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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

Review: This Skin was Once Mine - Eric LaRocca

Genre: Horror Short-stories/Novella's Published: Titan Books, April 2024 My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

"The worst thing a person can do after they’ve hurt you, is let you live. That’s how you truly and unmistakably destroy another human being."

Special shout out to the audio narrators on this one as each of them did a fantastic job and gave the individual stories a unique and distinct feel.

As far as the stories themselves are concerned: it was a bit of a mixed bag. I have to say that I’m not a big fan of this author work. This has been my second collection by him, and I’ve decided not to pick up any more of his work in the future, because his brand of horror just isn’t for me. If you enjoy his style (gruesome, dark and with a hint towards the bloody and torturous); there’s plenty of that to be found here.


A woman returns to her childhood home after her father unexpectedly passed. She discover a dark secret that changes anything she thought she knew about her dad and her childhood.

Disturbing but quite interesting. Loved the commentary on (childhood)trauma (the worst thing you can do to a survivor is making sure they live”) and cycle of abuse.

- SEEDLING 4/5 stars.

A son and his elderly father are both afflicted with a strange skin condition after the death of their mother/wife. Their shared experience brings them (perhaps too close) together.

Body horror and grief; very much up my alley. The ending my was far too abrupt for my liking and detracted from the story though.


A strange conversation between a shopkeeper and a costumer looking for a specific kind of kitchen knife has dark consequences.

This one didn’t do it for me, but I can see how it could work for LaRoccas typical audience. Lots of gross-out-horror and trypophobia. Not my personal jam though.

- PRICKLE 1/5 star

Two elderly gentleman play a sadistic game where they inflict small sufferings on others. Things escalate.

I hated this story. From the writing to the characters to the ending which was utterly pointless in my opinion. Definitively the low point of the collection and not a great feeling to end it off with.

Overall: a mixed bag that I would recommend for fans of the author, but didn't quite love myself. You can find this book here on Goodreads.


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