Horror Novel Review: Out Behind The Barn

Out Behind the Barn horror novel

Chad Lutzke and John Boden are two of my favorite new horror writers. When I heard they were collaborating, I couldn’t wait to read the results.

This duo is magic.

I read Out Behind the Barn without stopping. Good thing I did, as this story runs a staggering gamut of emotions best experienced in one sitting. Dotted with bits of literary prose and nostalgia that would have made Jack Ketchum proud, Out Behind the Barn is at-once sentimental, dread-inducing, and heart-wrenching.

I can’t recommend this novella enough.

“Out Behind the Barn” by Chad Lutzke and John Boden is a horror novel that is both unsettling and poignant, a rare combination that stays with the reader long after the last page is turned. The book starts with an eerie, almost fairy-tale-like atmosphere as two boys watch Miss Maggie carry a canvas-wrapped parcel into the barn, excitedly acknowledging that “she got someone.” This event, they tell us, signifies “family growth.”

The writing style is crisp and evocative, effectively capturing the odd blend of innocence and dark happenings that define the world of the story. The prose dances between unsettling visual imagery and the emotional landscapes of the characters in a way that is both unnerving and engrossing.

Character development is one of the strengths of this novel. Miss Maggie is portrayed with layers that unfold slowly, allowing readers to grapple with their own feelings toward her. The two boys, too, are nuanced characters, their innocence increasingly compromised as they are pulled deeper into the family’s dark secret. The authors do an excellent job of capturing the inner worlds of their characters, making them feel real and lending weight to their actions.

The plot moves at a measured pace, building tension through both action and atmosphere. It culminates in a climax that is as shocking as it is inevitable, drawing together the strands of horror and tragedy that have been so carefully laid out. And yet, for all its darkness, the story is not without its moments of emotional resonance that touch on themes of family, love, and the human capacity for both good and evil.

The horror elements are more psychological than graphic, using the power of suggestion and the reader’s own imagination to fill in the gaps. This is a story that knows the value of restraint and employs it to great effect.

The setting of the barn and the surrounding area take on almost mythic proportions, as though the landscape itself is a character in the story. The authors use it to add another layer to the atmosphere, with the barn serving as a kind of grim stage upon which the family drama is enacted.

“Out Behind the Barn” is a masterfully executed horror novel that uses its genre trappings to explore complex emotional and ethical terrain. It is a story that manages to be both unsettling and deeply human, a compelling read that lingers in the mind long after the last page has been turned. Highly recommended for those looking for a horror story with depth.

If you’re searching for scary horror which is free to read in Kindle Unlimited, check out my list of blood-curdling horror novels.

Chad Lutzke – Biography

Chad Lutzke and John Boden

Chad Lutzke is an American author, celebrated for his unique blend of horror and emotional storytelling. Born and raised in the Midwest, Lutzke has been captivated by the power of narrative since a young age. Over the years, he has honed his skill of plunging into the dark recesses of the human soul, and his works often explore the complex interplay between horror and poignant human experience.

Lutzke’s introduction to horror came early, inspired by iconic authors like Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Robert W. Chambers. He soon discovered that horror wasn’t just a medium for fright but a lens through which the complexities of human emotions could be keenly examined.

His writing style is noted for its lyrical prose, psychological depth, and attention to character development. Readers have praised Lutzke’s ability to induce terror while simultaneously tugging at heartstrings, a testament to his multifaceted talent. His stories are as haunting as they are emotionally resonant, often culminating in endings that leave readers both satisfied and contemplative.

Lutzke gained significant attention with titles like “Out Behind the Barn,” co-written with John Boden, which was lauded for its innovative take on family dynamics set against a backdrop of subtle horror. His other works, which span novellas, short stories, and full-length novels, have been similarly well-received. He has been featured in several anthologies and has also penned non-fiction pieces that delve into the craft of writing and the intricacies of the horror genre.

In addition to his writing, Chad Lutzke is an advocate for the genre, often participating in panel discussions, writing workshops, and horror conventions. He’s been a guest on numerous podcasts and has a strong social media presence, where he engages with his readership and discusses everything from the mechanics of storytelling to his latest book recommendations.

Whether it’s through his stirring narratives or his influence within the horror community, Chad Lutzke’s impact on the genre is indelible. For those seeking stories that are as emotionally charged as they are terrifying, Lutzke’s works are an essential read.

John Boden – Biography

HP Lovecraft and John Boden

John Boden is a respected figure in the realm of horror fiction, renowned for his intricate storytelling and ability to elicit both terror and thoughtfulness from his readers. With roots deep in the genre, Boden has dedicated much of his life to exploring the myriad ways that horror can be both entertaining and profoundly unsettling.

Growing up with a voracious appetite for books, Boden was drawn early on to the works of seminal horror authors like Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. This early exposure ignited a passion for the genre, setting the course for his own venture into writing.

Boden’s style is noted for its complex narratives, rich character development, and a nuanced understanding of human psychology. He often delves into the dark corners of human existence, tackling themes such as existential dread, the complexity of morality, and the human capacity for both good and evil. His works not only horrify but also provoke thought, inviting readers to confront their own fears and insecurities.

Among his most well-known works is “Out Behind the Barn,” co-authored with Chad Lutzke. The novella has been hailed as a masterful blend of horror and emotional storytelling, exploring unsettling themes within the context of a seemingly ordinary rural setting. Boden’s solo works have also received high praise, earning him a devoted following and critical acclaim.

Aside from his contributions as an author, John Boden is also an active member of the horror community. He has participated in various panels, podcasts, and conventions, often speaking on the craft of writing and the evolution of the horror genre. His reviews and essays on horror literature and film are widely read, making him a prominent voice in the discourse surrounding the genre.

For those seeking a layered, intellectual approach to horror that doesn’t skimp on the scares, John Boden’s work offers a compelling experience. His stories are not merely tales of terror but also windows into the complexities of the human condition, making him a standout author in a genre known for its emotional and psychological depth.

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