I have just finished reading this superb collection of short stories by Indie author JJ Brown. For me, five stars plus one! Each story works around the concept of death – how it surrounds us in everyday life and affects us on all levels from the subconscious to dangerously close. The writing is haunting, poetic, graphic yet portrayed with an artist’s touch. There is an intriguing mix of science, New York City and characters whose minds seem to drift dream-like, a little out of touch with reality – or maybe too closely entwined with their own.
Beautifully written, perfectly balanced and paced, each story is different and completely compelling; poignant, disturbing, shocking and subtly underpinned with touches of pure horror. All fourteen stories are of equal calibre – so it’s hard to choose a favourite. I think I would go for Rabbit Nightmare for its creepy off-centre feeling of vulnerability, loneliness and sense of loss. Mouse Chimera is way up there for the truly horrific told in a rather matter-of-fact manner by a scientist slowly losing her mind in the pitiless nature of her work. But then I loved Rain Dream – a clever, unsettling story with the feeling of imminent disaster and the gentle sway of one too many glasses of red wine!
This is top class professional work from a writer who has mastered the delicate and difficult art of the short story. Highly recommend.
You can find “Death and the Dream” on Amazon here