Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review & Giveaway - Remember Why You Fear Me by Robert Shearman (5/5)

[For giveaway entry, use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post.]

By Natasha Post
Click Here for the Amazon listing
A woman rejects her husband's heart - and gives it back to him, still beating, in a plastic box. A little boy betrays his father to the harsh mercies of Santa Claus. A widower suspects his dead wife's face is growing over his own. A man goes to Hell, and finds he's roommate to the ghost of Hitler's pet dog. Giant spiders, killer angels, ghost cat photography, and the haunted house right at the centre of the Garden of Eden. Deliciously frightening, darkly satirical, and always unexpected, Robert Shearman has won the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the Edge Hill Reader's Prize. REMEMBER WHY YOU FEAR ME gathers together his best dark fiction, the most celebrated stories from his acclaimed books, and ten new tales that have never been collected before.
The Amazon blurb above says that Remember Why You Fear Me is an anthology of the best of Robert Shearman’s dark fiction.  I’m inclined to agree, because the short stories in this book are phenomenal.  Robert Shearman is an established playwright, author and TV series writer known for works such as Doctor Who and his first collection of short stories – Tiny Deaths.  As an avid reader, I’m completely heartbroken that I didn’t even know who he was until I picked up Remember Why You Fear Me.  If you’ve never heard of him, this book will suck you in, make you want to comb through his works, and find more to read.   There is a wonderful introduction by Stephen Jones (The Mammoth Book of Zombies, anyone?) in this book that will give you some insight on this magnificent horror author.

The first story in this book is entitled The Mortal Coil.” It immediately sucks you in with the first line:
“On first impression, it looked like an apology.” 
All right, someone’s in trouble, but now I want to know who and why.  The story centers on peoples obsession with death.  The unnamed entities are fed up with this and decide to send everyone a letter telling them when and how they will die.  It’s highly creative, completely addictive, and as soon as you’re done with one story you can’t wait to read the next.  As the book progresses, each story seemingly gets better and better, more terrifying and twisted.

Shearman’s imagination is abundant and disturbing in this book.  If horror is your genre, then this book is definitely for you.  Shearman even manages to make Santa Claus sinister.  When most people try that it usually comes off as ridiculous, but Shearman kept me enamored throughout all of his stories.  He’s also very good at knowing when to use narrative description and when to use dialogue.  There are small details that enrich the stories, and flares of darkness that will make you think twice about certain things in life. 

Robert Shearman’s collection of short stories Remember Why You Fear me gets five stars from me for creativity, craftsmanship, plot, characters, and horror.  All of those elements were present in this book.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves horror, noir, and the macabre. 

About the Author:  Robert Shearman is a writer for DOCTOR WHO and has an ongoing association with Jarvis & Ayres productions, which has resulted in six plays for BBC Radio 4, broadcast in the station’s regular weekday Afternoon Play slot, and one classic serial.  His short story collections include TINY DEATHS, LOVE SONGS FOR THE SHY AND CYNICAL, and EVERYONE’S JUST SO SO SPECIAL.  He attended the University of Exeter, is owned by a cat,  and currently lives in London.

About the Reviewer Tasha has a voracious appetite for books. They are commonly found overflowing on her shelves, littered around her house, in the car, at the work place, and just to be safe, Tasha always has her Nook stashed somewhere on her person. Besides reading, she’s an avid writer. Never wanting to be without pen and paper when inspiration strikes (as it so often likes to smack her in the face when she’s away from her desk) she can always be seen with a mini notebook and pen attached to her wrist. A wife and mother of two four legged pups, Natasha not only works full time, but she is also a full time college student working towards an AA and then to dual majoring in English and Multimedia Journalism.  You can follow her on FacebookTwitter, or her blog, Wannabe Wild Writer.  

The Giveaway:  The publisher, Chizine Publications, is being kind enough to give away two handy-dandy prizes  to coincide with Natasha's review.  They are:

     First Prize:  a softcover copy of Remember Why You Fear Me
     Second Prize:  an ebook copy of Remember Why You Fear Me plus another ebook title from Chizine's catalog

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  1. Thank you for the review and giveaway.

  2. This anthology sounds amazing. I have been reading a bit more horror these days, sounds like I must check these out! Lovely review and thanks for the giveaway chance. Cheers

  3. This looks to be a very good read. I must see about these titles...and more.

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