Book Review: Talia by Daniel Volpe

My first taste of indie horror was “The Language of Fear” by Del James. Having just moved back to Texas from Los Angeles, I could relate to the Hollywood horrors portrayed in the anthology. I remember asking myself “Can people really write this way and get away with it?”

I woke up the next morning and wrote my first short story. I was first published a few years later.

That was 2004. It is now 2021. The indie horror fan base has cannibalized itself. I would call it “woke,” but even woke people have nerves. No, not the majority, but the loudest of the vocal minority pretending to be the wimpy majority have made it nearly impossible to speak freely in the pages of modern extreme horror. It’s sad, really, but expected. Literary revolutions are inevitable every decade or so, I just think we’re all moving in the wrong direction. Now, I ask myself “can we still write this way and get away with it?”

Daniel Volpe says “Yes.”


In the early 1990s the rising popularity of the video cassette gave birth to a seedy, underground world of illicit pornography.
Talia, a Midwest dreamer, leaves home in search of fame under the blinding Broadway lights. But nothing could have prepared her for what she finds instead. Savage violence, bottomless depravity, and no way out.

Talia will unapologetically drag you into the foul underbelly of society. A sanity straining journey, full of hot bloodshed and betrayal.

My Review:

That loud, vocal minority I spoke of earlier will hate every sentence in this book. Why? Because it’s real. The type of scenario taking place was an underworld regularity in the 1990’s and, thanks to the internet and the fact that EVERYONE has a recording device in their pockets, it’s even more of an occurrence today! Society wants to pretend this is all fiction and, for the sake of this story, it is. The scenario? Real. Daily. Probably happening this very minute inside a home in our own neighborhoods on month old dirty sheets with an iPhone. Horror seeded in reality is my favorite kind. If you are easily triggered by sex, violence, gore, breathing, etc. (you know who you are), stay away from this book. In fact, stay away from ALL books in this genre. That’s what a synopsis and dedication page are for in indie horror. They’re wimp warnings. Heed them.

I went into this book with no clues. I’ll do the same for you. If you’re a fan of the extreme, this one is definitely for you. Don’t send it to school with your kid, don’t read it out loud on the subway, and don’t leave it sitting on the back of the toilet at church. This is one of the most extreme offerings I’ve read in quite a while, and I can’t wait to read more from this author. I can’t help but wonder if Mr. Volpe has spent a little time behind the camera himself…




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