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The God Beneath My Garden Robert Ford Main

"The God Beneath My Garden" Book Review

Written by Steve Pattee

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

the god beneath my garden robert ford large

Written by Robert Ford
2014, 180 pages, Fiction
Released on July 6th, 2014


Pain. Grief. Sorrow. Horror comes in many forms, but in Robert Ford’s collection, The God Beneath My Garden, those seem to be the overarching themes.

The book opens with the tragic and terrifying “Racing the Milk”, in which a husband writes letters to his deceased wife keeping her up to date on the goings on since her passing. In the “Author’s Notes” at the end of the book (more on this segment later), Ford writes, “This story absolutely destroys the audience when I do live readings,” and I have no problem believing him. Not only have I heard from multiple folks that this is true, but having finally read the story I can see why. It’s brutal in a very personal way. The horror is in two parts here; one, what the husband is going through and, two, what happens at the end. It’s a brilliant choice to open a collection, as it sets the tone to come.

“Early Harvest” follows and it centers on a woman telling her friend Penny what she’s been up to lately (hint: it’s no good). This one is told in the form of a letter, and the story is an age-old one of revenge and pain. You really feel for the narrator and what she’s going through. Sure, she does something really nasty, but the person receiving that justice totally deserves it. What makes it interesting is the source is confessing to her crimes to Penny, which makes you wonder if they really happened considering that you would never believe the story if told to you. I have to hope it did, though.

Revenge takes a far darker turn in “For Goodness Sake”, where a young boy, Scott, holds a lot of pent up rage for his fucking Golden Boy brother, Marky. And he's not very nice to Santa, either. He's totally going to be on the naughty list. Kids, man. Am I right?

There are a total of fifteen stories in The God Beneath My Garden, and I won’t go through them all so you can discover the delights within for yourself. However, I also want to mention “Georgie”. This is one of my favorites in the collection because, like “Racing the Milk”, Ford deftly balances tragedy and terror without batting an eye. The story tells of how a couple reacts to the death of their young son, and how they react to his return.

At the end of the book, after the stories, is the aforementioned “Author’s Notes” section where Ford has written something about each story in the book, be it how he got the idea or a little tidbit about it. Why isn’t this a thing? I love these, and they are so rare. I hereby demand that all authors do this for their collections. These thoughts Ford shares add even more weight to the great stories.

The God Beneath My Garden was my introduction to Robert Ford’s work, and hot damn is it a good one. He’s a storyteller not unlike Joe R. Lansdale. While they have different voices, it’s easy for me to imagine pulling up a chair by the firepit, pouring a drink of choice, kicking back, and just listening to Ford spill words that form into delightful tales of horror. If you haven’t yet read his work, fix that by starting here. You’re in for a treat. One that bites back unexpectedly.


Overall: 4.5 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK

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About The Author
Steve Pattee
Author: Steve Pattee
Administrator, US Editor
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.
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