Adam Wilson's Reviews > Black Butterflies
by John Shirley
by John Shirley
Adam Wilson's review
Apr 20, 2010
Black Butterflies by John Shirley is BY FAR the worst short story collection i've ever read. Compaired to Peaceable Kingdom by Jack Ketchum, Night Shift by Stephen King, Blue World by Robert R. McCammon, and Strange Highways by Dean Koontz, this is a tree who's life should not have been wasted to form this book. Each story seems to me as if were written by a thirteen year old who only cares about sex and violence. Each story is incredibly thoughtless and pointless. This short story collection won the 1998 Bram Stoker award for best collection? Why? This isn't horror at all! The only story that I even became interested in was the Rubber Smile, and that was only because I liked the idea. It was still put together with a bunch of sentences that seemed like the half-formed thoughts of a kid who can't play Grand Theft Auto because his playstation broke. This is pathetic beyond anything to do with horror that I've read so far. Guys raping each other with claw hammers? A guy having sex with a girl under a mound of dead bodies, blood, and sewage? A girl getting raped and then shooting up the rapist's sperm instead of heroin and dying because of it? It's aweful. Just aweful. Don't waste your time. Please. I only finished it because I kept thinking, "well, it won the Stoker award. There has to be at least one story in here worth reading." Wrong. Sex, blood, disgusting acts and characters, horrible plots, repetitive and nonsensicle themes, and all of it written with the skill of an adolescent using a dictionary to make himself sound smart. In the weak introduction, the writer suggests that maybe the world is ready for John Shirley. I don't think it is. Not yet. Give it time.
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