*I received a free ARC of this book via Rachel’s Random Resources blog tour. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Billionaire terminal cancer patient John Longmire’s going to die today, and he’s going out in style in the classiest euthanasia clinic in the world. But the strange nurse with the clipboard and the look of a goddess is spoiling the mood, with all her irksome questions about how he’s lived his life.
Recent retiree Gerald loves his wife Barbara and he loves his garden, but Barbara hates the garden. Because the garden’s taking Gerald over, and Barbara says he has to stop before he has another ‘incident’.
Bullied, ridiculed and unloved, moustachioed schoolgirl “Hairy” Mhairi Barry has never had any friends but the ones she finds on the shelves of the library where she’s spent most of her lonely childhood. But tonight, she’s going to a party with all the cool kids, to show them what she’s learned in all those books.
A suspicious smelling smorgasbord of lovelorn psychopaths, vengeful mugging victims, pawn shop philosophers and rhyming Glaswegian alien abduction, Tales of the What the Fuck is a dark, touching, horrific and hilarious collection of short stories, flash fiction and epic poetry from People’s Book Prize nominated author D.A. Watson. Things are about to get weird.
This collection delivers excellent value for money for fans of the dark and macabre, featuring sixteen short stories and six poems, mostly horror-based.
D.A. Watson dabbles expertly in a bit of everything, from classic ghost story-style horror tales, to grisly serial killer gorefests; from monsters under the bed to the human monsters who we invite into our beds. Dark humour also abounds, running through many of the stories and nearly all of the poems. The poems are written in Scots dialect, so authentic that you can hear the narrator as you read and, again, they are far-ranging in content: cannibals to zombies; burglary to bins.
These stories and poems aren’t all gruesome, but there is definitely some blood and viscera involved in places, so consider yourself warned if you have a sensitive stomach!
My personal favourites were ‘Durty Diana’, in which a drunk husband faces dangerous temptation; ‘Succubus’, a classic creepy horror story in which a photography lecturer uncovers an unexpected submission; and ‘Rusalka’, which features a jilted lover and a splash of Russian mythology. There wasn’t a single story or poem here that I didn’t enjoy, though.
There are a few recurring themes across some of the entries here: temptation, revenge, despair, love-gone-wrong, and the tone is universally dark. However, each also offers something different in terms of style and content, so I can confidently say that if you like a walk on the horror side then you’ll find something to enjoy here.
Tears blinding him, Frank slowly reached towards Anna’s smiling digitized face. The picture was from her last birthday. “I miss you,” he whispered.
As his fingertips made contact with the screen, he felt a sudden current tingle up his arm as if from a static shock. Frank instinctively tried to jerk his hand away, but found he couldn’t.
– D.A. Watson, ‘Coming Home’ in Tales of What the F*ck
Tales of What the F*ck is available on Amazon right now!
Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews, and you can check out my previous review of D.A. Watson’s rock horror novel Cutting Heads here.