Flashes of Fear The Complete Series: A Collection of Flash Fiction Horror Stories Kindle Edition
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- File size : 2132 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publication date : October 31, 2019
- Print length : 143 pages
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07ZN5LLW2
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,624,253 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Flash fiction is a tricky beast in any genre. For me, this collection has one gem, a decent number of very good stories and then various others that read like a scene from a larger story. All respect to Lennie Grace for putting together an ambitious collection.
The gem of the collection Dinner Time, tells a complete story in one page. It’s one of the few stories told with subtlety and slight of hand, not revealing itself fully until the very last line. I put my kindle down after reading it and took a moment to appreciate how well it had been executed.
Close behind were Grandma’s Confession and Clowns and Chainsaws, which both tell complete stories with very good twists. They’re sufficiently rooted in reality and you could imagine hearing about each story in the news. That adds extra chill factor.
Honourable mentions go to Never Again, where the protagonist has something to lose other than his life. Also Stronger Than Ever which is a curious insight into the mind of a serial killer taking a stroll around a shopping mall.
My favourite monster stories were also in the same vein, probably because the monster wasn’t the main focus. The Evil Child and The Girl in the Basement are both quite chilling little numbers, also with curly twists.
Overall it’s a solid four star collection that should satisfy a time-poor horror fan. Finally, I heartily agree with the author about clowns. I feel the same way about mimes too.
The ones that worked best for me were the ones that hinted at something more. Perhaps in flash fiction, that is a must—the story is a match, and the reader’s mind a candle, and the author gets one brief chance to light the candle before the match burns out, leaving the reader in eternal darkness . . .
One of my favorites in the collection is the very first: “The Thing at Midnight”. In this story, the narrator tells us about a beast that comes to the door of her bedroom every night at midnight, wanting in. We are told little else, but there are just enough “random” details thrown in to make us wonder if the monster might not be a projection of the narrator’s own despair. The narrator tells us she is “the only living soul in the house.” The monster, from behind the door, says “I’m lonely and hungry.” It seems the two have quite a bit in common.
Some stories work because of the slashed artery of dark humor bleeding all over a horrifying premise. A fine example of a story of this sort is “Stronger than Ever”, in which a serial killer whiles away some free time between murders at a shopping mall. Why not? Who doesn’t love a hot pretzel? But this story, as much as I liked it, is also a good example of what I thought was often missing from the stories in this collection—just a little more meat on the bone—or guts in the abdomen, if you prefer. I would have enjoyed (in a completely horrified way, of course) spending a little more time with this character—hearing some inner dialog as he gazed at the headless manikins in the Nike store, or watching his fears of getting caught getting gently soothed away in one of those credit-card operated massage chairs, for example.
A few too many of these stories revolve around a monster that only the narrator can see, and some of them, like “The Shadow Girl”, are all setup and no resolution.
Some of the stories are truly disturbing and gruesome. I’m okay with a story like that as long as it contains some element other than horror as part of its inner working. It doesn’t take much. In one story, for example, after a particularly brutal and cruel, murder, the killer thinks to himself: “finally, things can go back to normal.” That strikes me as both darkly funny and insightful, and justifies the preceding brutality. There are other stories, though, where the horror feels entirely gratuitous.
One last thing I'll say about this collection: if you think your greatest fear is spiders, Lennie Grace might change your mind.