I picked this book up for $2 at a dollar store. It looks like a trashy pulp horror/erotica novel (and it is, sort of) but I found it surprisingly3.75
I picked this book up for $2 at a dollar store. It looks like a trashy pulp horror/erotica novel (and it is, sort of) but I found it surprisingly enjoyable.
There are 14 stories in this book. The notable ones:
Mr. Torso: The saga of a serial killer who cuts off the limbs of his victims, impregnates them and sells the babies. The juxtaposition of the two voices narrating the story, one an exaggerated dumb hillbilly stereotype and the other an intellectual obsessed with philosophy, is both jarring and memorable.
Give it to me, baby: A painfully lonely man falls in love with a phone-sex operator. This one is more sad that anything else.
Immaterial Girl: A girl who can change her appearance into anyone her client desires commands a high price.
The Last Client: A young escort decides it's time to leave the business. It's her last night, but her client won't let her leave.
A Moment of Ecstasy: One couple's encounter with another during a night of "swinging" turns into a deadly game.
Reincarnal: The reincarnation of a murder victim hunts down the reincarnation of her killer through her clairvoyant dreams.
Suffer Kate: A guy tries to save his friend, a man who can only get off by hanging/suffocating himself.
Sex Starved: An obese man marries a woman who refuses to sleep with him until he loses a lot of weight. Eventually, though, his hunger for food overtakes his hunger for anything else.
The others are either just bizarre, middling, or both, but overall, worth the read and I'll be looking for other books in this series. ...more
Great short story collection! Allegorical, interpretive, and entertaining. Except for a few confusions here and there, I enjoyed it very much. Here arGreat short story collection! Allegorical, interpretive, and entertaining. Except for a few confusions here and there, I enjoyed it very much. Here are my comments for each tale, in the order they are presented:
As Blue as the Sky and Just as Old Meh. Not a strong opening story. Perhaps it was because I wasn't familiar with the rhyme this one is based on, or perhaps it was a pile of rubbish.
Sing a Song of Six-Pence Dark, haunting, and eventually rewarding: A story about the lengths a mother will go to be with her child.
Clockwork This has got to be my favorite one out of the whole anthology. This story has the mouse who ran up a clock turn out to be a girl; how and why she became a mouse is the mystery the girl explores. It keeps you guessing and arrives at a bittersweet conclusion that I approved of wholeheartedly.
Blue An invisible spirit who writes stories on peoples' skin meets a boy who can see her. This story could have had potential had it been expanded some, but it ended too abruptly, without taking that potential anywhere.
Pieces of Eight Eh, a lot of complicated, "mysterious" things happened to develop the worldbuiding, but again, this story wandered around aimlessly and ended without taking its potential anywhere.
Wee Willie Winkie In this one, a girl who has been lying about her age is warned about a curse targeting under-sixteens. The dark atmosphere is particularly strong here; it's a creepy story that will no doubt scare kids into getting to bed on time.
Boys and Girls Come Out To Play Started out great, but turned into something less than great. It was trying too hard to aim for "dark" and got a lot of "huh?" instead.
I Come Bearing Souls This one had an interesting premise, but too much of it was unexplained and left me feeling a little bewildered. Why would the pantheon of Ancient Egypt be incarnated in the bodies of American teenagers, and why would they be performing death rituals on their classmates?
The Lion and the Unicorn (Part One) This is a promising start, but the ARC I recieved of this does not include Part Two, so I can't say anything conclusive about the whole story.
Life in a Shoe In this one, the situation behind the woman with all her kids living in a shoe is explored with a little realism. (With all those children, neglect and poverty are more than probable.) It was okay; not bad, not amazing. A little too simplified and short compared to the other stories.
Candlelight A sad story about what comes to people, especially teenagers, who are selfish and petty and do not appreciate what they have.
One for Sorrow A girl is drawn to a strange crow who shows up every day at her window. He wants her to break a curse that has been set on him, but in doing so, she might just set the curse on herself instead.
Those Who Whisper Reminded me of the novel Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. A young woman is cast from her village after a mysterious string of murders claims her mother. She lives in a hut out in the forest for years, until one day a familiar face shows up at her door with a horrifying truth. Not bad.
Little Miss Muffet I couldn't make sense of this one. People turned into spiders randomly and ate each other's friends. Seriously.
Sea of Dew A haunting story about the fate of people lost at sea.
Tick Tock A very, very creepy babysitter horror story. Great atmosphere, but it was too bizarre and nonsensical to be a great story. I failed to see how or why any of the events in this story could have happened, even in a horror fiction. Usually the villains/spectres in horror have some kind of reason, no matter how twisted, for what they do; in this tale there was nothing I could infer as to what their motives were.
A Pocket Full of Posy This one caught my interest very quickly. A boy wakes up in a field, with blood on his hands, and finds his girlfriend dead nearby. But he cannot remember what happened, and won't rest until he does. I liked it, but was disappointed by the solution it arrived at.
The Well What really happened when Jack and Jill fell down a hill? Unfortunate things.
The Wish Could practically be the poster story for the phrase "be careful what you wish for." A girl makes a wish upon a star, and a moment later a boy appears to unknowingly grant her wish.
A Ribbon of Blue A sweet tale about death and the release it can provide.
Thanks to NetGalley.com and Month9Books for providing me with the ARC! ...more