Were I to judge a book by its cover I would have this to say of Hi I'm A Social Disease by Anderson Prunty, interesting. If I were to judge it from a catchy and unusual title I would have to say, very interesting. However, if I skipped the cover and title and judged it by its content I would have to say, Five Stars overall, and that's exactly what I found this story collection rates.
This was another collection that kept coming up on my suggested reads list, and let me tell you that the cover photo by Michael Omar Berrospe, if you have not figured it out for yourself, is a great piece of visual bait. Add to the fact that it was offered as a 99 Cent read and I was on the hook. In this collection Prunty gives us a collection of very well told stories that range from the quirky to the classic.
Here's a look at the stories:
Inspired by a Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds song this story is the study of the resident of an apartment building in a post-apocalyptic world. The landlord is a cannibal and when a new neighbor moves into the room a floor above the narrator begins to take a curious interest in her, and her "diaries". Unusual and with a slight twist at the end it was not my favorite, but Prunty's unique style and tale had me hooked enough to feel that the collection would only get better. Four Stars.
On the day the Great Depression begins the world goes crazy, in some cases literally. A man on a mission ascends to the upper floors of an office building where a strange creature holds sway over greed and misery in two different universes. Dripping with gore and oozing a strange atmosphere this story is almost like a meeting between H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker at an Occupy Wall Street rally. The narrative is timely considering the current world economic crisis and is a good example of contrasting the past and present, whether it was Prunty's intention to do so or not. Oh, yeah! Six Stars!
The Dust Season
A cheating couple of carnival workers faces a strange retribution at the hands of their fellow carnies that demotes them from being stars of the show to being part of the freak show. This review may sound like I'm drawing my comparisons from the decline of Universal's monster monopoly of the 30's and 40's, but this story really is Water For Elephants meets Tod Browning's Freaks! You might see what's coming in this short little story, but it's still pretty effective. Four Stars.
The Man With A Face Like A Bruise
A man has a vision of a creature that has haunted him that he has not seen in a long time, then catches his lover in bed with another man. A tense and gory tale of revenge. I do not want to give too much away as it if perhaps the best story in the collection. Another Six Stars!
A man with a taste for abusing young women is haunted by one of his victims from a war torn country. It's a quick read that gave this reader what he wanted in seeing that the titular photographer gets exactly what's coming to him. A sweet little Five Star story.
A man with the gift of being able to relive the last moments of a person's life gets more than he bargained for once he finds himself the prisoner of the spirits of the dead. There seems to be no escape until he hits on a unique solution to his unique problem. Four Stars.
The Night The Moon Made A Sound
It's a ghost story, but it's not your typical ghost story, similar to some of Scott Nicholson's better work. I'm not really a fan of this type of story because they either work and are effective, or they do not and are not. This one most certainly does. Five Stars.
Hi I'm A Social Disease was more than enough to gain my appreciation for Anderson Prunty and earn a spot in this blog's sidebar as a Kindle Featured Creature. I hope to get the chance to read more from Prunty in the future.
You can find Anderson Prunty's Hi I'm A Social Disease here:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hi-im-a-social-disease-andersen-prunty/1104361767
In my opinion Hi I'm A Social Disease and Anderson Prunty are a must on any good lurk for list!