Mephisto Disco: Simon Paul Wilson
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Late last year, I had the pleasure of reading ‘See You When the World Ends’ by Simon Paul Wilson. It was eerie, disarming and subtly worked its way under my skin.
Recently, I posted on my social media channels that if anyone needed any help, to let me know. Now, typically if I’ve agreed to blurb a book, I’ll not do an in-depth review (I honestly don’t know why I decided that haha!), but in the spirit of wanting to help – and Simon is a great guy – I offered up a blurb and here is a review that I sent along for Kendall Reviews.
What I liked: In this, Simon’s first collection, we get 10 stories that cover a wide array of topics, but in each one, the reader will get sucked in and ultimately left feeling nervous and a bit uneasy. From the first story, to the last, Paul Wilson makes sure we don’t fully know what is about to happen and when it does, wowsa, look out.
The Nothing Tree – This one starts out with an almost ‘Adam and Eve’ storyline before things take a turn and we see the awful truth of the fruit that grows from the tree.
Chaos Division – this was a funny enough story, but not one that I really clicked with. The absurdity of it is going to work with some readers and not so well with others.
Mia and Michelle – this one is a really quick story that leaves us on a very open-ended cliffhanger. I enjoyed the limited knowledge we had and how each reader is going to fill in a lot that isn’t said or shared.
Watching – super creepy story that starts out in one direction and quickly takes us in another. Really enjoyed this one and the pacing of it was spot on.
Tears – an interesting story that follows our main character as they prepare to take their own life. They reflect on certain moments that didn’t affect them like they thought it would. A very moving piece.
The Kimura House – ghost hunters enter a supposed haunted house. This is a story line that is frequently done to death, but Paul Wilson does a great job of ramping this one up and giving the reader some chills.
Sea Monsters – an interesting story about a world now flooded and the reality that things have changed. Really engaging.
Sushi – a story following a young girl at a new school in a new country, this was topical but also an uncomfortable read.
Kibou – this story starts off easy enough and then when a very disarming event occurs, it ramps up the unnerving tension. Borderline anxiety-inducing.
The Final Sound – an engaging story that starts off with a well and then really takes off running. Loved the music references and the way it built and came to a crescendo.
What I didn’t like: A few of the stories fell a little flat for me, but that happens in every collection. I will say, I enjoyed each one, just some more than others. Reader mileage will always vary with collections.
Why you should buy this: Simon Paul Wilson has an easy way of telling a story, and it really grabs you and pulls you along. This was a blast and I read it over the course of a work day, in between seeing patients and on my breaks. I would definitely recommend you give this a go whether you’re a previous fan of his work or a new one.
Welcome to Mephisto Disco, the debut short story collection from Simon Paul Wilson.
Within, you’ll find tales of ancient trees and their horrific fruit, a group of ghost hunters exploring a haunted house in Japan, a girl who suddenly becomes the last person on Earth, and nine more tales of magical realism and horror.
Dare you enter Mephisto Disco?
Steve Stred is the Splatterpunk Nominated Author of ‘Sacrament’ and ‘Mastodon.’
Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Steve has released over a dozen novels and novellas as well as a number of collections. He has appeared alongside some of horror’s biggest names within some truly excellent anthologies.
He is a proud co-founder of the LOHF Writer’s Grant and an Active Member of the HWA.