{Book Review} Kiss Me: Andrew Pyper

Kiss Me: Andrew Pyper

Reviewed By Steve Stred

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Porcupine’s Quill (15 Oct. 1996)

Ok, ok, I’ll finely admit it – Andrew Pyper is my favourite author. Wait? You didn’t know that! Well, what rock have you been living under?

Seriously, from my PYPER-MAY-NIA celebration (where I got to interview him!!!) to my frequent sharing of Pyper related stuff on Twitter – I have been a massive fan since I discovered ‘The Demonologist.’

But truthfully, I was scared to read ‘Kiss Me.’ Why? Well, I knew this book wasn’t a horror/thriller collection of stories. I was worried that maybe, just maybe, this wouldn’t be enjoyable and then it would affect how much I loved his writing. How foolish does that sound?

Now that I’ve read ‘Kiss Me,’ I’m thoroughly kicking myself in the backside that I waited so long. A great writer is a great writer and in his debut collection, released all the way back in 1996, Pyper delivers a collection of stories that resonate beyond a time or place.

Much like he did with ‘The Homecoming’ this book will read differently for each person based on where they grew up and where their life took them.

The stories within this collection are a cavalcade of growing up in small-town Canada tales. It’s like a high school reunion where you sit down and chat with someone about what happened after everyone graduated. There was only one story in this collection I didn’t connect with; “The Author Shows a Little Kindness,” but even then the story was told with such high quality that it didn’t lag or diminish the overall feel.

I wished I had read this a long time ago. Sometimes though, a person has to be in a certain time and a certain place to cherish the subtleties in a release even more, so I’m happy that I finally tackled this collection and I think everyone should give it a read. It may not be HORROR or a PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, but it will speak to you and really does show that Pyper is a truly talented writer.

I can’t pick out a singular stand out tale for me, simply because I loved every other one, and liked the single story that didn’t connect. That’s a fantastic job done by a phenomenal writer.

Star Rating (out of 5): 4.5*

Kiss Me

These are stories of a twentysomething generation, growing up in the small towns and cities of Canada, now confronting the universal dilemmas of life in the real world.

No tidy coming-of-age collection, Pyper?s stories are populated with characters who struggle to reach out — sometimes painfully, sometimes comically, and not always successfully — to make sense of their seemingly fractured condition in an equally disaffected universe.

First love, first lust, first high, first terrible moment of awareness that in a single moment, life can change forever — this is shimmering, profound writing that moves from subtly detailed moments of awakening to often brutally shattering epiphanies.

You can buy Kiss Me from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Steve Stred

Steve Stred is an up-and-coming Dark, Bleak Horror author.

Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun and his most recent release was the coming-of-age, urban legend tale The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.

On June 1st, 2019 his second full-length novel, The Stranger will be welcomed to the world.

Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.

Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.

You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred

You can visit Steve’s Official website here

The Stranger

Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?

Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.

Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?

But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.

While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.

The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.

The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.

Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.



Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.

But what if it’s not…

What if there is something out there?

The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”

With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.

Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (www.inkshadows.com), The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.

Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…



The Stranger. 

You can buy The Stranger from Amazon UK Amazon US

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