Pills by Jack Binding #shortstories #horror

35266956Jack Binding’s Pills splices gritty realism with surreal imagery and otherworldly dread.

From the vicious high fashion horror of FMM (The Devils Wears Prada via Bret Easton Ellis-esque debauchery) to the stark, unsettling heartbreak of Sleeping Pills, Binding takes the reader on a journey through the secret parts of London that few people ever visit.

Influenced by writers such as Stephen King, Martin Amis and JG Ballard, there’s Cronenberg-inspired body horror, creepy kids (and their creepier parents), death, love (often unrequited), seedy massage parlours and late nights fuelled with lust and narcotics.

With overarching themes and characters, the 18 short stories in Pills can be read either as a whole enjoyed as stand-alone tales.

Dosage:

Adults over 21 years old take one Pill with alcohol. If necessary, consume the entire packet at once.
Not recommended for children.

Possible side-effects include:

Tension
Excitement
Rage
Sadness
Fear
Arousal
Elation
Repulsion
Laughter
Dread

Disclaimer:

The consumption of Pills should never result in boredom. If this occurs, please contact the manufacturer as soon as possible.

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Amazon ebook 240 indie Horror / Short Stories June 13th, 2017

Dark humour, a motherload of Karma and a side dish of fun covered in cynical sauce! This is how I would summarize the whole collection…

Having read four of Jack’s published short stories prior to the collection at hand, I kind of knew what I was getting into, but I ended up receiving a lot more than I expected. The paranormal/horror element was definitely turned up to full volume and … yeah, swines and killers and other general scum of the Earth waltzing about tainting the lives of innocents- those I did expect. I also knew that I was going to receive some quality writing and captivating stories that flow with ease.

You see, Jack Binding is one of those authors who can take the mundane, everyday life observations and make them into a freaking holy-shit-fest! Death, deceit, failures and success, moral of the story- all included. If you wanted to, you can take quite a lot out of each story.. there’s nothing shallow about the content of this collection if you take the time to read and mull over the meaning behind, where and how these stories got life from… Supernatural- yes! Superficial- not at all! There is human soul within each story forming the foundations, but what makes each of these stories truly effective and whole, are the teasings of what lurk in the shadows.

The exploration of each character’s deepest, darkest secrets and desires is entirely honest and sometimes ugly. There is plenty of disgusting, despicable behaviour on display, and you’ll witness weaknesses which many of us carry within… Pills has characters you recognize from your workplace, from your personal life, from within yourself. In the mix, there are also characters only legends speak of… the evil ones who thrive in the night ready to buy your soul (or take your blood), the characters who feed on human greed. What a magnificent mix, all blended together and executed to perfection.

The themes, as well, come straight out of life itself- the bitterness of ageing; how you end up getting fucked over no matter how hard you try and take the higher ground; how your budding, naive soul can be darkened no matter how innocent you are; how losing track of what’s really important will come back to bite you in the butt. With the creative freedom of horror elements, the punch-lines are truly quite genius and horrific and a few of them even hilarious. This makes for really entertaining and twisted outcomes we would never be able to witness in real life.

Horror does not generally scare me… the type of horror that freaks me out is the detailed, hair rising and uncomfortable visual authors create by using human anatomy as playthings, and in Pills, Jack has not been shy at creating the type of graphical descriptions to make your stomach turn, just a bit.

The collection is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea- especially if you’re not into reading horror, BUT if you are into a bit of horror/paranormal, then believe me – you will enjoy this collection!

A cocktail of confident, brutal, deadly and seedy pills! The choice is yours, take a pill or 18! (Not literally, of course!)

Pills on Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ USA 

24 comments

  1. hehe I love the dosage, side effects and disclaimer part of the blurb! And honestly this does sound like it was brilliantly done. I don’t tend to go for horror much (I’m easily scared lol) but this sounds so fantastic, I can’t help but be curious! Seriously awesome review!!

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  2. Great review! I don’t read a lot of short stories but boy you did sell this one well. I like a good horror story ever once in a while and I’m definitely intrigued now.

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  3. Oooouf, turning the mundane into holyyyyy sh*t sounds super impressive. That alone pretty much convinces me that this collection did its job. 😛 Brilliant review, Liz. This author sure did raise the bar with this one. 😀

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  4. Yikes! Totally not for me. I don’t do anything particularly graphic. But, that’s more because it makes me feel physically ill more than anything else. I do love the idea of horror stories which focus on twisting the everyday. It’s hard to shake those ideas out of your head once you’ve seen them– then suddenly you’re afraid of a coworker for no reason! XD

    Which story was your favorite? Why?

    Liked by 1 person

    • hahahaha- yeah, the paranoia in the office is real! XD

      A story called ‘Property’ was my favourite when it got first published outside of the collection… and i think it remains my favourite. It’s short and not as gory, even though there is a death in it but it truly-truly has a lot of meaning in it. I think Property is a short you could read yourself as well… it doesn’t have the graphic in it if you felt like giving it a go 🙂

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