The Long N’ Short Of It – James Newman
Reviewed by Miranda Crites
- Paperback: 231 pages
- Publisher: Unnerving (9 April 2019)
James Newman returns with a collection of tales of violence, sickness, depravity, and of course, blood. In this review, Miranda shares her thoughts on each entry…
A sweet morsel of a story. I love microfiction, and James does it so well.
“If you truly care about each other, you will find a way to work around it. Follow your heart.” Yeah, man, follow your heart. Don’t worry about all that baggage!
If the opening of this story doesn’t catch your attention, I don’t know what will. Social media for serial killers because if you don’t post it online, it didn’t really happen, right? Stop by “The Forum” to share your latest shenanigans with all your friends, learn new tips and tricks of the trade, and know that there are others out there just as sick and twisted as you. The good ol’ internet, bringing new friends together every day!
Big Girls Help Their Mommy
Holy hell! The feels!
This is the kind of horror that causes my version of the Incredible Hulk to come out. I thought I knew where this story was going, and it pretty much went there, along with some other things I didn’t see. It’s a really quick read, and I was thinking, “No, no, that’s not really going to go in that direction. No, don’t let it go that way…”
We’ve got a single mom in a dirty trailer with a couple of dirty kids. Dad has run off. Mom is incompetent. Here’s where I want to scream. Just take care of your babies! It’s sad that we see this kind of behaviour in real life.
“I thought it was what she wanted!”
What are you going to do when you see someone doing something that doesn’t seem right?
“It ain’t always easy but sometimes a guy’s just gotta do what he knows is right.”
You take it into your own hands. You fix it. You do your duty.
This was my second “reading” of Olden. I first experienced Olden as an audiobook read by the one and only James Newman himself. If you’d like to have a listen, all you have to do is ask him.
The world has gone to hell, and a group of people are stuck in a room together without food or water. An elderly patient is in a single bed in the room.
Something has happened to the elderly. There’s a zombie-esque vibe here.
The story bounces around, and we get a point of view from each character before the world goes to hell, which I really like. What I don’t like is elder abuse, so I hope karma catches up with Larry. He’s an asshole.
Under the Mistletoe
Here we get to attend a Christmas party at work. There are drinks and mistletoe, but don’t be jealous if you weren’t invited!
“It’s a parasite,” she said. After.”
Super short. One of the best Christmas parties I’ve attended in a while.
The Virgin o’ Full Moon Falls
A young girl starts a group in a small town. No one really expected the group to grow as large as it did or get much attention. But it wasn’t well-received by everyone. A group of spiteful town bullies decide to shut down the group by seeking out young Rayleen, the group leader.
Bullies! I hate bullies. Oh, that ending, though!
A struggling actor finally catches his big break. “Roy “R.J.” Taylor, Actor for Hire” becomes a household name, but it’s for all the wrong reasons. He sets out on the road with his brother, seeking revenge.
A Serial Killer Walks Into a Bar
A short screenplay.
Lacey, a bartender, ends up learning more than she bargains for just by inquiring about a customer’s tattoos (and being a bit snoopy). This is the kind of super-creepy story that makes me even more leery of people. You never know who someone really is, what they’re capable of, or what they’re planning.
Ugly As Sin
Shame on me for not reading Ugly As Sin yet.
This story is an excerpt from the comic book strip of the same name. I didn’t know how I would feel about this at first, however, it turned out to be really cool. I had a blast with it. I was envisioning the comic book as I read the story. I definitely need to read Ugly As Sin now. This took me back to the eighties when my mom, some of her siblings, and a bunch of my cousins were into wrestling. I’m interested in reading more about Nick Bullman’s story. Super-fun read, albeit sad.
I love when an author includes story notes at the end. They’re just as good as the stories themselves.
Star Rating (out of 5): 5*
I had a blast with this collection! Thanks again, James!!
The Long N’ Short Of It
James Newman returns with a collection of tales of violence, sickness, depravity, and of course, blood.
The Long n’ Short of It includes:
Baggage, The Forum, Big Girls Help Their Mommy, Duty, Olden, Under the Mistletoe, The Virgin of Full Moon Falls, Revenge Flick!, A Serial Killer Walks Into a Bar (script), and Ugly as Sin (comic script excerpt).
James Newman’s tales of horror and suspense have earned praise from some of the best in the genre.
In these pages, you can read for yourself what all the fuss is about: from flash fiction to fan-favourite novellas, and even a peek at an unproduced script or two.
Here you will learn that even serial killers need a place to make friends and share tricks of their trade . . . you’ll fight to survive in a roomful of people stuck in the worst place to be when the world goes to hell . . . you’ll attend the last Christmas party on Earth, where a drunken tryst with a co-worker is sure to be the least of your worries . . . and you’ll meet a struggling actor who becomes a household name for all the wrong reasons.
That’s the long n’ short of it. And it barely scratches the surface (enough to bleed).
Miranda Crites is a reader, book reviewer, photographer, writer, and lover of horror from the ghostly woods of rural West Virginia. Miranda has always enjoyed reading, photography, and writing. She received her first camera as a gift when she was nine years old. The writing bug bit her at a very early age. She won the young writers’ contest in first grade and never stopped writing.
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