THE BUTTERFLY MAN – PAUL KANE
There are times when reading books for this blog, that I feel kind of embarrassed. This is one of those books, for an author who has been as widely published and prolific as Paul Kane, I’m embarrassed to say that prior to this collection I and the interview I did with him, I had never read any of his work. Yes I had heard his name mentioned by those more in the know than I am.
The Butterfly Man collects some of Paul’s finest works from recent years plus the addition of The Cave of Lost Souls,
I was a little bit hesitant in picking this up, as it feels all I have been reading lately is short stories, and I was feeling a little bit burned out by the form. But after reading One for The Road the opener of the collection, my faith in the short story was reignited. This is a wonderfully light hearted and fun take on the beginning of the Armageddon. Paul’s description of the the Horsemen of The Apocalypse is truly memorable, as their discussions on past glories. However don’t for one moment think that this story sets the tone for the collection, for this is one of only a few light hearted tales on offer here. Paul has a gift for writing really interesting, satisfying and down right enjoyable tales no matter the subject matter.
Some of my favourite stories of the collection were Life -o- matic , a humorous tale of a society gone consumerist to the extreme, imagine one of those classic 1950’s suburban streets full of perfectly mowed lawns and white picket fences. Now imagine one of those streets gone absolutely mental where the perfectly white toothy smiles are the least of your worries, and the banalities of QVC rules the world.
Masques is Paul’s homage to Poe’s classic tale The Masque of The Red Death, relocated to the modern world, where the brilliant Dr in charge of finding a cure for the bleeding disease is haunted by nightmares, nightmares that are beginning to break out into the waking world. This wonderfully evocative tale, is a prime example of what a great author can do when allowed to work on a classic novel.
The Greatest Mystery, is Paul’s love letter to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and is everything I could ever want from a Sherlock Holmes Mystery. All of the elements are as they should be, Holmes acts and sounds like Holmes as does Dr Watson,with one added extra, this time Holmes goes up against the Supernatural. I loved this story, and I’m sure I could see fog seeping from under the bedroom door as I read this fantastic take on one of my all time favourite characters
A Chaos Demon Is For Life is another of Paul’s stories that brings a smile to your face. This story shows that parents really shouldn’t try to get the perfect gift for their kids at Christmas. The finale of this story reminded me of this advert,CHEWITS and brought back great memories of years gone by, thanks Paul
Windchimes, for me, stands toe to toe with The Butterfly Man as the most moving and heartbreaking tale I have read all year. You know any story that starts of with the death of a child is never going to end happy, but the ending to this story is so bleak and shocking, it will stay with you long after you have finished this collection.
The titular title of the collection The Butterfly Man, is a prime example of the power of emotion that a brilliant short story can hold. This is a terribly moving, heartfelt and evocative tale based around a day in the life of The Butterfly Man. I challenge you to read this story and not be moved, both by the story and by the level of writing talent Paul exhibits in this story.
This collection is a if like me, you have missed out on the writing talents of Mr Kane. The stories on offer here show a writer who is capable of writing many, many different styles with a panache, yet still being able to maintain a voice and style that is uniqely his own.
This is another first class single author collection, and ranks up there with the best that is out there. Paul Kane and this collection in particular is one that should be in every readers library.
The Butterfly Man is available in two editions, both can be purchased by clicking the links below