Length: 314 Pages
Release date: September 24, 2018
These are eleven tales of macabre horror, filled with estrangement, honor, wonder, terror, delusion, pity, desperation and perseverance.
Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review
The majority of these stories are not horror, awe and shock more accurately describes what resides in this collection. J.R. Hamantaschen takes little stabs at us from behind the curtain. Rococo Veins and Lurid Stains, the first short in this collection, was odd and strange. This was how I had imagined this book would begin, with the seemingly non-linear direction J.R.’s stories have had in previous collections. It’s like the thoughts we all have but don’t say, cause, you know, it would sound crazy, off kilter and rambling.
The second story, No One Cares but I Tried, was an odd tale of workplace conflict gone awry. It was a good story that in the end had me wondering how things had gone so wrong and what could fix it all. That’s Just the Way Things are These Days felt on point in terms of the way the world works these days. It was warning for teenagers that included a nasty story to make them think. Bleeker and Bleaker was a long and winding story, that in the end was as honest and as raw as a story can be. I wasn’t sure about the way it started out, but in the end, it was a sharp deep cut of reality, and I dug it. The story 7099 Brecksville Road, Independence, Ohio caught my attention, it was what I was hoping for. J.R. Hamantaschen gave us stories with a well laid out path, then at some point the story takes a new direction and lets the flow just go where it goes. There were some interesting connections between a few of the stories, this is always interesting to me and I think it adds to the overall feel of the complete set of stories. The stories previously mentioned caught my attention and I dug them, the remaining didn’t grab me, but they may grab you.