The Waking That Kills by Stephen Gregory

The Waking That Kills - Stephen Gregory

Stephen Gregory strikes gold again with this creepy, literary, psychological story. That's the best description I can come up with for this horrific tale. I hesitate to put a horror label on this story because it's SO MUCH MORE than that.


Mr. Gregory's prose is sublime, as always, and often chilling. I had goose flesh quite a few times while reading this story full of madness, confusion, ghosts?, psychopaths?, alcohol and a mother's love. 


The synopsis goes into the plot of this story, so I will not. Instead, I want to talk about my impressions. The subtitle of this book is "A dark novel of possession". I've been thinking about what that means. There were no Exorcist moments here. No heads turning 'round or pea soup spouting out. (What were there were quiet moments, punctuated with scenes of extreme violence and chilling madness.) Perhaps the possession mentioned in the subtitle is referring to the fact that we can't hold on to things in this life. Not people, not things, sometimes not even our memories. Perhaps this novel is about what happens when we cannot let these possessions, or people, go? That's how I choose to see it, anyway. Future or other readers, I would be happy to talk to you about what you thought in the comments below.


To mention the prose once again, it's beautiful and mostly simple, yet effective. (Though I had to break out my Kindle dictionary a couple of times.) I've tried to analyze it and that's the best I can come up with. Check out this quote below. 


I went up to the tower. I thought I might find the woman and the boy there, in bed together. Or the boy and his father, enjoying some quality time, a dead man and a mad boy chuckling and joshing and exchanging their stories of being dead and being mad.

There you have it. No big words, nothing pretentious, just a few chilling sentences, made all the more chilling by the almost careless way they're related. Mr. Gregory is a MASTER at this and he has never failed at pulling it off.


Overall, this story was awesome! I don't know any other way to put it. If this book sounds even a little bit interesting to you, I recommend you grab it, read it and come back. We'll talk. :)


My highest recommendation!