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Down the Drain Paperback – August 17, 2015
About the Author
Daniel Pyle is the author of Dismember, Down the Drain, Freeze, the upcoming Man vs. Himself, and many short stories. He is also the editor of Unnatural Disasters and an Active member of the Horror Writers Association. After studying creative writing at Amherst College, he moved back to his hometown of Springfield, Missouri, where he now lives with his wife and three children. You can visit him online at danielpyle.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is something to be said for the slam-bang horror tale. You know the type - they drag you in, shake you around a bit, and then pull away, never once telling you why everything that happened, happened.
While reading "Down the Drain", a fast-paced novelette by Daniel Pyle, I was struck at first by how strange and audacious the storytelling was. Hell, the first chapter is told through the viewpoint of a cat! From there, it moves onto the main character, Bruce, a lonely independent contractor whose bathtub seems to have a thing for cat-flesh and penises. Short story even shorter, Bruce is accosted one night while bathing, the accursed tub doing things to him that might not be printable on a family blog before giving birth to something even stranger than a living, breathing hunk of porcelain.
This is a very straight-forward, action-driven tale. And it's also fun. The scares are there, and the creepiness, but it's the sense of humor - and the desire to shock you - that shines. I laughed out loud and cringed at the same time while I read it - especially during a scene involving a waggling phallus and the contemplation of how far away is a safe enough distance from a man-eating bathtub.
Never once is a reason given for the bathtub's actions, and that's okay. Sometimes, you can be given a larger chill by not knowing than if the author were to give you an unsatisfactory explanation. I love this style of storytelling, though I'm not very good at it, myself. Therefore, I have much more respect for those who do.
"Down the Drain" is a rumpus of uncomfortable horror. It goes by quickly, and will grab you in places you'll never expect and jiggle you around a while. It's an extremely enjoyable ride, no matter how short it is. I personally guarantee fun will be had by all who read this...unless you're bothered by naked men running around and defending themselves from man-eating bathroom fixtures, that is.
Plot - 9
Characters - 8
Voice - 10
Execution - 9
Personal Enjoyment - 9
Overall - 45/50 (4.5/5)
The Man, as she calls him, comes home one day to find her missing. How she went missing, and how he finds out, is a story that rather creeped me out.. I think I will be looking askance at our tub for a while... listening to HOW the water sounds as it drains.
The final chapter, where we find out how/what is going on was just another tiny chill to top off the list.
It was a great read, and a quick afternoon spent in a small scary place.
The opening in this story is from the main character's (Bruce's) cat, Selina. I found this pretty funny, that is, until the creature from the bathtub eats poor Selina. Bruce comes home to find his cat missing, but has no clue as to where she went.
Bruce decides he wants a nice hot bubble bath. Now, this is where things get interesting (crazy and unique). The bathtub practically rapes Bruce! No, I'm not kidding!
You just have to read this story. It's one of the strangest stories I've read in a while.
When Bruce's cat disappears, he's more than just a little upset. The cat has been a part of his family for over ten years and his only real friend since his girlfriend walked out. She's nowhere in the house, and the only thing he can think of that might explain her disappearance is that she had somehow managed to sneak out and she was lying dead in a ditch somewhere. Never in his wildest dreams would he guess the truth of what happened to his feline companion. But he's about to find out. It seems there's something living under Bruce's house. Well, that's not exactly right. There's something living in the plumbing, something that surfaces through the drain in the shower. There's really not much more I can say without giving too much away, but suffice it to say, there is a showdown. Who wins? You'll just have to pick it up to see.
I was kind of puzzled initially when I started reading Down the Drain, figuring I was going to be reading the story from the thing's point of view, but it didn't take long to realize that the first chapter is written from the POV of a cat. So we, the reader, know exactly what happened to Bruce's favorite feline. And this is where I almost put the book down. You see, I'm a sucker for animals. Yes, I love me some horror fiction, and you can maim, mutilate, butcher, cannibalize, and torture as many people as you want and it doesn't bother me (yes, I'm sick, I know it), but pleasepleaseplease leave the animals alone. Kill off an animal and you run the risk of losing me as a reader. That's just the way I am. BUT I persevered with this one. Why? It was short. I finished it in about an hour, hour and a half tops. And because my friend said she had really liked it.
Once I got past the kitty killing, I admit I enjoyed Down the Drain. The central (only) character is likable enough, and the creature, as far-fetched as it was, was interestingly original. I did find it a tad predictable, but I pushed on hoping to find out more about the origins of the creature. Yes, it was what I thought it was, but I wanted to know HOW it came into being. Unfortunately, that is never explained. It was well written and well plotted, and with an ending that leaves it wide open for a sequel. Pyle is an author I will definitely be reading more of--provided he stops killing defenseless animals in stories. If you have an hour or two to kill, I would definitely recommend checking this one out. You might question the rating of three stars if I highly recommend this one. It deserves four stars, but I feel compelled to deduct a star for the kitty.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
at the beginning I could not get the image out of my mind.
I couldn't stop looking at the drain in the tub for a week.