Saturday, October 22, 2011
The New Death and Others
This interesting collection of tales has just recently fallen into my grasp for free by way of the author, James Hutchings, who asked only that I review it here in exchange. As the fact that the only label for this post if "Review" some of you might have realized I actually mean to do so which probably shocks me more then any of you as I never expected anything like this to happen. Anyway on to the review itself!
I absolutely enjoyed reading the book. There I said it, full stop, no more is needed...
Oh, your still here? I guess I should really go into why enjoyed it, huh? First of all a good number of the stories contain twists that I did not expect. Now this may not seem such a surprise to you out there, "Oh no a surprise was surprising!" and all that but let me tell you something about myself. I read a lot. Not just a lot as in I read more then normal but as in one summer vacation I read three to four paperbacks a day, everyday till school started. It takes a bit of work to pull a surprise twist on me. While some of the stories are the generic twist in a can there are a decent number of stories that do surprise me and this was the quite the novelty.
Another thing I liked about the collection was how it wove humor and horror together. Many of the stories contained within poke fun at a great number of things in a way that I enjoy and yet there are stories that raise the hair on my neck. Not that surprising in a book where part of the description is "Death gets a roommate" and one of the sample stories you can read for free is based off of one of Lovecraft's stories. The important thing though is that they mix well. There are a few bumps in the flow here and there but whether on purpose or not the stories have an overall flow and the funny moments leads to fear in such a delectable way. A quick note about the humor though, I am using the word "humor" as a broad description to cover not only the normal run of the mill types but puns and satire as well, you have been warned.
A final thing I have to say about it is that you get a lot. The book contains 44 short stories and 19 poems. It contains more quality work then most story collections books could ever hope of glimpsing. I even enjoyed the poems which I tend not to though that may just be a symptom of most poems that I have had to read in the past where for school but whatever. Now I won't try claiming every story contained is a jewel as they are not and some of the short stories are more short then they are story but enough of the the book was worth it that I was able to enjoy myself all the way through. You can get the book for the Kindle at Amazon and in a number of other formats as well as read samples from it at Smashwords.