Book Review: The Strange Thing We Become by Eric LaRocca

The Strange Thing We Become and other Dark Tales by Eric LaRocca Review

By Justin Montgomery

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Eric LaRocca sent shockwaves through the horror community earlier this year with the publication of their phenomenal novella, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. A masterclass in tension and storytelling, I was blown away. When I was approached to give a review of their debut collection, The Strange Thing We Become and other Dark Tales, I jumped on the opportunity, and was once again whisked away into LaRocca’s velvet prose, thrust mercilessly into their macabre imagination rendered so beautifully onto the page. 

The stories collected here are quite dark. This collection challenged me, pushed me into uncomfortable and repulsive territory, but I’m glad that it did—save for one story. I appreciated how the stories collected here grew in length and complexity as the collection went on, starting with the brilliant and quick “You Follow Wherever They Go” and growing. One thing that I simply love about LaRocca’s work is the way they title their stories. Creative and complex, yet effectively capturing the themes and emotion within the stories. A welcome change from the formulaic titles of “The (insert noun here)” that most authors (myself included) fallback onto. It’s here that, from the very outset of the stories, that LaRocca distinguishes themselves from the pack.