Review: A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place
J.W. Schnarr

This is a collection of horror fiction from Canadian author J.W. Schnarr. I went looking for an overall theme to the collection, and while many of the stories were rooted in Biblical traditions of hell, demons, and not pissing off God, there was a good bit of diversity to the plots. The opening piece, Love Disappears, is the quietest story in the bunch. First love is fleeting, but this beachside tale stayed with me for days. There are werewolves, demons, Elvis impersonators and zombies.

Yes this is a book of horror. You’d certainly expect pools of blood and flies and some gruesome imagery, but often the author goes into a level of detail that may be disturbing to some. I was disappointed that some stories used blood and gore in a way that seemed added for shock value and nothing else. It stuck out. It didn’t fit. I didn’t finish one story because my eyes were rolling so hard I couldn’t read. I think nearly every collection of shorts has a dud, and I found mine.

But there were gems I couldn’t ignore. Two tales were gorged on imagery that fed from the deepest pits of hell into something I had to think hard about to visualize completely. I was disturbed by what I read yet delighted that it raised the hairs on the back of my neck. Gory? Yes, but it was perfectly appropriate and necessary and gorgeous.

The last piece of the collection was my favorite and the most disturbing. Opt-in. In the near future, advertising is crafted just for you by the people who know you best. They just want to help you. They want you to be a better person, a better friend, a better human being. The mad men are on the phone and It’s for you.

About S. Kay Nash

S. Kay Nash is a writer, editor, and bibliophile. She lives in Texas with a mad scientist and a peaceful contingent of dogs and cats.
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