Disclaimer – I received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and unbiased review
‘His protesting lungs, heavy from the pack of Marlboro he smoked earlier. The weight in his legs, like someone lined his jeans with lead pellets. The jolting slap-slap-slap of his Conversed feet on concrete.’
Billionaire terminal cancer patient John Longmire’s going to die today, and he’s going out in style in the classiest euthanasia clinic in the world. But the strange nurse with the clipboard and the look of a goddess is spoiling the mood, with all her irksome questions about how he’s lived his life.
Recent retiree Gerald loves his wife Barbara and he loves his garden, but Barbara hates the garden. Because the garden’s taking Gerald over, and Barbara says he has to stop before he has another ‘incident’.
Bullied, ridiculed and unloved, moustachioed schoolgirl “Hairy” Mhairi Barry has never had any friends but the ones she finds on the shelves of the library where she’s spent most of her lonely childhood. But tonight, she’s going to a party with all the cool kids, to show them what she’s learned in all those books.
A suspicious smelling smorgasbord of lovelorn psychopaths, vengeful mugging victims, pawn shop philosophers and rhyming Glaswegian alien abduction.
Tales of the What the Fuck is a dark, touching, horrific and hilarious collection of short stories, flash fiction and epic poetry from People’s Book Prize nominated author D.A. Watson. Things are about to get weird.
What I thought
I don’t read many anthologies or short stories. Mostly because I read in large chunks and I can feel the starting and stopping all the time disconcerting. However because I had to stop at the end of pretty much every one to go WTF did I just read the stopping and starting and change over felt natural. I was doing it anyway.
The title of this book is not a lie. Every story is utterly insane. I mean what kind of book has Socrates, and vampires, and vengeful Norse gods, and multiple murderers and really really serial killers. I’ll tell you what kind of book. This kind of book!
From the first story the tone is set, a one night stand that didn’t happen; the woman going home thinking she probably would have had sex with him before she murdered him and fed him to her can, and a man who goes home and strokes his kids face and then strokes the 21 eyes from women he killed with the same amount of love and care. Seriously! You think it’s going somewhere and then it veers past that point so quickly that it leaves what you thought was going to happen in the dust. I just… this book…
I’ve got a couple of options for my favourite story. The philosophical discussion at the guitar shop was great but that’s mostly because I’ve got a degree in philosophy which I haven’t used since but I still enjoy reading various bits. Freja at the euthanasia clinic judging people – because who doesn’t enjoy reading angry vengeful gods? And the aforementioned first story of the collection – because it made me sit up and pay attention. I read it twice on the way to work just to make sure I hadn’t missed anything – I hadn’t – and it made me realise what I was getting into.
Why I read it
I was offered the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and with a title like that the reason why I said yes is pretty obvious.
This collection of stories completely justifies the title as that was my thought at the end of almost all of the stories. I’ve already recommended it to a number of people because it is brilliantly batshit.
Did I enjoy it? It was utterly mental, I don’t think I had any choice but to enjoy it because if I thought too much about what was happening in each story my head would explode
Am I glad I read it? Yes
Would I read again? Yes. Not in one go, but I’m going to keep it on my kindle so I can keep returning to different stories.
Would I recommend? Like I said above I was recommending it to people while I was reading it because I had to share the insanity with others. (Although this should definitely not be recommended to any one who’s squeamish or triggered by blood/violence)