Nine very short stories from one of my favourite new authors, Adam Cesare, should have been a sure fire hit. I'm not a huge fan of longer short stories - those that clock in around 30 pages - as they often end up promising a great deal and delivering not enough. So I was all primed for a series of stories that were over and done with in the time it takes to complete an especially satisfying bowel movement.
Yes I went there! Because that's the kind of uncomfortable reaction some of Cesare's stories elicit. The only problem being, most of these were actually too short. The set-ups were usually good, then something significant would happen and, well, the story would just end. PINK TISSUE and THE NEW MODEL both suffered from this syndrome. They were each intriguing, and set up a different world in a scant few pages, and then ended either on a worthy twist or just when the action was ramping up.
To my mind, the best of this small collection was ROLLIN & JEANIE, a nasty backwoods story that starts with a tender bond between sister and brother before ... Maybe I'll just conclude it doesn't stay with that. I also liked THE GIRLS IN THE WOODS and BORDER JUMPER, but others stories like FLIES ON THE BRAIN and THE WHITE HALLOWEEN did not strike the same chord with me.
Overall, this is a decent collection of short fiction from an author who at this stage was still developing his voice. Thankfully he now seems to be allowing that voice more time to charismatically woo the listener before, belaboured metaphors be damned, sticking the tazer in said listener's ribs.
3 Broken Offerings to Father for Bone Meal Broth.