Firstly I noticed the beautiful cover art and then noted at the back in the blurb that William Cook designs his own, and others, covers – what talent.
I was only going to read one story in this book to see if I would be interested or not, hahaha yeah right! I came out of my Kindle many hours later a little staggered and wide eyed.
How have I overlooked this fabulous author for so long? I have read a few of his books but this collection of shorts is intense and shows off his erudite flow and use of words perfectly.
So, on with the stories in this book.
The Reader: my first thought when finishing the final sentence was WTF! This was so brilliant and intense, I was not sure whether to “shut” the book or carry on!
A man gets hooked on reading after the birth of his daughter, what a wonderful thing you may imagine, until it absorbs him in the most hideous way.
Delightfully gore laden WC captures that feeling that US avid readers get when we find a new story or author to indulge ourselves with, only he ratchets up the “forgot to eat dinner” scenario and then bangs you over the head with it!
Kaleidoscope Kid: I have always wondered if human monsters are nurture or nature? This poor chap seems to be part of that question, with such a sad start, middle and end to his life.
I almost wanted visions of my own for the wonderful little critters that visit and chat with him, almost.
I was so glad that Pa got his justice but eeeew what a way to go! Intrigued? You should be! The stories seem to only be getting better in this collection.
What a Man wants: This little show stopping story is much more the clipped, yet deep style I expect from WC (having read his other novels).
A harsh life is described and just as I started to feel sorry for the poor sap he twists his tail (no miss spell!).
Fantastic ending to an icky story.
Blinded by the Light: Quite possible the most sickening first line I think I have ever read, made my stomach knot and retch.
It does not get any better or it becomes more brilliant depending on how you like your grotesque!
Amazing in all its disgusting glory, yet still so full of story.
The Night Terror: Much more flowery and esthetic in its prose this story begins to soothe the thus far shocked and tattered mind that is mine, but I cannot stop reading.
Don’t be fooled though, the initial calm relaxes you into a stupor of rhythm before WC tosses you into the pit of hell fire once more.
Legacy; The Eternal Now and Hereafter: It is kind of scary that these two loons thinking up a declaration of independence and freedom for all using pipe bombs and destruction actually made sense, such is the power of the authors writing skill.
This story lurches from weird to horrific and then onto freaky. By far the longest story in this collection I think “enjoy” would be the wrong word but I was totally engrossed.
Til Death Do Us Part: Hugo does not take his wife’s request for a divorce too well.
This has to be my favourite story for all the mental visuals of gore, even had some smell and touch in there too I think.
Almost tongue in cheek complete with fumbling surgeon, shotguns and clueless cops. This story alone is worth the cost of the collection.
Dead Memories: WC manages to write about love lost in such a beautiful way that you almost don’t notice the dull edge of pain as he then rips your heart out.
As the nightmare hauntings intensify I was not sure of the history but was too wrapped in the destination to care.
The Devil Inside: Poor young Jacob what an awful life he has, but is seems he has an avenger, and they live under his bed.
The Beast has finally matured and is hungry…..
A tale of revenge that left me smiling.
Creeper: The poor crow or creeper bird gets blamed for all the bad things that befall this stuck up idiot! Short and with no obvious outcome this was a snippet of a moment, but wonderfully written.
Conceived by Death: If you want well placed gore and stomach churning horror, this is the read for you; from drug use, murdering of mums and babies to the birth of something unknown WC wraps all of that horror into a great story with a purpose and not just for the sake of more gore of puke factor.
Burnt Offerings: WC does tales of abusive revenge like no other. He is able to portray the pain so that any wrong doings done to the perpetrators don’t feel at all excessive and possibly deserve one ounce more.
Short but not sweet a strong female lead this time.
Pretty Boy: Another bucket load of eeeeew!
Jasper is on the prowl for more fresh flesh to rape and kill when the local police stop him and give out their own brand of unique justice.
I would really like to read the extended version of this! (hint hint)
Aspects of Infinity: Really disliked this story as it was far too abstract in writing style for me to connect with and I was getting bored with my own struggle to keep up.
Am glad this was near the end as not sure I would have continued with the book had it been first.
Just not MY thing, but probably somebodies.
Dead and Buried: Poor Donny and Max. This felt like a really “nice” ending to the whole book, full of possible hope as well as the spine chilling horror, not the usual WC gore and rub your face in it, this was much more subtle and ultimately more intrusive.
Really enjoyed this book of revenge with some strong drinking, smoking, drug and abuse themes going on. I’m sure a shrink would have a field day with WC brain – maybe he should visit Hannibal! That would be a certain match.