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on April 5, 2013
I could not put this short story down! It reminded me of the Saturday night macabre radio show decades ago. Kirk Edgerton loves to dance and has performed in nightclubs throughout Atlanta. Kirk, 38 years old, has a twin brother, Wayne, who just doesn't muster up the good vibes that Kirk gets. People love to see Kirk dance and entertain. Kirk always gets lured by ladies of the night who frequent these nightclubs where he performs. Kirk always gets a good bargain. Kirk always gets what he wants, while Wayne only feels like he gets the leftovers. These are two brothers, too close for much comfort. I have to say I was stunned and awed by this extremely unusual story. Author Karin Slaughter definitely has outstanding creativity. This is her second Kindle Single that I've read, but I will be moving on to her novels. She has spiked my enthusiasm.
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This was my first Karin Slaughter book and what an introduction! Talk about disturbing. Thorn in my side is the story of uber-twin brothers and I can't say any more about that fact or I'll ruin the story for new readers. I'll just say that I was totally taken off guard, and then spent the rest of this short story vacillating between morbid curiosity, and horror.

Murder is hardly the worse thing that happens in this highly original short story. Wayne and Kirk are brothers, not identical twins, but closer, though they are in fact totally opposite from one another. How they deal with the world is the fascinating part of the story, and one that Slaughter handles beautifully. It takes an exceptional writer to go down the road she travels so fearlessly, pulling off the amazing feat of giving us the story if these two brothers. Bravo to Karin Slaughter for taking on such a controversial subject and allowing us into the heads of these remarkable brothers.
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on September 26, 2011
Overall: 4 ½ stars

Plot/Storyline: 4 ¾ stars

This is a very quirky and dark story. It's also nearly impossible to review without mentioning a certain detail, and yet I'll try, because it's only hinted at in the two descriptions on the page. I think people will probably figure it out from there alone, but I won't be the one to "say" it.

While the story is very darkly funny - the last line might as well be called a punch line - it's also just plain dark. It's also thought-provoking in a Wisdom of Solomon way, when you consider the issues of justice here.
I think this story will bother people - perhaps be seen as too dark, too quirky, too out of the realm of most people's existence. I enjoyed it though and it made me think.

Characters: 4 ½ stars

The author makes the characters distinct from one another, which I believe is crucial here, while not taking it too far.

There is a good brother and a bad brother, but Ms. Slaughter never went the campy route of making them absurdly different in surface ways, but rather she went deeper to the nature of identity.

Writing style: 4 stars

I laughed, I considered the issues, I laughed, I admired the skill in characterization and storytelling, and the use of language that was both interesting and accessible.
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on February 24, 2012
I'm always surprised when readers say they're disappointed with a "book" because it's too short when it's really a short story, and with readers who say if they'd known it was a short story they wouldn't have bothered. Usually the description says it's a short story and on the front of the cover picture, it also says it is a short story. I love books best of all, but I've gotten to like the short story form an awful lot, too. Karin Slaughter has written one as a Kindle Single and the first chapter of her book, Fallen, is included.

"Thorn in My Side" is on the strange side and at times is a bit disturbing, but considering that the two brothers in the story are conjoined twins, one good and one not so good, their actions are going to be fitting and bothersome at times. These two who are the opposites of each other get themselves in a heap of trouble one night when the wilder, loves-to-party-and-dance twin wants to go out and of course, the other one has no choice but to go along. They can only hide what they do for so long.

The dialogue is sometimes funny, but often very hurtful towards the good twin. I found the story entertaining and didn't expect it to be a work of literary fiction, and it isn't. Karin Slaughter writes very good thrillers that I always enjoy, and this short story was, in my opinion, worthy of three stars.
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on August 31, 2011
This is the tale of two brothers Wayne and Kirk, they live in a perfect balance for instance like the selfish and the altruist.

The first chapter is like a day of november, full of an impenetrable fog, but lines after lines it will emerge a sort of philosophical play between the evil and good.

For instance:

"As is often found in nature, there is the Darwinian dichtomy; one must struggle against the other..." (Thorn in my Side Loc 263-65 for Kindler users)

Generally the majority of us is agree to the evolution of the species, but we will change our point of view if there is a deadly clash between two human beings?

I disagree because in this context there won't be any racial supremacy, for the simple fact that a character will pronounce the following phrase:

"That you need more than I need" (Thorn in my Side, Loc. 551)

In my opinion, this is the most powerful image of this tale, because emerges clearly that we can define Kirck as the selfish gene of the humanity and Wayne as the good of us.


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on August 3, 2016
I see that there are several thoughtful reviews of this short story, and most didn't like it. I loved it from beginning to end (a little over an hour via Audible). You need a sense of humor to appreciate this one. If I hadn't bought this one specifically because it was written by Karin Slaughter, I would have thought it came from the mind of Stephen King.
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on October 16, 2011
If you are a fan of James Patterson, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly...and have not read Karin Slaughter then you are in for a TREAT. She is a phenomenal writer, her character's jump out of the pages and become three dimensional Fallen: A Novel "people" you root for and ache with...when they are in pain.

A powerful addition to the genre and a talented writer. Now with all that said, I am very new to the "Kindle" e-book world just got one for my wedding anniversary on October 13. Please Do NOT start your experience or judge Karin Slaughter on the "kindle single..."Thorn in my side". Had I known it would be so short and unsatisfying I would never have purchased it.

"Fallen" her latest novel was one of the BEST I have ever read. I do suggest researching her previous books and reading them in order. I do warn you won't get much sleep because they are so hard to put down.
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on February 22, 2014
I never thought I would give a book written by Karin Slaughter a rating of two, but I did not like this novella. I read it to the end but did not enjoy it at all. It's a story about conjoined twins, one good and one bad, and what happens to them.
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on September 3, 2011
Let me start by saying that the concept of this single was entertaining, for certain! I'm a big Karin Slaughter fan, however this piece disappointed me for a couple of reasons: length was one, yes I know it's a single- but it seemed a little too abrupt at times. Crudeness- something I don't really expect from Slaughter. I don't mind graphic descriptions, but this piece made me cringe a couple of times. I will say that on the positive side the dark humor was very entertaining, and getting inside the head of the twin who was telling to story really made you think about the situation they were "stuck" in so to speak. All in all, for the price it was a fair read, but I think I'll stick to Slaughter's Grant County series from now on.
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on November 19, 2012
I normally love Karin Sluaghter's books. I think she is a terrific writer! I have read them all! I really like the characters, the plot, the story. I typically am waiting for a new book to come out. In this case, I think it may be the worst "book" I've ever read. I know it was only $1.99 for my kindle, but I wish I could get my money back. The subject was disturbing. I have no idea where she was going wit this or why...It was awful. i really thought I'd feel differently than the other reviewers. I tried to keep an open mind. But, I really hated it. :(
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