Luke Walker approached me recently with an offer of a free review copy of his book, Die Laughing. Since I have read, (and enjoyed), Mirror of the Nameless, I accepted his offer. I’m glad I did.
This was a collection of short stories and I’m not going to comment on them all, just the ones that knocked my socks off:
Dead Leaves Kicked Ass!! This nasty little tale takes your feelings for the protagonist, crumples them up, throws them on the ground and then stomps all over them. An effective short story that delivered on the chills and my favorite story in this collection. Well done, sir! Well done! 5*
Death’s Christmas Presence You know, you never can trust the Devil or the Grim Reaper, or whatever role he’s playing at the moment. I found myself yelling, (okay, in my head- but it WAS yelling) at the woman in the story , DON’T DO IT! But, of course, she did. 5*
The Approaching Darkness This story put me off balance and then the pieces slowly came together, bit by bit. I was left wondering what I would do in such a situation. I’d probably wait on making a decision until I saw what happened with Margaret Thatcher. Sounds strange, right? That’s why I think this would have made an excellent Twilight Zone episode. 5*
Neighbors Ever had a neighbor that had no fear or respect? Ones that play their music at 11, (Spinal Tap fans know what I mean), and don’t care if you have to work in the morning, and don’t care if you call the police, (because they’re so busy they wouldn’t bother coming anyway?) If you’ve been there, you can understand what happened in this short story. That doesn’t make it any less horrific, though. 5*
Upload The times in which we live afford a lot of opportunities for these types of people we (all too) often hear about. I’m sure you’ve heard about the types I’m referring to- the guys in Walmart with cameras on their shoes, trying to get up-skirt photos for other weirdos to marvel over on the internet. If you found yourself the target of such a weirdo, what would you do? I liked that this story was from a woman’s point-of-view, and it perfectly depicted how such a woman would feel, in my opinion. Again, I have to say: well done! 4*
The English Nowhere At first we’re walking in the English countryside with a group of men and it was nothing special. Then this story morphed into something completely different. Lovecraft! Fun! This was an imaginative tale and it was surprising too. 4*
At the end, the author added a little blurb about how each story came about, which I enjoyed, and then there was a bonus track titled How to Live Forever and I loved that story too. It put me in mind of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books. If you think about a book’s life and its relationship to and with other books, I think you’ll find that a good one can and does, live forever.
Overall, this was an above average collection. The stories varied widely in theme and not all of them worked for me, but most of them did.
Highly recommended for fans of short stories, horror and dark fiction!
*I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is it.*