Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough: Mark Matthews
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Mark Matthews first came onto my radar when fellow KR reviewer Brian Bogart raved and raved and raved about Mark’s novella ‘Body of Christ.’ Reading that novella was a stunning experience. I remember being glued to my Kindle and devouring each line (almost like a certain character devours something in that novella).
KR: You can read Steve’s Body Of Christ Kendall Review HERE
Since then, I’ve read more of Mark’s work and I’ve become very fascinated with the dark creep of his real-world job (Counselor) as well as his own previous addictions, into his fiction. He has two edited/curated two stunning anthologies all based around addiction, and now, with ‘Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough’ we get a collection that features stories that prominently deal with suicide.
What I liked: The opening story, ‘Mastectomy Scars’ is one of the bleakest, darkest stories I think I’ve ever read. It’s also one of the best stories I’ve ever read. It follows Dakota, dealing with the aftermath of her mother taking her own life. Her mother was in the grips of cancer and decided to end her own pain. Now, Dakota tries to figure out how to stay connected to her while dealing with her father and his new female companion. Just sorrow-filled and devoid of light.
‘Body of Christ’ is up next and I’ll not go too far into this one. I’ve read it previously and have a full review available for it, but if you’ve not read this novella, get on it!
‘The Last Bug Chaser’ was a unique story about an alien-type being on Earth trying to capture a specific virus and connect to a higher power.
‘Mask of Sanity’ was another highlight for me. The story of a doctor and a drug rep who has a new drug with unknown side effects.
The other highlight for me was ‘Tattooed All in Black.’ A story of a man trying to stay connected to his wife after she dies. It was heartbreaking and ultimately had a very interesting second half.
Matthews writes his best when the story has deep emotional moments and this collection was filled to the brim with those.
What I didn’t like: As always, a few stories didn’t really connect with me. Saying that, all of the stories were great, just a few not as impactful for this reader.
Why you should buy this: This collection reminded me a lot of Sam Richards’ collection, in that I’m glad to have read it and experienced it, but I don’t think I’d want to read it again, the stories were so sad and so bleak. Matthews does such a great job of making each story as dark as possible, while also pulling the reader along one word at a time.
Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough
Grief, depression, loneliness, suicide. Prepare to be taken by the hand to explore the darkest of human emotions and fears. Stories about those of us who have had too much and cry out desperately for help, begging for relief, asking of anyone who might listen—Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough. The first collection of shorts from Mark Matthews, the author of novels such as Milk-Blood, The Hobgoblin of Little Minds, and the Shirley Jackson Award Nominated editor of Lullabies for Suffering.
Stories range from the most basic horrors to the most cosmic—A father dangling from a noose after an attempted hanging gone wrong. A psychiatrist haunted by the spirits of his dead ex-patients. An alien woman must contract a virus to save the human race, and a father must sacrifice his life to do the same. You’ll visit eight different worlds, created by the ‘master of modern psychological horror,’ and after you’ve returned to where you began, you’ll arrive completely safe, but certainly not the same.
*Content Warning for frequent mentions of suicide*
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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