By Selina Rosen. Cover by Sherri Dean.
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Something is very badly wrong in the Hospital ICU where Donna's father is supposedly convalescing. Nurses disappear and never return, necessary treatments are delayed without cause, and she can't get a straight answer out of anyone...except the dead guy who keeps talking to her post-op crazy father.
A review posted on The Horror Channel
By Morgan Ploutz (Wednesday, February 22, 2006 )
Donna's father is in the hospital. He had complications after surgery to repair a herniated bowel. Donna's mother is frantic. Donna's spineless brother is covering the family business. Donna's bitchy married sister has two children to take care of. This, along with the fact that she's considered the strong one in her family, leaves Donna having to deal with all the hard decisions while her father's sick.
Oh, and Donna's a manic-depressive lesbian whose relationship is slowly slipping away. Add to all that the fact that her father's condition is getting worse...and he's seeing ghosts. Donna's then left with the dilemma of whether or not she should believe her father and investigate his accusations against the hospital staff, or write him off as a crazy old man.
Material Things is not a typical horror story despite the presence of the ghosts. There's a juxtaposition of terror and tame. The things that you would normally be scared of are friendly, and the things that should be comforting are scary. While it's not a tale meant to horrify in the normal sense, it does chill the reader. Rosen's writing is, above all, sharply witty. While many of the secondary characters are believable and amusing, Donna is a force to be reckoned with — on several levels. The story itself is interesting and, for anyone who's had a bad experience with the medical profession, a bit vindicating as well.
I would hesitate to classify Material Things as strictly horror. It would be more accurate to call it horror comedy. But still, I had to admit that the last line sent a chill through me that still hasn't left me. Rosen's writing is really the biggest treat of all, and I would so enjoy to see more of it, especially when turned to a truly blood-curdling tale. Still, Material Things is well worth the read.