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Vile Men Paperback – September 8, 2015
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While I do not think the title does the book justice (although reading other reviews comparing the material to the title makes me grapple with that opinion), I still stand by the stance that the writing inside of the book is phenomenal. As a writer myself, this book lends great inspiration. Ms. Jones-Howe uses words to paint pictures, describe emotions, and appeal to the senses. The stories that she tells are so raw. It takes a person with a desire to grapple with the human psyche to enjoy these. If this is you, you will fall in love with so many of the stories in here.
I am honored to have found this writing, and I look forward to what else Rebecca Jones-Howe has to offer in the future. I have a long list of other books I'm working on getting through now, but I can't wait until I return to this one (which you can bet will be soon!).
A few people recommended "Vile Men," a short story collection by Canadian author Rebecca Jones-Howe, when it first came out at the end of last year and they mentioned how impressed they were with the writing, so I recently had the occasion to read it and I’m glad I did. Far from being simply a short story collection that revolves around the theme of terrible things happening to women, the stories are a heady mix of different perspectives that will have you reeling after you’ve finished each one. It’s a quick read, but these stories are very heavy and will definitely make an impact on you.
One of the things that stuck out most about this collection for me is how painfully accurate the author's depictions were when it came to the decay of relationships between couples who have been together for a while. It's inescapable in some ways, but there's nothing sadder than one person in the relationship who is still completely head-over-heels for their partner but the other person hasn't reciprocated that in a while.
The unifying thread of the entire collection is how unflinching and honest these stories are. They are raw. The author does not hold back her punches. At all. They are devastating and they can contain many triggers for women, but they are a fascinating look at what happens when characters do the things they know they are not supposed to, but they do them anyway and cross the lines into the furthest reaches of themselves, which makes for a gripping and fascinating book.
I would not classify this book as a horror collection, but many fans of horror, mystery and suspense will enjoy it. Others still who like contemporary pieces of women's fiction that are the furthest thing from romance will also enjoy this book. But really, anyone who wants a substantive collection of short stories that explores the furthest depths of the human psyche needs to pick this book up. It is a book that will challenge you as a reader. It is not easy to get through, but ultimately it provides a cathartic reading experience.