Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Simple Things [Book Review]

Genre - Horror/Anthology
Year Published - 2016
Length - 303 (digital) pages
Written by Various Authors
(Stories Collected by Franklin E. Wales)

Rating: 4 Skulls

Plot Summary:
Simple Things is a consignment shop unlike any other. Inside you’ll find home furnishings, housewares, fashion accessories, toys, books and a number of one of a kind items. But be forewarned; all of our things have a dark and sinister side. Some cut, some bite, some steal your chance for a restful night.

Stories from Ross Baxter, Martin Reaves, Gregory L Norris, Jacki Wildman Wales, Paul D Marks, Roy C Booth & Axel Kohagen, Catrin Sian Rutland, K Trap Jones, Jo-Anne Russell, David Tocher, Frank Martin, Lori Safranek, Billie Sue Mosiman, Nicholas Paschall, Terry M West, Joseph M Monks, Sherri Sabastian-Gabriel, Robert Essig, Ken MacGregor, Roy Bishop, Robert Teun, Laura J Hickman, E F Schraeder, Anthony Servante, and V Franklin

Something that you might not know about me is that I enjoy consignment shopping (particularly antiquing). So, when this book crossed my path, I was immediately intrigued by the concept and what a brilliant concept it is!  From the very beginning "Come In, We're Open" you are welcomed by the proprietor and his selection of "Simple Things". These stories will make you think twice about second-hand merchandise!

There are several authors, within this collection, whom you may already be aware of and several new (to me anyhow) ones. Unfortunately, Wales did not write one of the stories himself (though his wife contributed a story), but he makes for a great proprietor, who briefly tells you about each item before the story begins.

The stand-out stories, for me, are:

Martin Reeves' "Madness Decanted" - a story about an unquenchable thirst... this is the first story that I have read by Reeves, and he has an excellent writing style!

David Tocher's "Feather Canyon" - a story about a small tea-tin with a single human tooth... another first-time author for me - this one may be the most horrifying of the bunch.

Billie Sue Mosiman's "Safe Haven" - a story about a 50's memorabilia coffee mug... A long time fan of Mosiman's, she does not disappoint with this one!

Joseph M. Monks' "Ashes" - a story about an incense burner... I loved this one!

Ken MacGregor's "Impure Breed" - a story about a Chinese food container... Crazy!

Some other great stories include:

Baxter's "Whisper" about a Kiddie Helicopter Ride (some of these stories have the perfect titles, by the way!)

Booth & Kohagen's "Home Sweet Hell" about a Welcome mat.

Rutland's "Book of Dreams" about a cotton duvet (comforter).

Jo-Anne Russell's "The Dentist" about a glass jar of teeth.

Safranek's "Handbags" about... purses.

Essig's "The Beauty Mark" about a black eye-liner pencil.

Teun's "Jacob's Call" about a child's toy telephone.

Servante's "Cat Eyes and Puries" about 5 glass marbles (this one has a great twist!)

All of the above are stories that will stick with you. There are still several more great stories within this collection... Including stories about an 18th century mahogany wing-backed chair, a flat-iron steak knife, an antique quill pen and inkwell, a set of hardcover books, and several other unique items.

Again, I loved the concept of this book, and it has a solid collection of stories.


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