I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Fanged Dandelion by Eric LaRocca
Published by Demain Publishing on December 31 2020
Genres: Horror, Poetry
Pages: 42
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Publisher
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four stars - Fanged Dandelion by Eric LaRocca | Book Review

A dark and deeply wounding portrait of a young queer man on the verge of splintering apart, ‘Fanged Dandelion’ is a nightmarish odyssey that delves into the bowels of the human mind - a frightening exploration of the caskets we build inside our heads…

Fanged Dandelion is a horrifying collection of 20 poems that will not hesitate to put chills down your spine and search for hidden meaning.  It is seeping in a creeping sense of dread and dismay and the influence of characters through-out LaRocca’s career is a strong marker through-out.  The imagery and pulsating emotion are a siren call, it bleeds between pages, and the short snappy prose is hard hitting and uncompromising.  It’s a dismembered hand crawling out from its haunted pages, its successful in grabbing you by the throat and not letting go until the final story is committed to memory. 

Eric LaRocca is an author who puts his heart and soul into everything he writes.  Its his passion and nothing is clearer from this stunning collection of poems.  The ambiguity and the words hanging from the precipice of a cliff left me hurrying to find hidden meanings, trying to grab it before it was lost forever.  I loved his ability to leave a lot of it up to the readers imagination.  My senses were intensified, and I was on red alert.  From many of the poems I had a feeling of eerie quiet closing in around me, the psyche is affected, and delusions start to take precedence in your mind.  I love LaRocca’s narratives in anything he writes.

Fanged Dandelion like his other works is poetry personified.  One story that stands out for me is Things Can’t Get Much Worse it paints a story of an individual who is bound perhaps in the attic as their mother and father are downstairs reading and preparing vegetables for dinner.  I enjoyed the imagery of a normal life being lived whilst there are horrors being hidden from view from the world’s eyes.  Its haunting and pays homage to the idea that we never know what’s going on behind closed doors.

If you want a story that will truly mess with your mind read A Mother Is A Kind Of God.  It tells a tale of (as I have interpreted it) bodies being thrown into graves.  The deep cavern and the soil acting as the embrace of a mother.  The descriptive writing – “a slim man in tattered flannel and dark overalls, toting a canvas bag and a small toolkit.”  The darkness of this poem, it made the synapses of my brain fire all at once, my imagination was a fertile breeding ground of imagining what could come next. 

Fanged Dandelion is a collection of dark and claustrophobic with soul breaking imagery.  It blew my mind to fragments that made it impossible to gather the pieces afterwards.  An altogether triumphant collection of unique horror poetry. 


7134334 - Fanged Dandelion by Eric LaRocca | Book Review

Eric LaRocca holds an MFA in Writing for Film and Television from Emerson College.

His horror fiction has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies in the US and abroad, such as Stiff Things and Year’s Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 2.

He is also the author of several plays which have been developed and produced at theaters across the country.

His debut novella, Starving Ghosts in Every Thread, was released in May 2020.

His work in screenwriting has placed highly in national competitions, such as Austin Film Festival and Screencraft.


four stars - Fanged Dandelion by Eric LaRocca | Book Review