Ginger Nuts of Horror
Short stories are the bane of my life. I love them as an art form, but from the point of view of writing reviews they are a real pain. More so with single author collections, the main reason for this is that most authors have a particular style and voice and when faced with writing a review of thirteen stories all from the same author, I generally shiver at the thought of finding ways to convey my thoughts on the individual stories. So it's a pleasant surprise to find an author who sounds as though he has a number of different voices in head, all screaming to have their words put down in story form...
Devil Let Me Go is the first full length collection form Nathan Robinson, who is best known for his novel Starers. Thirteen stories that look into the dark heart of human nature. Thirteen stories that will chill you right to the marrow. Thirteen stories that mix psychological horror with the supernatural.
To quote Social Distortion's Bad Luck
"Thirteen's my lucky number, To you it means stay inside."
Stay inside folks, get yourself a nice cup of coffee and sit down and read this book. These thirteen stories perfectly show the emergence of a great new voice in horror. Where some single horror author collections can feel a little bit stale by the time you reach the final story, Devil Let Me Go maintains a high standard of story telling throughout its length. Remember those voices I mentioned in the introduction to this review, well they have found the perfect home here. Let's be clear here this in no way means this is a collection where an author is struggling to find his own voice. This is a collection that showcases an extremely talented author who is comfortable tackling many different styles of horror fiction. No black cat has done crossed his path when it came to writing this book.
My personal favourites are
The House that Creak'd starts this fine collection in spectacular style. This post apocalyptic story features the common plot of the last man on earth. Not content with just having the last man on earth, Robinson makes him the last animal on earth. All other animal life has been wiped out by a mysterious virus, and the story's hero is left alone to look after his sole relief in this this dead world. His garden is an oasis in a dead world a flourishing haven brought to life by him pollinating the plants by hand. Even the insects are dead. But when one night his garden is destroyed our hero must face the horror of no being alone.
What makes this story such a roaring success, is the way in which Robinson builds up the tension, and sense of total isolation and loneliness. A lone man defending his home in a post apocalyptic world may sound familiar, but when Robinson flips the story in the final act, he turns this tense story into a tear jerking and beautiful story, that will leave the reader feeling strangely elated. This Ballad of a Lonely Man is a masterpiece
Top of the Heap is another fine example of a small horror, that finds a brilliant way of dealing with a first person narrative, where the protagonist is in a no win situation. I really hate those first person narrated stories where the protagonist dies, but have no logical explanation for how the story was told. Not that I saying that the protagonist dies in this story. A hit man for a small time crime boss soon finds himself at the wrong end of a shotgun. Thanks to his Ball and Chain he soon finds himself in a situation where he can only Reach for the Stars. This is a tense and shocking story that will turn your stomach. Robinson piles on the tension throughout the length of this brilliant story, and tops it off with a tremendously shocking finale.
Not That Way Home is another tense story that features a small cast of characters, which terrifyingly shows you should never take the short way home as doing so will leave you feeling Alone and Forsaken. There are no real happy endings in this book but Not That Way Home has an ending where Mommy's Little Monster gets their comeuppance.
The Chicken in the Black, takes a fun and silly look at my most hated of subjects the zombie. After an accident at a chicken farm involving some dodgy additives, the world is soon home to rampaging zombie chickens. Robinson successfully merges horror with comedy in this tongue in beak take on a well worn genre.
Not of all the stories work perfectly, for example Crack'd is a really good idea let down by a weak ending, but please don't let that put you off. The balance between excellent and not so great stories lies firmly in the balance of excellent.
Devil Let Me Go is an excellent collection, however it must be said that there are number of errors and spelling mistakes in the book. While these do at times jar, the overall quality of these stories shine through these errors. Don't Think Twice go and pick up a copy of this collection you won't be disappointed
Nathan Robinson lives in Scunthorpe, England with his darling three year old twin boys, his patient wife/editor and a three legged cat named Dave.
So far he’s had numerous short stories published by www.spinetinglers.co.uk, Rainstorm Press, Knight Watch Press, Pseudopod, Static Movement and many more that he can’t be bothered to mention right now.
He writes best in the dead of night or travelling at 77mph.
He enjoys running, nature documentaries and making pineapple jam.
He is a regular reviewer for www.snakebitehorror.co.uk, which he loves because he gets free books. He likes free books.
He first novel “Starers” was released by Severed Press to rave reviews. This was followed by his short story collection “Devil Let Me Go.” His novella “Ketchup with Everything” is to the first publication from Snakebite Horror Publishing.
Follow news, reviews and the author blues at www.facebook.com/NathanRobinsonWrites - See more at: http://www.gingernutsofhorror.com/10/post/2014/02/the-book-that-made-me-nathan-robinson-on-guy-n-smiths-killer-crabs.html#sthash.Y5g6Syut.dpuf
Thirteen horrific stories from Nathan Robinson, including several which are previously unpublished.
The world has ended, but an old man discovers he’s not so alone in 'The House that Creak’d.'
A wronged gangster finds himself beaten, battered and bruised and in the deepest of trouble, can he find his way off 'Top of the Heap?'
A lonely widow is given a reason for being after a horrific natural disaster, but this gift is not all its 'Crack’d' up to be.
Two men meet on a dark and rainy night; one sane, one insane and together on a lonely road that leads to a battle beyond life for love in a destination that is 'Not That Way Home.'
If you love your child how far would you go to protect them? When their life is in the balance would it matter if they’re 'In One Form or Another?'
Lupo is the most despicable of villains, but what would you do 'If you ever meet a girl named Maisie Mae?'
What would a girl do to keep her man? Beth asks, what is love? She knows how far she’d go, so 'Eat your Heart out Lorena.'
It’s time to pack up for the last time, don’t leave anything behind; you’ll need plenty of 'Banana Boxes' to help you on your way.
He’s waiting, he wants something you cherish and he can’t leave without it. Meet a strange stranger that calls himself 'Brian of the Night.' He’s the last person you’d want to meet.
Three lifelong friends on a holiday of a lifetime stumble upon a body, soon they’ll discover why he waited so long in 'The Skeleton Tree.'
An un-deadly army rises up during the night shift; all 'The Chicken in Black ' wants to do is get to the other side.
It might be the time for giving, but it’s still 'Colder than Hell up here.'
Everybody will believe the world has been turned upside down. Something has 'Fallen' . . .
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