by J.W. Schnarr
November 1, 2013
J.W. Schnarr’s second collection of short horror stories marks a distinct development in his very aggressive style, yet demonstrates a growing subtlety into the psychological over the physical.
We journey with him through the hazardous discovery of adolescent female sexuality, the imperatives of affordable labour, watch myth become reality, environments launching attacks, and the dark landscapes of minds battered into breaking. Eleven short stories that will leave you anything but comfortable, and a perfect follow-up to Schnarr’s first collection, Things Falling Apart.
I was disturbed by what I read, and delighted that it raised the hairs on the back of my neck. Gory? Yes, but it was perfectly appropriate and necessary and gorgeous.
…there were short stories that I couldn’t get out of my head. Opt-In for example was one of those I could picture JW Schnarr dropping the mic and walking off stage. Opt-In was also featured in the Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing.
The Reader’s Hollow Blog
This is a collection of horror fiction from Canadian author J.W. Schnarr. I went looking for an overall theme to the collection, and while many of the stories were rooted in Biblical traditions of hell, demons, and not pissing off God, there was a good bit of diversity to the plots. You’ll also find werewolves, demons, Elvis impersonators and the undead. The opening piece, Love Disappears, is the quietest story in the bunch. First love is fleeting, but this beach-side tale stayed with me for days.
The thing that most struck me about this collection was its versatility and originality. Each story feels like a unique endeavor by a writer who truly has something to say. Schnarr’s plotlines seem to have spawned from dark corners of the human conscience, yet are fresh and engaging. His characters are sympathetic even when they are not likable. His pacing is flawless, keeping the story moving without losing his reader. His command of language is exceptional.