Author:M. Price Release Date: 28th May 2022 Series: Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Surreal Fiction Format: E-book Pages: 294 Publisher: – Blurb: Jhaegar Holdburn is a forlorn teenage edgelord who constantly attempts suicide and finds himself continually failing due to last second blunders. His desire for death comes from his often frazzled, often incoherent mind and how it fuels the way he’s ostracized by his peers as well as how he’s been made a pariah in the current social climate. At last the opportunity arises, Jhaegar manages to commit suicide using a foolproof method, and after years of despair he finally dies… But not quite… Jhaegar is instead resurrected…as he will always be resurrected. He finds the one thing standing in the way of sweet death is his uncanny inability to truly die and that his suicides result in increasingly stranger and psychedelic realities, irreversibly made worse by his ever deteriorating mind. He discovers the only way to break this cycle of death and rebirth is to uncover the real root of his problems and find his own personal sense of happiness, as well as to unravel the esoteric tangle of his own repressed psyche. But, with his grasp of reality slipping away by the minute, will Jhaegar have time to save himself from his own self-destruction?
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Please Feel Bad I’m Dead by M. Price is a dark contemporary take on teenage mental health issues. This book is about a teen boy whose dark thoughts, and the inhumanity of the world around him, lead his psyche to deteriorate to a point where he wants nothing but to end his life. So he commits suicide only to find that he cannot end his life. Every time he kills himself, he is resurrected.
This book chronicles his journey of trying to kill himself and then resurrecting with an even more deteriorated psyche only to conclude that he would have to face his own demons and explore the depths of his fragile mind which might hold the key for him to understand what is happening and maybe even his happiness.
This book is quite similar to Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library, although much darker and with a different concept of resurrection. I would recommend this book to all mental health fiction readers and anyone wanting to explore the surrealism of being trapped in a mind that suffers from acute and clinical depression.
Although be advised this could be a strongly triggering read for people who are sensitive, especially to suicide and depression.
Author:Trevor McCall Release Date: 30th May 2022 Series: Genre: Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Horror, Short Stories Format: E-book Pages: 367 pages Publisher: Blurb: The first four stories in this collection are adapted straight from works by EDGAR ALLAN POE. You will read updated and expanded versions of The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe’s poem The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Black Cat. They’ve each been given new twists that will intrigue your imagination while maintaining the spirit of the originals. The final story in this collection, Broken Vessels, when reviewed as a standalone novel by Kirkus, received a STARRED review:
“Powered by razor-focused writing, relentless pacing, and a masterfully intricate storyline that includes references to Freud, Descartes, and Edvard Munch, this tightly woven novel reads like a Ray Bradbury short story—especially the brass knuckle thematic impact of the conclusion. While somewhat uncategorizable, this dark gem of a novel is supremely gratifying.” – Kirkus Starred Review All five stories are connected by their dark and powerful imagery, and each features an immurement motif. If you’ve ever enjoyed one of Poe’s stories, you will love these five tales.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Study Of Sentient ThingsAnd Other Stories by Trevor McCall is a collection of short stories that will definitely keep you up at night. I loved reading this book because, a) I am a Poe fan and, b) these stories were indeed very well written! I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every story and was impressed by the author’s take on some of Poe’s legendary tales. Although I love the original, these adapted stories were great too.
The writing of the author is quite impressive and I did feel like I was reading Edgar Allen Poe’s work itself. It wasn’t an imitation of writing style though, the originality of the author’s style did not fail to shine through, especially in gritty scenes. The flow of the stories was really lucid and smooth and I was able to read this book in just one sitting – I simply could not put it down!
I’d highly recommend this book to all horror readers and fans of surreal fiction. I strongly believe this book has a lot to offer to readers of dark fiction in general.
Author:Valeri Stanoevich Release Date: 10th August 2021 Genre: Urban Fantasy, Surreal Fiction, Short Stories Series: Format: E-book Pages: 88 pages Publisher: Matador Blurb: The stories contain features of fantasy, urban legends, mystery, magical realism, penetration in the deepness of the human soul. The characters are different: knights, anonymous people, dreamers, outsiders, crazy ones, technocrats, cockroaches, holders of secret knowledge. They crave for another world of dreams come true, inexpressible truths and oases of redemption of past guilt. On the way to their new identities, they move freely between reality and fantasy.
They are in constant conflict with themselves, and the front line is the line dividing the two hemispheres of their brains. The stories are very short but each has a complex plot, provocative suggestions and a surprising end. Without in any way denying the traditional concepts of good-evil, simple-profound, they lead the reader into worlds in which paradox is a synonym of universal meaning.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Fancy Shop by Valeri Stanoevich is a very unique short story collection in which the stories are written in an abstract form drawing inspirations from the mundane and turning them into a dreamlike subject. I liked this collection quite a lot because I found the author’s take on things very interesting and intriguing.
Because of the abstractness of the subject matters of the stories and the dream-like quality of the writing, this book feels surreal and may take readers more than the first read to be able to grasp the intention of the story entirely. Though, trust me, it’s worth more than one reading. The multiple layers of meaning and the metaphorical writing instantly drew me into the book and kept me hooked till I turned the last page.
I would recommend this book to readers of short story collections and also to those who like reading surreal, dream-like (borderline speculative) fiction.
Author:Greg Rajaram Release Date: 15th April 2021 Genre: Philosophy, Drama, Literary Fiction, Surreal Series: Format: E-book Pages: 242 pages Publisher: – Blurb: Ever since humans became self-aware, we have struggled to find the meaning of life. The price we paid for becoming intelligent was to become painfully ignorant of the difference between good and evil.
Adi, a 10-year-old boy, works together with two old philosophers as they try to unravel the prophecy of a promised King. With insatiable curiosity, Adi must work with the wise men as they rationalize with each other on why and how humans became intelligent. Together they attempt to answer some of the most profound questions related to existence. Does evolution end with human beings or is there an ‘Overman’ who can reach evolution’s pinnacle? Will this Overman be able to define values for humankind? Centuries later a young boy promises his mother that he will always uphold the love that she has taught him. It is a promise that drowns him in the nectar of the gods. Krish grows up to be an engineer and joins a team of scientists as they try to create artificial consciousness in a machine. Krish soon realizes that he has a bigger fight on his hands. A fight to preserve love in a desolate world. His quest for true love ultimately leads him down a path where he comes face to face with a fearsome snake delivering a kiss of death. Humans have come a long way by questioning the nature of objects around us and pushing the limits of our intelligence, but it’s now time that we ask the greatest question yet: when does intelligence transcend to become consciousness?
Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Greatest Game by Greg Rajaram is a philosophical read with complex characters and plotline that will leave you introspecting about life and everything else in its wake.
This book a very fresh take on a concept well-loved and widely accepted therefore it was very interesting to read this book. I liked the author’s narrative style and the fact that the book was layered with complexity, intrigue and knowledge very well. I also liked the characterisation as they were all well-developed and rounded characters.
I’d recommend this book to all readers, especially to readers of philosophical fiction.
You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon.
Author:William E. Jefferson Release Date: 1st May 2021 Genre: Surreal Fiction, Fantasy Series: Format: E-book Pages: 262 pages Publisher: Mason S. Haynie Blurb: Presence, the Play offers a penetrating perspective on the vital role personal presence plays in the essence of life. This timely, captivating novel speaks to a growing hunger for a way of life that’s real and tangible, the opposite of an artificial existence lived in a realm of mediated connectivity.
The protagonist of Presence, the Play is a playwright and monk named Script who lives on the Isle of Estillyen. On the opening night of Presence, Script’s long-awaited play, he suffers a devastating fall in the theatre balcony and lapses into a prolonged coma. The novel plays out in Script’s comatose state.
Presence, the Play offers a meticulously crafted storyline evoking the imaginative prose of J. R. R. Tolkien, the spirited perception of C. S. Lewis, and the dramatic flair of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Readers will join Script on an epic mission to save the Isle of Estillyen from the forces of darkness, experiencing many daunting adventures along the way.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Presence, the Play by William E. Jefferson is a surrealist fiction story that cannot be expressed in words and can only be experienced. I was really impressed with the author’s use of language and the vivid imagery that was painted throughout the words to describe and narrate some of the scenes.
This book had a great concept and the characters were well-built. The book had a good pace and the tension graph made it very interesting throughout.
I’d recommend this book to readers who like to read experimental fiction and like surreal fantastic elements in stories.