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No Mercy: Dark Poems by Alessandro Manzetti (Review) @amanzetti @crystallakepub


Sent to me by Crystal Lake Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: 09/06/17

Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing

ISBN: 978-1640074767

Format: E-Book, 70pp

Genre: Poetry

Rating: 5/5

Summed up in a word: Surrealistic

First Impressions

I don’t often pick up poetry, especially for review, but when I saw No Mercy I thought it would be a brilliant opportunity to attempt my first poetry review here on Always Trust In Books. Crystal Lake Publishing are an amazing indie publisher focused on the darker side of writing. They generously sent me several books to review and I went straight for No Mercy… Look at that cover! This is a very short read, I read it twice in about half an hour but Manzetti fills every line with haunting, morbid and lurid narratives. The imagery that AM conjured in his poetry will stay with me for a long time. Pick up No Mercy and see for yourself.

Book Synopsis

The Lady in Black shows no mercy to anyone; she has cold skin, a job to do, and many lovers on Earth: Despair, Loneliness, Madness, and their soldiers and killers of daily life, armed with blades, hammers, teeth, and illusions. There are strange and bloody stories that tell all about it, if you want to hear them…

Are you sure? Well, you’ve found the right place, but consider that in turning these pages you’ll be thrown forward through time, until you reach the Apocalypse—the last stop.

So, like the Lady in Black, show yourself no mercy—sit down and read these stories, listening to Janis Joplin with a bottle of Southern Comfort cradled in your arm.

Don’t worry, you’ll find both of them inside this book, along with so many other dark pleasures.

My Review

Manzetti is true to his word; these poems are incredibly dark! No Mercy is a remarkable read. Inspired by Janis Joplin, her life and death, as well as a collection of varied and haunting stories. I was taken aback by the emotions that AM invokes with these twisted tales. The imagery that AM conjures up with his expertly written pieces was superb. Superbly disturbing. This poetry is not for the faint hearted, it is hair raising, filled with stories of death, cannibalism, suicide and damnation. AM’s work appeals to the darker, more macabre side of our psyches. No Mercy distorts tragedies of everyday life and AM’s delivery ensures that they stay with you for a long time.

“I can walk hand in hand with Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, or my unborn son in a radioactive future, with museums full of skeletons of books, skulls of writers and tyrannosaurus teeth”

I could quote this book all day. The above quote is from Blue Grace (inspired by another poem from the same name). The narrator is high on LSD and it makes for a strange but captivating read. All of AM’s works strike similar cords but over a vast spectrum of subjects and suffering. The Janis Joplin influences are certainly moving, seeing her struggling with and succumbing to her addiction. The poem that amazed me the most was definitely the title poem. I had to read No Mercy quite a few times to grasp the true nature of the poem and I was freaked out by the aberration that the story is centred around. Hunger and cannibalism; alongside beauty and appreciation. Intense!

“Looks like his luck just ran out, as long as he sees something shimmering in a green plastic dumpster, its toothless mouth wide open all night long. If that sparkling light is an illusion of starvation, of death in slow-motion, dragging you into its blue house one millimeter per day, there is no more mercy for him, the man thinks.”

Overall I have given No Mercy 5/5 stars as it was a scary, heart racing read that reminded me of the power of poetry. Stripping down the narrative and focusing on visceral and irrational moments of humanity. I recommend No Mercy to all those readers who want to experience a darker shade of fiction.

Pick up a copy of No Mercy here: Crystal Lake / Amazon UK / Goodreads

.01About Alessandro Manzetti

Alessandro Manzetti is a Bram Stoker Award-winning author, editor, and translator of horror fiction and dark poetry whose work has been published extensively in Italian, including novels, short and long fiction, poetry, essays, and collections. English publications include his collections The Garden of Delight, The Massacre of the Mermaids, The Monster, the Bad and the Ugly (with Paolo Di Orazio), Dark Gates (with Paolo Di Orazio), Stockholm Syndrome (with Stefano Fantelli), and the poetry collections No Mercy, Eden Underground (Bram Stoker Award 2015 winner), Sacrificial Nights (with Bruce Boston, Bram Stoker Award 2016 nominee), and Venus Intervention (with Corrine de Winter, Bram Stoker Award 2014 nominee). He edited the anthology The Beauty of Death (Bram Stoker Award 2016 nominee). This bio was found at:


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