Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Dying early to escape the pain of death, a pain that will last the eternity of life. A stranger that tells you that you have a choice, go now and escape pain or live long and fell it all. This is the first story in the collection. A series of stories that explore the strange voice in your head, the thoughts that swirl just below the surface. The thoughts that are thought but not talked about. Ideas presented in a way that cannot be ignored, topics that are present but left unsaid. A Related Corollary is about the existence of each of us separate from everyone we are in contact with. The way our surroundings should have a positive effect on us, but for some people there is no impact. The way we all swim in the same fishbowl and are alone on our journey through life.
The Gulf of Responsibility tells us a story about Alex, a social worker, who has by all accounts a pretty good life. A job, place to live and a girlfriend who loves him. What else could he want? The story tackles the need to do more, be more and accomplish more. Alex tries to go beyond what is required in his job and discovers that the responsibility cost more than he can pay. He is all of us trying to do the best and the world just wants us to play by other rules.
With a Voice that is Often Still Confused But is Becoming Ever Louder and Clear contains stories that teeter on the edge of the void. Death hiding in the shadows and writing that stretches the confines of your brain’s ability to understand. The characters are so deeply explored and fleshed out they felt as if I’d met them before. The stories are told with a voice I haven’t heard yet found fascinating. Soon Enough this will essentially be a true story was truly frightening. Karen is a book reviewer and wins a book on Goodreads. After a reading a chapter she decides she doesn’t like the book and decides to skip writing her review. At this point all hell breaks loose when the author learns of her quick disregard for his work. The author is unstable to say the least and wreaks havoc on her life. As I write this review I find this story creeping back to life in my mind.
With a Voice that is Often Still Confused But is Becoming Ever Louder and Clearer further explores themes of death, our small and uncertain place in the universe and how close we all are to no longer existing under the right circumstances. The pain of everyday life just waiting to crush us. J.R. Hamantaschen writes in a way that feels free-flowing with his thoughts falling onto the page. The thoughts a person has but does not discuss, being alone in a room full of people or wondering how something can be disappointing when should be joyful. This book is filled with many horrors and some pretty deep and disturbing stories. It may not be for everyone, as any book may or may not, but I found it intriguing and enjoyable.
Length: 288 Pages
Publisher: West Pigeon Press
Release date: October 1, 2015
The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, You Shall Never Know Security, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.