Monster's Reviews > Paradigms of Suffering: Choose Your Path Wisely

Paradigms of Suffering by Greg Dixon
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's review
Oct 15, 2010

bookshelves: anthologies-collections

Choose Your Path Wisely is the latest installment of Greg Dixon’s series Paradigms of Suffering. In this volume, he has centered his stories on the act of choosing between right and wrong or good and bad.

My favorite story is “Sex Slave”. The story takes place in a brothel in a city where human trafficking and the sex slave trade thrives, a city rich in money but poor in morality. Greed and government corruption are the rule, not the exception. Howard, an American businessman, wants a girl to use and abuse no matter what the cost. What Howard doesn’t realize is that things are not what they seem. Where will his choices bring him? Another favorite is “‘Roid Rage”, about aging pro-baseball player Mark ‘Mad Dog’ McCune who has been in a year-long slump. Mark isn’t happy at the prospect of retiring with a bad year capping off what has been a storied career. His teammate Dan takes him to a lab where a scientist has been hard at work perfecting steroids so they can be used without showing up on tests. Mark decides to take the shots and his game improves. Will Mark regret his choice?

“Miscreant’s Metamorphosis” is a great story about a creepy man who is looking for his soul mate and thinks he has found her in Stephanie. Well, Stephanie is dead—murdered by Dennis. That hasn’t stopped Dennis from living out his fantasies with her. Dennis begins to be haunted by Stephanie and his parents who have passed on. Now he is forced to make another choice. Personally I think he gets what he deserves. “The Upside Down Hell (Drowning Part II)” tells the story of Jenna, a heroin addict and prostitute who has made bad choices all of her life. Now the police are after her for a murder she committed during her first attempted robbery. Jenna ultimately finds herself in a very bad situation that she may not be able to get out of.

Finally there is “The Paradox of Suffering”, a fantastic story that I think could stand on its own as a novella. The story is told in five parts. Part one, “Evolution of Suffering” takes us back to Mah the caveman and his jealousy of Urgh-ah and all he has—a mate, children, the admiration of his tribe, and a warm fire. It doesn’t go well. Part two is Wayne’s story. He is only interested in making money. He hates his wife and his children and just wants to keep making money. Wayne is given the chance to examine his life and maybe learn from his past mistakes. He is sent to another dimension and a voice tells him he will be tested to determine if he can learn to make the right choices. Will Wayne pass the tests or will he continue to make the wrong choices?

This was a great book. All five stories were well written and well edited. I highly recommend Paradigms of Suffering: Choose Your Path Wisely to any horror fan. I also recommend picking up his second in the series, Bloody Seconds. Unfortunately, I have yet to read the first, Torturous Awakenings.

Review by Colleen Wanglund

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