Scribblings From a Dark Place: A Collection of Short Stories Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B00CA58LG8
- Publication date : April 8, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 827 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 212 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,550 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Scribblings From A Dark Place is a collection of early works from Matt Shaw. Those that have read his current novels can probably tell that his style has evolved since then. While this collection is good, this reader/reviewer enjoys his present day stuff more. Of course, Matt has also gotten more gory and disturbing in his later work so if you aren’t into that kind of stuff, this book might be more your cup of tea.
Included in this compilation are:
The View: 3/5 Skydiving with a twist
Bernie: 3/5 Jealousy over a dinner invite
Menu: 5/5 Two exes get together for a dinner that proves to be anything but innocent. This story was made into a short film.
Claustrophobic: 3/5 A man lives with this phobia.
To Catch a Train: 4/5 Stephen tries to make his train but has problems.
The Life Story of Someone Who Could Have Been Called Donald: I feel this story is more for the author than the reader so it would be an insult to rate it.
The Dead of Night: 4/5 Jacob is 12 year old kid that keeps hearing noises outside his bedroom window.
Growing Pains: 3/5 Tommy is a boy who doesn’t believe he’ll ever grow. Maybe he should be careful what he wishes for…..
The Donor: 4/5 A story about a dying man that doesn’t really want to donate his organs.
Coins: 5/5 James lost his wife but a mysterious advertisement appears one day that says they can offer him companionship. More Scifi than horror.
Snuggles: 4/5 An elderly couple go through their morning ritual but something is different.
Karla: 2/5 Dear John letter with a twist
Officer Petty: 2/5 Officer Craig Petty gets in trouble when his superiors find out what his nighttime hobby is…..
Dear, Old Grampy: 5/5 Jennifer just lost her parents and is put into the care of her ‘grampy.’ Grampy has problems transitioning from grandparent to parent.
Love Mum & Dad –x- : 4/5 A couple leaves a note for their daughter to read if she comes back from running away.
The Button: 4/5 Why isn’t this button working? It’s embarrassing.
Yummy in My Tummy: 4/5 Ben has a rat problem and needs to deal with it.
Courier: 4/5 A parcel carrier meets a doctor with a dark intentions.
My Dad’s Arms: 2/5 A pub crawl goes badly.
Derek: 2/5 A man meets a stranger in the rain.
Appointment: 4/5 A man meets an escort in a hotel room but how much will it cost him?
The Project: 3/5 A clay project isn’t what it seems.
Tomorrow: 5/5 A man thinks tomorrow is going to be the best day of his life.
Changing: 1/5 A woman starts to go through menopause.
Time: 4/5 An old woman waits impatiently for a guest to arrive.
The Body: 5/5 A son at his father’s funeral talks about their hateful past.
Until The End of Time: 4/5 A man says he will love a woman forever and then, disappears.
The Little Girl: 5/5 A man wakes up in a room he’s never seen. The only one around is a little girl. A twist on a classic urban legend.
I Lay Still: 5/5 A man gets into a car accident and people come to visit him.
Insomnia: 2/5 Very much like Hitchcock’s Rear Window with a twist ending
The next stories go together:
The Review: 5/5 After you read this story, you won’t leave Matt Shaw a bad review.
The Food Critic: 3/5 A food critic goes to a restaurant that was given great reviews but he is not impressed.
The Mystery Shopper: 4/5 A short story about unethical mystery shopper
The Food Critic Part 2: 3/5 Time to find out what’s going on with this restaurant.
There’s also short poems and flash fiction throughout the book. They are:
My Will, A Dark Place, The Day I Was Born, Frankie, Rocket, Tommy, Mother, Beardie, Song-Bird, Sunny Day, Under the Bed, Bounce-Bounce!, Nice to Eat You, Soldier of Fortune?, A Challenge, The Death of Flippy, Stacey the Heartbreaker, Walking stick, Hindsight, The Lardy-Lardy Girl, The Beast vs. The Wife, The Tooth Fairy, A Lonely, Life, The Pigeon, Daddy Dearest, Teeth, Pills, Baby Joy?, The Hermit, Ed, Gerbils, Little Boy Ben, & Nighty-Night
For the amount of writing you get, the price is quite nice. Unfortunately, I felt the collection would have been stronger if some stories were left out. If we cut the book down the middle, I think you would have a 5 star collection and maybe a 3 star collection. I get the feeling that Matt Shaw was emptying out his metaphorical treasure chest of stories that have never been published or possibly collections that never panned out. Four stories towards the end share an obvious link and he has several animal tales that might have also been the start of a collection. When these stories are thrown together, it seems a little disjointed especially with the ordering of some.
I also thought a lot of the story shared the same style of twist endings and some were predictable. Of course, that could just be me since I read a lot.
On the positive side, these negative aspects are pretty much what the book is about. It’s the scribblings of a dark mind and by reading these stories, I felt a better understanding of Mr. Shaw outside the blood and gore he’s known for presently. I felt he has a certain kinship with animals. ‘The Life Story of Someone Who Could Have Been Called Donald’ certainly stands out as a story with a deeper meaning. The poetry, while not always great, made me actually think of myself. It reminded me of the stuff I used to write when I was younger that my parents didn’t really like.
Finally, as if we needed more, Matt Shaw included a web link to view his movie version of the story ‘Menu.’ That’s right. Instead of having to buy it, it’s included in this book. That’s worth the price without any of the stories.
In the end, I’m glad I made this purchase. It’s not his best book but it’s not a disappointment. He’s certainly made a lifetime reader out of me and I don’t find it one bit scary that maybe, just maybe….. I’ll never be able to escape…..the Matt Shaw Zone…..
These stories could be sold individually, but - Matt's not a greedy guy.
THE REVIEW was my favorite one of the collection, but, I can't separate the remaining stories apart from each other, every story rating at least 5/5!! I only wish that I could rate them higher.
A "reviewer", just like many people I've seen on Amazon, posts a hasty & snarky BAD review. Not every book is for every person, so bad reviews are allowed - BUT, a bad review with no constructive criticism, only insults about the author... that's NOT OK! The author in this story confronts the reviewer, with very unexpected results!
The Food Critic - Pts 1 & 2:
A food critic isn't impressed with his most recent restaurant, until he tries the food. He decides to have a chat with the owner after his meal. Turns out... the owner doesn't appreciate food critics, not one little bit!
The Mystery Shopper:
A person hired as a secret shopper has worked out a way to make some extra cash on top of his Secret Shopper paycheck.
I Lay Still:
Wow. Just wow. (Can't explain without possible spoilers).
Best part... ME! Immortalized in a Matt Shaw story!
Seriously, it's the kind of story from him that I love the most - a little dark humor to make it just a bit more twisted! It's REAR WINDOW, Shaw Style.
I have posted my entire review on BBB, come join in on the discussion!
Which SS was your fave?
Then I would reread those last few lines or even the whole story again just to get that feeling again.
Loving this author so much that I've read 20 of his books in just a couple of weeks & I'm looking forward to more & more & more...I like to think of his books as crack for my kindle! lol
Top reviews from other countries
This is a bargain, good fun and a great read!
A terrific little collection of stories, each with a totally unexpected ending.
Considering Matt's recent work has been known to be quite extreme I'd say this collection shows more of his humorous side, and in most of the tales he still manages to spring a few surprises.