Book Review – Slices by Scott Cole

★★★★★ 5 Stars

Full Title: Slices – Tales of Bizarro and Absurdist Horror
Genre: Bizarro / Short Stories
Publication Date: July 16th, 2017
Publisher: Black T-Shirt Books

“There are moments in life when ideas are shifted, priorities get rearranged, and entire worldviews flip upside down. This was one of those moments. Everything I had known up to that point suddenly changed with a taste of my own arm.”

Slices plays amongst delirium and absurdity as a child of their species, in their world without borders between real and false. This book has optical nerves and wild hands collecting nightmares out of the little corners forgotten out of fear. It reshapes them and sautés them until a breathing buffet table of dreams is all that’s left for you. It is a collection that makes you smile, even if it uses a needle and thread to make sure that you do.

Quality over quantity wins every time. Slices is not a heavy piece for a regular or even an unleaded book-glutton, at a bit over 100 pages, but so much original idea and care has been put into every story that when it’s like finding a rare bird dead on the road when it ends so suddenly.

There is an overarching body horror vibe, if you didn’t get that from the bologna arm flanking the cover, but this twists into body humor just as often. I loved the title story “Slices of Me”, about a man who discovers he has no blood but his skin makes rather nice appetizers, as well as “Hole”, and ‘Playtime”. “Multi-Crabs” and “God” poke a razor-nailed finger at the blatant coldness of consumer culture and gimmicky ads, but my real favourite has to be “Violins For Sale”.
“Violins For Sale” reminds me so much of Neverwhere, I think because it captures that same eerie-yet-delightful eldritch stalker feeling that the villains of that novel had, and it’s great. All-in-all, Slices is definitely its own type of meat, but a delicious and rare sort nonetheless.

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