BARRY WOOD'S SHORT STORIES

By Barry Wood

Reviewed by Garry Charles

Now, my friends, I would like to introduce you all to a couple of interesting things.

The first isn't actually a thing, but a very promising author named Barry Wood. The second is, what I believe to be, a curio for the world of small press.

Barry Wood has created a collection of eight dark tales, but you won't find them in the form of a book. We have no glossy cover with a bound spine and there is not a type written page to be seen.

So, I hear you ask, how do we discover these tales of shadowy fright?

The answer is easy, dear reader. Buy the audiocassette that bears the above title.

Now, before I continue, I must point out that this collection is not perfect. It's pretty damned close, but it is let down by one factor. Only one, mind you.

The narrator--Little Jim Smith--has a bad habit of missing the beat of the tale. He doesn't do it too often and it doesn't spoil the tales too much. It does, however, make you want to see these stories in print. It makes you want to hold a book in your hands and get a true feel for the author's flow.

Apart from this one minor flaw I highly recommend you try this out for size. It's a brave attempt to try something different and it deserves our support.

So, without further ado, allow me to give you a guided tour of Mr Wood's dark, little world.

We are introduced to Curtis Michael Murray, a serial killer about to get his just desserts. This one is a perfect opener. It's dark, nasty and very painful.

Grammy Chan is one of my faves. Childhood memories always work well in horror, especially when given a bitter ending. Excellent!

Now I Remember! is a good little tale with a strong premise, but it is one of the tales slightly let down by narration. It's still well worth a listen.

One Little Mistake proves that Barry can get into the head of a killer. If I ever meet him and he's wearing black leather gloves I will panic.

The Funeral Day is a superb example of how Barry works his art. I loved this tale. It's not horror but it's fantastic.

Image of an Angel, for me, was the weakest tale of the bunch. I can't put my finger on why, but it lacked something the others had.

As for The Mayor's Mistress, I will never vote again. Enough said.

The Writer is a tale for anyone who has ever written or tried to write. By the end I was laughing. It could almost be a true story. A fable for authors trying to make a start.

Barry Wood should be commended for his vision.

Just be careful when you decide to test the water. You may well drown.

Barry Wood's Short Stories by Barry Wood. Audiocassette, $9.60 (approx £4.80) excluding P&P. Available from: www.charlottevaleallen.com

Author's website: - www.barrywood.net


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