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Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear Paperback – October 10, 2015
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About the Author
David Daniel (Goofy Foot, Reunion), Stacey Longo (Ordinary Boy, Secret Things), Dale T. Phillips (A Memory of Grief, Shadow of the Wendigo), Rob Smales (Dead of Winter, Echoes of Darkness), Vlad V. (The Moon is Dead!, The Button), and Ursula Wong (Purple Trees, Amber Wolf) have all individually established impressive bibliographies. Visit their Amazon author pages for more details.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are things we would never do, but there are things we might do. These tales are about those possibilities of that latter, darker, more drastic world. And it’s a recognizable world. From “Snow Day” to “Float” are scenes we all know or may come to know. The darker side even has a humorous edge; read “The Perfect Game” for a great ghost story with a punch line. The dark side, likewise, extends into the future as “Float” narrates a post-apocalyptic pre-history story and when time circles back to our beginnings.
“A foolish consistency may be the hobgoblin of a little mind” but it is consistency in fiction that makes the fiction seem real: the attention to detail of place and time and language appropriate to that time and place and character. Lines blur quickly and in the world of fiction where what is is real, the truth of fiction, upturns our everyday acceptance of things. Such is the case with Insanity Tales II.
There are tales of revenge or justice. Stories of the past that is never past. Longings to be heard by those who never are. Seeing into the future until the very seeing becomes suspect, criminal-like, something done beyond the ordinary “reality” of things. “Hooks,” a chilling story, raises questions regarding the treatment of the veterans of modern day wars. “Rape Kit” asks the questions: Are there legitimate consequences beyond good and evil? Religion, power, mental distresses . . . all draw us into these tales of in-sanity – to another place just beyond what we have come to accept as rational, reasonable, logical. “Just beyond the border, things change. . . .”
The art of the short story is alive and well; Insanity Tales II testifies to that. But go ahead, listen to the testimonies of these tales themselves and tell me you don’t agree.
"Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear" is a new collection by the same group that brought us "Insanity Tales" a year ago, and they have picked up a sixth writer, Rob Smales, so why not start with the newbie's two stories? One of them is "The Perfect Game," told by the survivor of a horrific experience while on a trip to England where he and his friends had an encounter with a dead darts player named Angus. The other Smales tale is "The Book of Shadows," in which a tabloid reporter (Carl Spaberg) seeks out a reclusive man (Jimmy Botman) whom tabloid readers consider to be a serial killer because he sometimes sees and predicts terrible things about to happen. Spaberg threatens to tell where Botman lives if he doesn't give him an exclusive story. Botman does, but he has a condition. Both are entertaining stories.
Stacey Longo's "Nobody Ever Listens to Eddie" has a character (Eddie) who also has premonitions of impending doom. No one believes him because he doesn't actually predict events but later tells people he "knew" what was going to happen. Eddie's gift of sensing the future is really ambiguous, right up until the last sentence of the story. Longo's other offering is "The Devil's in the Details." The "devil" in this case is actually a demon who takes advantage of a Ouija-Board game to incarnate himself in a young girl's body, where he and she have interior discussions about world domination and other devilish ideas.
Dale T. Phillips contributes two stories with one-word titles: "Voices" and "Hooks." The former story is about a college librarian who is trying to communicate with his dead wife by using incantations and recipes from an ancient book from special collections. If you like stories about the talking dead, this one's for you. The other, "Hooks," well, is a story about a wounded veteran who becomes a menace to society. I would argue that it's more often the other way around, but I am not Dale T. Phillips.
Ursula Wong's "Spirit in the Stone" is a thoughtful piece about a woman who, while on a mission to spread her dead lover's ashes in a place he loved, encounters what she thinks is his spirit among the petroglyphs of a red-rock mountain. A short gem. Her "Fly Away" is a troubling brother-sister tale complicated by the brother's new girlfriend. Subtle, interesting undertones.
David Daniel's two stories, "Snow Day" and "Rape Kit" both have determined central characters who enter respectively the worlds of spousal betrayal and campus rape. Out of a kind of personal code of "what's right," each of these men takes the law into his own hands, leaving the reader with moral dilemmas. Both of these stories are very well crafted.
"Float" is the only story by Vlad V. In this longish piece, Mr. V. tries to outdo "The Hunger Games." In my opinion, that is not a great idea for several reasons that I don't care to elaborate on, although I'm sure that there are readers who will find "Float" to be the best story of the book.
I don't know where these stories came from, but they do make me wonder what these authors are like when they all get together.