What Goes on in the Walls at Night by Andrew Schrader

★★★★★  What Goes on In the Walls at Night is a collection of a dozen short stories from author Andrew Schrader, combining a unique mixture of horror and science fiction. His eclectic tales of varied length involve a boy who eats buildings, a TSA agent who enjoys touching travelers passing through the security line, a man who literally transforms into whatever he eats, an adolescent who finds peace through stargazing, a couple who spends their entire marriage pretending to be people they are not, a boy who sucks the life out of his parents, the strange world of competitive toilet flushing, and more.

Schrader is a talented writer with an impressive imagination. As such, his short fictional stories are well developed and delightfully odd. It’s as if in What Goes on in the Walls at Night Schrader has set out to articulate the creepy and perplexing dreams we all have at night, which we struggle to ever fully recall or retell to others in the daytime. Each story is more bizarre and entertaining than the last, and readers will find themselves simultaneously cringing and smiling while reading many of these short tales. While a darkness and grotesqueness inhabit much of Schrader’s storytelling, there are seeds of beauty sprinkled throughout which force the readers to pause momentarily in reflection. Schrader’s writing does much more than amuse. He urges us to acknowledge that while life is mind-boggling and frightening beyond belief, it’s also fascinating as hell. Schrader has proven that even some of our nightmares are worth remembering.

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