Sunday, 6 October 2013

Horror Stories by JA Konrath & Jack Kilborn


Overall, this is one of the funniest horror books I have read, that said its not perfect and has its fair share of errors and boring moments. His longer novels are well worth a read!

Finicky Eater: The A-bomb has dropped and Jack Kilborn serves up some yummy food possibilities, the more it continues the more gross it becomes.

The Screaming: JK states at the blurb beginning that he wanted to get the local vernacular correct, big fat no from me. Did he miss the fact that 50p was not in circulation until 1969 (the story is set in 1960s – so just on the cusp, but bad research). Another inconsistency is the journey “out of town” is only 15 miles away but takes TWO hours on the train! I know British Rail has its issues, but seriously what was it powered by, snail juice?
Once I got over these really annoying parts the actual story was ok, and only ok, all been done before and nothing new was added. Blah

Mr Pull Ups: an obsession with becoming the no.1 entry into the Guinness Book of Records goes sadly wrong. I was not expecting the final line… great stuff.

The Shed: strange, just strange! Two would be criminals get their punishments.

Them’s Good Eats: two hillbillies get ubducticated, awesome! I tale of piggy revenge! This has to be my favourite, seriously gruesome but so sweet in payback! Some really good humour in this short.

First Time: two boys and a slaughter house. Very short and a bit pointless, for me.

Forgiveness: a serial murderer gives his confession. Some truly sickening moments, with a climatic ending, very well told as I felt myself becoming quite tense.

Redux: a ghostly revenge, cleverly done. Shame about the random errors in spelling and editing.

The Bag: a truly repulsive story on so many levels, no spoilers here. For sheer disgusting thoughts and gore; top marks.

Careful, He Bites: this reminds me of my favourite novel Werewolves anonymous! I was treated to a were-canary in this short tale, so disgusting what the cat does but giggles abound!

Symbios: some good ideas in this sci-fi story, but as I don’t generally read that genre maybe its all been done before. A revolting tale of greed and need.

A Matter of Taste: this really made me giggle, a zombie family argue at the dinner table. Who knew that mentioning Waldorf Salad could make me snort out coffee!

Embrace: JK does state this is over flowery, but wow its worse than that. I was so bogged down in flowers I missed the whole point of the story.

Trailer Sucks: JK really seems to have a hatred of animals as most stories seem to torment them in some ways, its most off putting for an animal lover. Karma is also one of his themes, which I do really like!  This one is high on that list as some Red Necks capture a female vampire and do some unspeakable things, karma is a bitch!

Markey: again with the animals. Plus I did not like this one as it touches too much on mental health issues. I liked the staccato way of writing tho’.

Punishment Room: a tale of torture, most uncomfortable, but with a stranger ending! JK manages to really ratchet up the tension in this one.

The Confession: completely told as a narrative this is inspired. Sweet, bloody revenge. I actually enjoyed the descriptions of torture, mostly due to WHO they were targeting. Awesome.

Basketcase: just gross, but in a weird and fun way. JAK can certainly show you the appeal of being a basketcase.

The Agreement:  when some warped mobster is going to torture you, make sure you listen to the agreement! Very clever.

Well Balanced Meal: omg my stomach was churning, glad I had not eaten. I can see why it won a Gross Out completion, just glad I was not in the audience. Am still gagging just thinking about this.

S.A. : at the beginning of all the stories JK has a little blurb on why, how and where it was written and published. This blurb was very funny, but not as much as the actual story. Totally inspired, this novella (its too long to be called a short) has some amazing nods to the genre and fantastical ideas. Some of the scenes are hysterical I don’t think a chocolate cupcakes will never again pass my lips again. This is my ALL time favourite story from JK. Were-coral still has me in stitches.

Dear Diary: teenage girls are so twisted. Feeding, JK is also obsessed with food. Not a yummy story, but a very good one though.

Mr Spaceman: I found myself snorting with laughter a lot through this rapid fire short. Aliens vs hookers, yeah no contest!

Appalachian Lullaby: Red Necks, monkeys and Uranium – what could go wrong?

Treatment: I am running out of words to describe funny, this was brilliant – I cant say anymore for spoilers!


Sound of Blunder: poor Willie he seems to have every ailment going, poor Bruno the beagle and you have to love Nana. Aliens, dinosaurs… you name it, plus this has so many body parts in it you will struggle to keep up. It does ramble a bit but then I think the aim was to make you feel like you had eaten the pound cake.  Not the greatest story to finish on though.