I have only recently been introduced to the work of Andrew Lennon having read and enjoyed immensely Twisted Shorts. I was therefore hoping that A Taste of Fear would produce some of the same frightening and macabre tales to while away a few restless hours and create some sleepless nights.
These are chilling stories from the mind of a very original author which entrap you from the first page and refuse to let you go. The pace is unrelenting and the imagery although at times explicit, and possibly disturbing, is also highly enjoyable and essential to the execution of these finely crafted tales.
A collection of short horror stories is an unusual and difficult exercise for an author to achieve. The action must be immediate, the stories not over complex but exciting enough to thrill and shock. My own particular favourites were; Apartment 2B where a taxidermist introduces his loving wife Emma to his part time butchery; Killing Christmas where our hero Jeff bemoans the excesses of the xmas stampede "It's only the beginning of November!" He shouted. "Shut the hell up"; Bad Day where Walter is having the day from hell, entombed in motorway traffic and running dangerously late for a meeting with his boss Brendan....something has to give"
With such unforgettable phrases as "The maggots of fear within me squirm to the surface yet cannot gnaw their way out" and a final brilliant sentence "I do not have schizophrenia. I am the monster in the dark"....I highly commend both the mind and the intellectual writing ability of this emerging author.
Well I have a confession to make I was 75% into this book of short horror stories when my kindle keyboard died and nothing I could do would revive it....electric shock treatment...stimulation...even talking to it nicely it all failed and so while I wait for a new kindle to arrive from ebay I thought I would share my pleasantly surprised thoughts and review with you!
I say pleasantly surprised because so often when reading a compilation of short horror stories my thoughts are mixed. Some stories are reasonable, some are mediocre and naturally some are poor. However IRW appears to have produced a near perfect set of highly original and most certainly very exciting little gems. I particularly enjoyed H is for Hell when Barbara is having a bad day and encounters a lonely tramp and what follows is a brilliant Groundhog tale of woe. In N for Noddy a young drunken drugged teenager must face the consequences of a forgotten night out with friends and how a decision taken in haste can destroy a life. I is for Ice is a particularly good example of how to snare a reader from the opening paragraph..Peter wakens up to find Doctor Faraday soothing his brow and encouraging him to consume a special blue drink. A lovely unexpected twist at the end creates a classic little tale.
So I have decided for the reasons stated to review this book having not quite completed it. I have no reason to doubt that the last 25% is equally brilliant and look forward to reading more by this exciting young English author in the very near future.....
13 tales that will have you reaching for the nightlight before you go to bed tonight.
If you want to be afraid, I mean very afraid, of the night, a dark country road, a drag race, vampires and werwolves, the beach…well, Anthony Renfro covers them all.
Don’t turn out the lights, do snuggle up with a friend and get ready for a wild ride.