A Deep Horror That Was Very Nearly Awe

by J.R. Hamantaschen

Goodreads Link

The third collection by J. R. Hamantaschen. If you’ve read the others, you know what to expect more of; if not, start at the first, or quickly turn the other way and think happy thoughts.

He continues his great character work, always wanting to know what makes people tick, how they think, everything. You get to know them, and enjoy them, then remember, oh yes, something terrible is sure to happen to them or by them.

The stories have a fair bit of variety, ghosts, psychic powers, various mental issues, hints of Lovecraftian monsters lurking in the background, and something that will make you fear public restrooms if you didn’t already! Throughout it, all is a dark humor and fun imagination.

I want to be able to talk more about the stories themselves, but it is rather difficult as they are more about the character’s thoughts and observations than mere plot.

For example, Rococo Veins and Lurid Stains is about Kristen, a young woman who wants to kill herself, finds her suicidal thoughts attract ghosts who want to trade her life for their own so that they may come back. That is the plot, sure, but it’s not really that simple. Summaries won’t do most of the stories justice; it’s more about getting inside the character’s heads, experiencing it for yourself, seeing how you relate to what is going on and thinking about the implications of everything. That being said though, plenty of it is dark and violent, so don’t relate too much!

He says in his introduction, “For fans of mine, I view this collection as a fitting endpoint and an encapsulation of the themes and motifs I’ve explored in my short fiction (particularly with the last story in this collection: hopefully that’s enough of an impetus to get you to read the whole book!).” I really couldn’t put it better. No really, he’s very wordy. Did I forget to mention that? But don’t worry; your kindle doesn’t judge you when you look up definitions.

He is right when he mocks “hyperbolic introductions” this won’t blow your mind or cure cancer, but it’s just well written and worth your time.

***** Five out of Five Stars (Great)

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