It Knows Where You Live

As many of you know Gary McMahon is fast becomimg one of my favourite authors, his novel The Concrete Grove featured in my top 15 reads of last year, and his short story What They Hear in the Dark, also made it’s way into the chart as part of Spectral Press’s new chapbook series.

For those of you not familiar with Gary’s work then shame on you.  Gary’s writing is a perfect mix of bleakness, pure raw emotion, tension beyond belief all held together by wonderful prose.  You don’t read a McMahon story for a Koontz type happy ending knights in shinning armour type story.  McMahon is the master of urban horror, a genre where the horrors of the real world, often outstrip the horrors of the supernatural.  His works are populated by characters that are all too real, full of  all the weaknesses, and vulgarities of mankind.  Gary’s writing comes from his heart, some writers write, Gary tears his stories straight from his soul and pins them screaming to the page. 

It Knows Where You Live, gathers 15  of Gary’s short stories together into one gritty and intense collection.I’m hard pushed to pick favourites in this collection, the quality is that good.    Kicking of this collection, is the claustrophobic Just Another Horror Story.  Where a book, an urban legend  and a hidden camera, play havoc with the protagonists sanity.  Taught, clever and above all very creepy, this story is no mere horror story. 

Hope is a Small Thing Dying in a Bin Behind an Abandoned Kebab Shop, a brilliant title supplied by Greg James, where a man desperate for closure after his girlfriend leaves him, finally finds closure, among the contents of a rotting bin. 

When One Door Closes, counterbalances the grittiness and despair for a moment, with this, for Gary, uplifting tale of a man looking  for for work. 

As a cat lover, Nine Lives, disturbed me greatly, it is an excellent examample of real life being more shocking than the supernatural. 

The Chair  and it’s sequel The Table, sees Ben trapped by his over bearing mother, and his medications, becomes haunted by a chair, can he find release and solace from his confines.   The Table, picks up the story a few years down the line, Ben is still haunted and trapped by the circumstances of his life.   The ending to this story is perfect, it manages to be both chilling and uplifting at the same time.  

Small Things, is another story that struck a major chord with me, and I mean a major chord.  I hate how practically no one says please, thank you, sorry, excuse me, even hello when you walk past them in the street. This story what if story, shows how forgetting to do these things can lead to the destruction of a society.  Please people read this and take heed.  

It’s a pity that this book is a one of limited edition of only 100 copies, I’ve got number 85. The stories held within these pages should be read by more people, on the flip side, those of us who have a copy are very, very lucky indeed.   

This book is sold out at the publishers, but you can still track down copies on the internet.

Jeff N Joys have 2 copies for sale at the time of writing this review.  I like Jeff N Joys, they price the books fairly and have great customer service.

and at Cold Tonnage Books

One thought on “It Knows Where You Live

  1. “Hope is a Small Thing Dying in a Bin Behind an Abandoned Kebab Shop” – wow, *that's* a title!

    I like a lot of McMahon's stories, although haven't read this collection; it sounds up to his usual standard.

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