Joe Pulver has one of the most unique and original voices in weird/horror fiction, and this is a fantastic jumping in point for his work (though his book 'The Orphan Palace' is one of my all-time favorite novels). I own a copy of this back in New Zealand, and I had to buy this again to own over here in the UK. I couldn't recommend this highly enough!
How to explain Joseph S. Pulver's Blood will have its Season? I only recently became familiar with Mr. Pulver's work, but already I can safely say that he is one audaciously talented author and that this collection is one of the best books I have read in ages! The stories in this book rest somewhere in the domains of horror/dark fantasy and would appeal to anyone who has a penchant for authors like H.P. Lovecraft or Thomas Ligotti. What probably makes Pulver's writing similar to these authors is his use of bleak and brooding settings to spin visceral tales that rely less on violence and gore and more on the power to suggest existential nightmares that stalk hazy boundaries between our world and other indefinable forms of existence. In particular, his major use of urban decay is an aspect of his work that brings to mind Ligotti. However, this is where comparisons end. This book is not simply a pastiche or homage to the aforementioned bastions of horror, but is something quite different. Actually, I would go as far to say that Pulver transcends many assumptions as to what horror should be and forges his own niche that takes horror to new horizons. To me, the term `horror' does injustice to this masterwork; something like `dark literature' might be more apt, which is also the case with Lovecraft and Ligotti, both of whom have a certain magic that puts them leagues ahead of other writers and that cannot be easily mimicked (I tried reading some so-called Lovecraftian fiction by other authors, but it did not have the same spark). Pulver, I feel, is the natural culmination of what this kind of literature has been (or perhaps should have been) gradually working towards. His style is in places highly experimental and his use of language unique. I'm not sure if there is anyone else writing in this genre with the kind of fragmentary prose and flow of consciousness that he at times employs, but it really works well! Although others might beg to differ, I don't think it an exaggeration to locate his work in the realm of postmodern fiction. Thus, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it also to anyone who enjoys experimental fiction and good literature but who doesn't usually read horror or fantasy. At times, his style is quite challenging and you might have to reread some stories, but great literature should never be easy; it should be challenging and seek to provoke a reaction from the reader. Pulver's writing is certainly provoking and will leave an indelible mark on anyone who picks it up and comes through on the other side, painting a world that is as much brutal as it is beautiful and imploring readers to reconcile these seemingly antagonistic aspects of existence. In short, if you are looking for something unique, then this is the book for you. I look forward to reading his forthcoming publication with bated breath!