Growing Things And Other Stories: Paul Tremblay
Reviewed By Aiden Merchant
What I learned from reading The Cabin at the End of the World and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock is that Tremblay has an amazingly effective narrative style. Hell, after reading The Cabin…, I went out and ordered everything else he had (with the exception of some old, rare releases I couldn’t track down) because I was so impressed and intrigued. This also meant putting up a preorder for Growing Things at the time of its announcement. I had not yet read Tremblay in short fiction form, so I was interested to see how his style would do in brevity. You see, Tremblay has a thing for ambiguous endings.
Unfortunately, Growing Things left me a bit torn. It seemed that I either loved a story (“Where We Will All Be,” “It’s Against the Law to Feed the Ducks,” “The Thirteenth Temple”) or hated it (“Notes from the Dog Walkers,” “Nineteen Snapshots of Dennisport,” “Further Questions for the Somnambulist”). The times I was left feeling in-between, it was generally due to the weirdness factor. I didn’t have any problem with the bleakness of these stories -Tremblay’s writing doesn’t leave me feeling withdrawn or upset like some other readers noted. Instead, I felt like some were just too confusing to follow or took too long to build up to anything of substance. The darkness of it all sat just fine with me (as long as I could understand it).
These complaints aside, Tremblay’s narrative is just wonderful. Reading Growing Things spurred my own creative juices, and I found myself eager to return to the computer and write. So, you’ve got to hand it to Tremblay in that regard – even when I wasn’t liking a story, I was still left excited in a twitchy, energetic way. This collection may not have been all I wanted it to be, but it did not turn me away from this author one bit. I will be starting A Head Full of Ghosts next month with intense anticipation, as well as keep my tabs on any upcoming Tremblay work.
A thrilling new collection from the award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World bringing his short stories to the UK for the first time. Unearth nineteen tales of suspense and literary horror, including a new story from the world of A Head Full of Ghosts, that offer a terrifying glimpse into Tremblay’s fantastically fertile imagination.
See a school class haunted by a life-changing video, the forces at work on four men fleeing the pawnshop they robbed at gunpoint, the meth addict kidnapping her daughter as the town is terrorized by a giant monster, or the woman facing all the ghosts who scare her most in a Choose Your Own Adventure.
Intricate, humane, ingenious and chilling, embrace the Growing Things.
Aiden Merchant is an independent author of horror, suspense, science fiction, and whatever else crawls out of his head. In 2019, he appeared in the writing community with the release of two story collections, Dead as Soon as Born and Kill for Them. In the months that surrounded those debuts, he also made several singles and website exclusives available, including “Out at Sea” and “Nummy Fingers.” He has been praised by readers and writers alike as having a diverse range in style and genre. Under his real name, Merchant has more than a decade of experience in music journalism, having regularly appeared in Alternative Press, Outburn Magazine, New Noise Magazine, and more. He is also a certified nursing assistant, husband, and father. In 2020, he looks to find a publisher and agent for the various projects he has in the pipeline.
Dead As Soon As Born
There is evil inside us all, and no one lives forever.
In this debut collection of short stories from Aiden Merchant, you will bear witness to murderers, monsters, and other horrors.