Do you THINK I enjoy being the rainer of parades? Must I always be the one who has to tell the emperor that he is naked, out of sheer respect for him as a fellow human being with hopes and aspirations for the expansion of his skills as a creator?
Well, yes, I suppose that this is why I want to be an editor one day - BUT YOU GET MY POINT.
This one makes me feel particularly vile for canning - back when it was summer and I was a GoodReads user, I got propositioned by the author of this book to receive a free copy of this, in return for a review. I told myself, what the hell, free book - if it ended up sucking, I would just have to leave an accurate review of it, regardless of how ungrateful it would make me feel.
Well, It's winter now, I stopped reading it three fourths of the way through, and I've been dreading being THAT guy so much so that I've put this off beyond my erasure of my old GoodReads account and my switching of jobs in the real world. Now I've had to make myself take care of old business this late in the year.
Although I didn't technically finish this, I have decided that even reviewing this as an unfinished project is the fairest way that I can treat this book. Why?
This collection of short stories is, itself, both an unfinished project, as well as a reminder that anyone can, truly, get ANYTHING published with enough determination. Jeez, if this book proves anything, it is that the places where he got these woefully unfinished stories published must be willing to take anything if bothered enough.
The most I can suss out of this collection that it is post-Clive Barker with a lot of very real inspiration from Lovecraft, so the best I can say of this book is this; it had it's heart put into the right place. It's when the pen hit the paper that some complications arose that were obviously not erased or ironed out in any re-writes. Hell, I would be SHOCKED if the author of this collection did not simply toss these stories out into the world as soon as he spell-checked them, without so much as spending time to read them aloud, to see if the dialogue and narration sounded reasonable.
Hell, I wasted my own time, writing notes all over my copy whenever I mustered up the courage to read it, only to eventually realize that I needent spend more of an effort on his prose than the author obviously did.
So, what is the best way to review this? I suppose, out of the sake of brevity (I mean, jeez, I'll need to exhibit some of my own, after the tirade I just subjected all of you to just now) I will keep what I did manage to choke down to a few sentences at most.
A Lower Power - With the first story in the collection we see some of this particular author's "-isms". In the first paragraph, we get one of the most baffling openings in anything that I have ever encountered. The best way that I can describe how Hamantaschen uses description here would be to call it a cross between a love-lorn Cartographer/Sociologist and just purely awful writing skills. Around page 4 we get an oddity by way of the use of the type of strangely out-of-use words that even an avid reader would have to comb a dictionary for - in this instance, Hamantaschen chose to use the word, "inchoate". I refuse to look up this word to discover what he could have been getting at, out of pure stubbornness. Despite being a "short" story, this nevertheless felt as though it lasted for far too long. The only good thing about Hamantaschen is that he appears to have read enough Clive Barker at some point in his life that his deadpan description of horrific things seems to be executed with surprising skill. A good horror story is, however, often just the sum of its parts - and a surprisingly well-executed ending cannot save an entire story.
I'll have to upload the rest some other time - maybe I'll make a series of this nonsense?