Whispers In The Ear Of A Dreaming Ape – Joshua Chaplinsky
Reviewed by Michelle Enelen
- Print Length: 185 pages
- Publisher: CLASH Books (October 15, 2019)
Thirteen, lucky thirteen, that’s the number of shorts you’ll find in Joshua Chaplinsky’s new book, Whispers in the ear of a Dreaming Ape. Just buy it, otherwise you’ll spend too long searching the title every time you feel the urge to see what all the fuss is about later. I assure you, there will be a fuss. People are going to be angry. This book will not sit well with them. Are you intrigued? Of course, you are! You’re here in the horror section. Right where you belong.
Chaplinsky is the managing editor of LitReactor.com. His first book, Kanye West-Reanimator, spills Lovecraft’s darkened blood into the mind of Kanye West. A strange soup to be savored another day. His second book starts with prison correspondence. It got interesting fairly quickly, from there the book reads like a graph, letting you plateau with normalcy before catapulting you through strange territory. I enjoy a book that doesn’t rely on retelling a tale but creates its own unique plane. This book is comfortable with your discordance.
There are stories that include familial relationships, the things we’d do to save them or not. You could run away screaming if they weren’t family, but they are, so when an amputated foot reappears, you sit there and eat your Thanksgiving skin. Maybe examine your own skin, notice it’s not quite as fresh as it once was. You could take yourself back to that remarkable place, the one with the special menu.
Chaplinsky seems to enjoy your crisis of faith, making you wonder what those higher beings might really be up to. Seems one of them is a little too interested in a man named Jack. You’re welcome to make your own judgements when he tries to establish himself as commander of his own destiny.
These stories may be offensive and uncomfortable. Then again, you might wet yourself like an excited pup when its master finally comes home.
You need to be responsible for your own feelings, if you get through this book it will be on your own. If it doesn’t shock or scare with its heretical prowess, you’ll enjoy it. Having grown up in a Pentecostal home, I’m familiar with the stories and phrases the author has repurposed for your discomfort. The body in pieces, the mind subject to contradictions of existence, neither belonging to you even though you are forced to carry them around like a crab in an overcrowded shell. Realities bounce around and overlap, in the end you’re still trapped. His words are a web, sticky fingers playing in your brain. There is nothing concrete, and so you may fall. What I can tell you for certain is, don’t drink the Prophet’s wine. You won’t like what’s floating around in it.
The last story has the perfect ending, considering what he’s lovingly handed you so far, it probably won’t be a happy ending. Ah well, that’s the risk you take when you allow this author to penetrate you. Stretch your legs, bend over and grab your ankles. Prepare yourself to spin the wheel as you listen for the whispers. Whispers in the Ear of a Dreaming Ape.
Who is this writer and where are we going from here? That’s not a story for me to tell. Keep up with Kendall Reviews because we’re far from finished with this author. Kendall Reviews will be interviewing him in future posts, as well as Mr. Chaplinsky adding to our featured guests section. Oh yes, he will be back, just for your twisted pleasure.
Whispers In The Ear Of A Dreaming Ape
The debut short story collection from Joshua Chaplinsky, author of Kanye West—Reanimator. Thirteen weird pieces of literary genre fiction. Singularities, ciphers, and reappearing limbs. Alien messiahs and murderous medieval hydrocephalics. A dark collection that twists dreams into nightmares in an attempt to find a whisper of truth.
Raised by Pentecostal preachers, horror was not a readily available commodity. As her love grew, her parents were occasionally summoned to school to talk about book reports and various projects that weren’t quite appropriate for her age. They were lost as to where she’d gotten such “trash”. Luckily for her, there was a librarian that understood her insatiable hunger for darker worlds. Even now, if she could, she’d live among the stacks.
Her penchant grew to include ghastly movies and music, which she’ll happily share with anyone listening. The love of horror continues with her favorite videogame, “House of the Dead, Overkill”. She’s not the best gamer, except when defending herself against the wrong monsters. Headshots are her speciality.