Written by Matt Mullins
Peel: This is a collection of twenty-five short stories and flash fiction, organized into three parts.
The stories were very gritty, and examined the darker sides of human nature. Alienation and pain are covered often, and the prose slowly drags the reader along. There were very few likable characters, but every character was rather interesting.
With the exception of three stories, the rest are all about a [probably white] heterosexual male narrator or protagonist, with a similar voice. The first section was all about the same character so it wasn’t as grating. There was one story, Getting Beaten, which I found extremely unsettling. The protagonist is very disagreeable in action and thought, and furthermore the story is written in second person. All in all, the stories are very provocative and well written. Mullins also quotes some lovely poems before each section to set the tone. I found this to be quite a mixed bag in terms of how much I liked the stories, ranging from four to nine out of ten ratings. My favorite story was either Shots or The Dog in Me.
Nibble from Shots: “Eventually, he noticed the sky begin to pale, and he stood up on uneasy legs, gnawed by the vague regret that there was something worth remembering he’d forgotten.”
I would recommend this to anyone who wants a disturbing and evoking read.
My Rating: 7 out of 10 jagged red apples
I received a free copy of this book from the publishers, Atticus Books,via NetGalley.