Short Story Review: “It’s All the Same Road in the End” by Brian Hodge

3 of 5 stars.

The stuff of urban legends and the weight of American folklore resides in the unmapped expanses of the Appalachian and Ozark Mountains and in the rolling wheat fields of the sparsely populated Great Plains. Like a season of Supernatural, two brothers head to Kansas to find clues into the disappearance of their maternal grandfather who disappeared a half-century earlier.

Will and Clarence never knew their grandfathers. The one died of Black Lung when their father was young. The other disappeared with few clues when their mother was young. Now she is dying and wants closure on her missing father. The only clues left behind are the budding musicologist’s tape recorder and the camera he had with him when he disappeared. The developed grainy film shows a strange, old woman in front of her ramshackle house in nameless western Kansas. The tape recorder holds 3 minutes of an old woman’s haunting lamentation not in English or any recognizable language.

The brothers spend considerable breaks from work heading from the East Coast to the Mid-West trying to find the nondescript farmhouse and farm and the identity of the old woman. In their search for their ancestor, the young men find out considerably more about themselves and their relationships to each other and to their parents . . .

This tale appears in the New Lovecraftian anthology, The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu edited by Paula Guran. I received my copy of the anthology directly from Prime Books. I’ve previously read this author’s “Dead Giveaway” and “The Same Deep Waters As You”.
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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