
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We were given language, says an old parable, because God loves the stories. And he loves the stories because they help him know himself better. These eight tales in Brian Hodge's renowned second collection advance the cause a little further.
Full of gods and devils, tormentors and deliverers, Falling Idols is a twisting, harrowing path toward the state of being that poet Kahlil Gibran describes as being able "to bless the darkness as we have blessed the light."
"Stick Around, It Gets Worse" - The universe creates what it needs, even in a gritty urban Hell.
"A Loaf Of Bread, A Jug Of Wine" - A threatened village in World War II France has an unlikely defender: the allegedly soulless creation of Victor Frankenstein.
"The Dripping Of Sundered Wineskins" - A trio of immortal Sisters catapults an Irish stigmatic toward his destiny of being either a saint or a butcher. World Fantasy Award finalist.
"Cenotaph" - While exploring the fantastical sculptures at an ancient English church, a photographer discovers what really guided her ancestor's hammer and chisels.
"As Above, So Below" - A lifetime of searching that began deep inside a derelict railroad tunnel leads a very old soul to a desert town, for his final revelations in sacrifice, miracles, and love. Selected for The Century's Best Horror.