Lots of people seemed to have enjoyed this one, so I had high hopes. What I see, however, is a book that is about thirty years too late. It harks back to the days of British pulp horror, James Herbert, Stephen Laws, which is not necessarily a bad thing but it is woefully old-fashioned in the horror genre. The book reeks of old age, in plot, in characterisation, in style, in every way. As for the plot, it's the age old basic, b-movie, plot construct of something evil lurking in the building killing off the residents. Nothing new there then. It's basically a rehash of Herbert's Rats or Fog played out in a tower block. It relies to heavily on Herbert's plot formula, and it reminded me too much of that awful sequel to Poltergeist (you know, the one that takes places in the tower). It's heavy going in places; purple passages abound. I stopped reading somewhere a third of the way through. Although I have to admit, I did like some of the characters but only because I recognised them as having stepped right out of a James Herbert novel - the photographer, the journalist, the single mum, the medium etc. etc. In a nut shell, I'd give it 0 for originality, maybe 2 for its copy-cat characterisation.
I wanted to enjoy these stories, but I found them surprisingly boring. It's surprising because they are so short and you hardly expect flash fiction to be boring. It's the writing that's at fault. It's the kind of insipid writing that thinks it's clever but really isn't. You can "hear" the writer trying to be funny and trying to be clever, but it just doesn't come off due to flat prose and a limited vocabulary, which is very quickly evident, and you never get the sense that the writer has a witty turn of phrase up his sleeve, or anything else up his sleeve for that matter. The stories are predictable, some like punch line stories (which I hate), others almost but not quite tales. The only good thing about this book is that you can read it quickly and get the pain over with. Overall, quite poor. It's no wonder the writer is using a "nick name" .
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