William Morrow | July 2019 | 352 pgs 
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss 

Having read two of Paul Tremblay's books (A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World) and enjoyed them, I knew I've to read this even though short stories are hardly my usual fare. Yes, this is a collection of nineteen short stories ranging from psychological suspense to literary horror all packed in this anthology and knowing the author's stories can be bizarre in some ways (I mean this in a good way) I read this book with a thrill of anticipation. Although I can't possibly write out the blurbs and thoughts of all the nineteen short stories, I can tell you a few which are my favourites. 

Growing Things - This is an imaginative tale about the mysterious growing plants and two sisters from his previous novel, A Head Full of Ghosts

Where We All Will Be - Zane was told his brain is different since young. Growing up with no major issues, he is astonished to find that one day his father seemed like another person and kept muttering about getting "There". This one has a bit of the apocalyptic vibe and that ending sent chills down my spine. 

The Teacher - Mr. Sorent is one teacher you'll never forget and that's all I'm saying. 

Notes from The Dog Walkers - Initially this read like ordinary notes from the day of a life of a dog walker but then it slowly spirals towards an array of madness when the topic changes as you go along. 

Her Red Right Hand - This is a story about a girl called Gemma and her ailing mother and how her mother's death led her into sketching and creating a hero-like figure. Think Hellboy. 

The Thirteenth Temple - I don't want to divulge too much of this since it read like a sequel to A Head Full of Ghosts. This is also the last short story of this collection and I liked how the author featured the two sisters in AHFOG in Growing Things as the beginning and finally ending it with The Thirteenth Temple

I think short stories are hard to write and even harder to review. They don't often have the kind of details and well-defined developments like fictions do and the author has to input some extra "punch" to their stories or narrating them in various writing formats and I've to say Paul Tremblay did well in these two. 

As in short stories collection, one may have some favourites and dislike a few others. There are also some which made you race through the pages, while some will make you think hard of the message behind it and still comes up with not much of a verdict (partly due to the ambiguity of it; which the author often does with his stories). That said, each story is unique and though I'm not really a fan of short stories I'm glad I read this because it's Paul Tremblay's. 

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9 Responses
  1. Kay Says:

    I read this author's first book, but have not read the second. I'm not a big short story reader at all, though I had noticed this book. Might try it at some point, but more likely to read the Cabin book.

  2. Lark Says:

    I don't read a lot of short stories either, but this collection sounds kinda fun. Maybe for Halloween. :)

  3. jenclair Says:

    Not usually a short story fan, but I like that some of the stories connect to his earlier book. I think I'd have to start with A Head Full of Ghosts before taking on the short stories. More background for enjoying them.

  4. Melody Says:

    Kay - I'll be curious of your thoughts if you do read the Cabin book, Kay.

  5. Melody Says:

    Lark - Yes, it definitely fits for Halloween. :)

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, that's one reason I liked about this is some of them are connected to his other book. You definitely need to read "A Head Full of Ghosts" to appreciate the stories here.

  7. Like a few others, I'm not a huge fan of short seems like you're just getting into the story and then, poof, it's done! But I might be swayed by your great review. :) If not, I'm at least adding this author to my TBR list for sure. Thanks for another great post!

  8. Melody Says:

    J.P. Choquette - Thanks, J.P. Choquette! I'd recommend "A Head Full of Ghosts" anytime. It's my favourite thus far. :)

  9. Thank you for that recommendation. I'm off to check it out now! :)

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