Having enjoyed Hamantaschen’s previous collection “You Shall Never Know Security”, I jumped at the chance to read his new gathering of weird horror.
Each tale begins with a terrible normal premise that gradually descends into weirdom. The idea that all human nature and reality is just a thin veil that keeps the true order of the universe hidden from our innocent consumer eyes is a terrifying notion that Hamantaschen explores with great aplomb, although the routine soon becomes familiar to the reader. Normality… mutating into strange strangeness that is never quite explained. So in effect, they’re all the same, but with different tropes of psychosis.
Some of the tales are connected by thin tendrils, which give a nice sense of family to proceedings, giving the reader an extra task of finding the connections.
I enjoyed all of the tales to some degree. Some are laugh out loud funny for oh-so-wrong reasons, other imbibe the reader with a creeping sense of dread that lasts long afterwards, but for me, the tale “Soon Enough This Will Be Essentially a True Story” is the stand out track. It’s set in reality, so it’s away from the rest of collection, in the sense that it could, might, most probably (maybe even right now, as you’re reading this), actually happen, as a book reviewer finds herself under attack from an online stalker. In this age of reviews and trolls and cyber stalking becoming an everyday new normal, it hit close to home, being an author and a reviewer, I could quite see both sides of the coin.
If you like weird and bizzaro, but sophisticated and smart at the same time, this collection could be the one for you. Just hope that the next déjà vu or strange, sickly smile from a stranger isn’t something more sinister.