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Beneath the Surface of Things Paperback – August 31, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453783385
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453783382
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,250,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
What an amazing paragraph - full of character and nuances and layers.
abqsue
I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for a full-length novel sometime in the near future... as well as checking under my bed before I go to sleep for the next couple weeks.
Isabela Morales
This collection of twenty five horror stories is the best I've read in a long time in this genre.
Coral

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aunt Lulu on December 2, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a very enjoyable collection of horror stories. I particularly liked "She's Killing Me" (even though it wasn't really horror but it was just a fun story anyway) But the author does a good job using the short story format and doesn't rely on cheap effects to get the scare. He builds up the suspense and creates interesting characters. The only thing that sort of annoyed me was that each story ended with a little author comment that didn't really add to the story at all. Most of them were pretty generic "I wrote this because..." that were surprisingly safe compared to the stories themselves. I guess I would have preferred either not including them or at least making them meaningful. But otherwise a very nice collection.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Todd Banks on November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have been a big fan of Kevin's works for a few years now. I have read some things of his in raw form and also after a few polishes and he never ceases to amaze me with his storytelling. His imagination brings you to the edge of sanity and then kicks you straight in the pants, knocking you over the line. If you need a quick read whilst traveling abroad or just need an entertaining read whilst looking for a broad, you can't go wrong with Mr. Wallis. Give 'em a try, but be on your guard, his stories infiltrate your mind and live there like an evil squatter with an axe to grind.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Miller on October 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The cover grabbed me. The back cover showed blurbs from respected writers. One well-known writer was 5-time Bram Stoker recipient Gary Braunbeck who praised Kevin Wallis' work. Made me want to pick the book up. The first story bit deep and held on with pit-bull tenacity. Wallis used a concise writing technique that drew me in from beginning to end. The book rests on my bookshelf next to Steinbeck and Bradbury and Braunbeck. That should say something.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erik Williams on August 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
BENEATH THE SURFACE OF THINGS is one of the best collections I've read the last couple of years. You will not go wrong with this one. Don't believe me, just check out that blurb by Gary A. Braunbeck. Gary wouldn't lie. What he said is true. If you like the short form, this one is worth the coin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Coral on August 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
In a word, Beneath the Surface of Things is amazing.

This collection of twenty five horror stories is the best I've read in a long time in this genre. Kevin Wallis makes the ugly and the terrifying come alive with his writing. His stories have a complexity that I really enjoyed and went way beyond the simply scary.

Of all the stories, "Mary Burns" was my favorite, and is a perfect example of what Kevin Wallis does right. There's a depth of character, layered in quick strokes but with unquestionable skill. There's disturbing descriptions and frightening events, though he never crosses the line into what I would call truly grotesque. There's a hero you want desperately to triumph, though the outlook isn't good. There's a twist, and a bit of a moral. Perfect.

There are a lot of bite-sized scares to be had here. Read and enjoy.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for the purposes of this review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Lovero on August 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
My first impression of this collection is odd for a anthology of horror stories: joy. This is a volume of pure, ecstatic joy; a bundle of giddy wonder. A fan of horror fiction knows this joy, but a horror writer creates it and shares it. I find so many stories and novels of silly genre confections with absolutely no joy in them, just well-crafted pain and suffering and fear with no electricity and no power. They are just stories. The stories in Wallis collection may be Beneath he Surface, but they rise up and make themselves known in a glorious funhouse of unexpected glee. Whether you're surviving a hurricane, an archaeologist in a forest, a homeless man in a park, or on a camping trip with evil, Wallis jerks you in and out of stories with a firm grasp of horror, imagination, and adventure. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Isabela Morales on May 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
"There are other worlds within our, fantastic and horrifying realms where vampires hold dominion, Heaven and Hell war in the dner down the street, and that dog who sits nightly at your feet dreams of snacks that taste more human. Open the door to these worlds, and a phantasm might show you the secret to salvation, a corpse lying in the snow may sing a song of redemption, and the monsters of your childhood dreams plot their escape from your imagination...and into your backyard. Because under the veneer of convention lies the truth. And the truth might just devour those who look beneath the surface things."

Now I'm not usually one for extended author introductions, or author commentaries on their own stories. It tends to strike me as affected and slightly pretentious. But in this case, I'll give Kevin Wallis a pass: that brief except from the intro gives a better picture of his short story collection than I ever could. And besides, it reminds me of that classic tv series of horror and science fiction-The Twilight Zone.

I took a class called "Twilight Zone Culture" in American Studies last spring. The basic academic premise of the course was that Rod Serling could slip social commentary under the McCarthy-era censorship radar by writing screenplays in the sf/fantasy genre. And how could anything serious be hidden in something so frivolous as science fiction?

Well I don't know how much social commentary's lurking in the pages of Beneath the Surface of Things, but the story collection does echo another prominent feature of the famous 1950s/60s classic: like Serling, Kevin Wallis takes a scene or scenario from everyday life and turns it into something thoroughly twisted.

It illustrates exactly where Wallis excels as a horror author: believability.
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