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Let's Talk About Books

An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading. 

Currently reading

The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares
Joyce Carol Oates
Progress: 70/365 pages
The Hunting Grounds (Hidden Sins)
Katee Robert
Progress: 160/318 pages
Evil Under The Sun
Agatha Christie
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A Natural History of Hell

A Natural History of Hell: Stories - Jeffrey Ford

Saw this one at the library. I like stories having to do with demons and the supernatural, so I thought it would be worth a try. Since it's a collection of short stories, I'll rate each story and the average of that will be my final review. Overall though I liked these stories. Ford has a good imagination. 

 

1. The Blameless: 4.5 out of 5 - Really silly and I LOVED the concept. The idea of people having exorcisms as part of a fashion trend was ridiculous and amazing at the same time. It felt like an SNL skit, which I liked. It did get a little too silly at times, more than I think Ford aimed for, but I really enjoyed this story. 

 

2. Word Doll: 3 out of 5 - It got better as it went on. I liked the idea of the Word Dolls and the image of Mower Manc was spooky. Got a little two dry at points and it could have been a lot spookier than it ended up being. 

 

3. The Angel Seems: 5 out of 5 - The imagery and mythology of this one was just amazing. The whole thing read like a fairy tale and I really enjoyed reading it. I found it to be a great story.

 

4. Mount Chary Galore: 2.5 out of 5 - I liked the writing style and the voice of this piece a lot, but the story itself was just all over the place. Didn't feel like it had much focus. 

 

5. A Natural History of Autumn: 3 out of 5 - It was written really nicely and I liked the Japanese demons it presented. Definitely a different perspective. It got a little out of hand though and I think it needed another draft before publication. 

 

6. Blood Drive: 2 out of 5 - I actually read this one before in it's original publication After. I didn't really like it then and didn't bother rereading it now. It's written well enough and the concept is decent, it just reeks of political agenda, which ruined the story for me. Made it feel cliche/run of the mill, which made it overall lackluster.

 

7. A Terror: 2.5 out of 5 - This is based on my favorite of Dickenson's poems, so I found it a little disappointing. Parts of it were very good, especially the description of Death. That said, the story was all over the place and didn't run very smoothly. 

 

8. Rocket Ship to Hell: 4 out of 5 - This one was fun and creepy. Space frightens me so it hit on that fear rather well. It could ramble a bit though and needed some fine tuning, but overall it was nice. 

 

9. The Fairy Enterprise: 4 out of 5 - Awesome concept and it felt like a fairy tale while I was reading it. Felt a little too on the nose at points but overall it's a fun, creepy story. 

 

10. The Last Triangle: 4.5 out of 5 - Really liked this one. The characters were good and I like the perspective of Thomas, the recovering addict. I also liked the way magic was used in this story. The end was kind of confusing but over all it was really good. 

 

11. Spirits of Salt: A Tale of the Coral Heart: 3 out of 5 - A cool story, felt like a myth in the way it was told. Got kind of boring at points though and I wish the story had gotten to it's bare bones sooner and more clearly. 

 

12. The Thyme Fiend: 5 out of 5 - I really liked this story. It was a sweet story, a mystery, and just written really well. This one is probably my favorite story out of the whole book. 

 

13. The Prelate's Commission: 3 out of 5 - I liked the mythology of this one and the way the Devil was characterized himself. It got confusing at many parts though and was a little wordy at points. Could have used some trimming. 

 

Final rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. That's what the math tells me, anyway. A good book if you're looking for some fun, supernatural stories.