When you pick this up, don’t expect blood and guts and brains on the wall. It’s not that kind of horror. It’s every day horror that most of will experience at some point in our lives. Death is involved, as is the dissolution of love and relationships, themes that we can all relate to when they get deep and dirty beneath our skin and we try our darndest to scratch them out, to no avail.
If you want something new, something fresh and original that’ll poke you in the feels when you least expect it, I suggest you take in “Stranger Companies”. It feels personal, but aloof, serious but laughing at the foibles and contradictions of humanity; the words hit hard, but in the next sentence you’ll find yourself laughing at a humorous turn of phrase, a black comedy blade dripping with acid that cuts us deep.
Highlights for me included the opener “Venus on the side”, which takes you by the hand, leading you down a familiar stalker tale before knocking you over with a far more disturbing reality. “We Take Things” explores one man’s sense of loss when he loses his mobile, showing us the truth about how obsessed and dependent we all are on our slave bracelets. It’s uncomfortable but true, revealing what we’re missing when we’ve got our head stuck in a screen. “Deathsmell”, the final tale takes us close to death as a suicidee take the debate of whether or not to end it all to the suicide hotline, and ends up finding the heart he needs in his life.
Some might feel that these tales/stories/experiences might leave them feeling awkward, others will lap them up. Happiness is a truth, but so is sadness these are things that every day you and me’s have to deal with. Love ends. Love starts, love leaves us and we leave it. These are stories for after the rain has stopped pouring and the coffee has gone cold and our lovers have left for the very last time. They’ll make you think, which is what stories should do, they shouldn’t just entertain, a good story changes you. These stories will take a knife and empty you in parts, leaving you wanting to be filled with a hope you’ll need to find yourself.
Original, but horribly familiar, these stories will amuse and haunt, disturb and raise both an eyebrow and a smile.