Illustrated by: N/A
Published: Createspace, February 2014
Narrated By: N/A
Length: 101 pages
Genre: Short stories, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Reflection
Where Did I Get It? Kindly received from the author in return for an honest review.
Summary (from GoodReads): An anthology from the author of the Night’s Dream series on what makes us all tick. Alternatingly heartwarming and heartbreaking, hilarious and horrifying, Find What You Love and Let It Kill You vivisects the heart through fiction and personal reflections.
It includes the stories:
Getting the Slip – How does one handle being told the exact cause of one’s future death?
Always Darkest – When a friend comes back to life, can you handle the consequences?
So It Passed – The inspiration for the novel We Shadows.
Facing the Sunset – A daughter grieves for her dying father.
Alyssah Julianne – The transformation of a father holding his daughter for the first time.
And several others.
Opening Lines (From ‘Tarantella’):
The gun presses against Dan’s temple. One question rushes though his head: does he have time to put down the television?
My Review: First up, I love the title of this short story collection – it immediately caught my attention and made me want to pick it up. Find What You Love And Let It Kill You is a mixture of short stories both fiction and non-fiction reflections all with the linking theme of love in all its guises.
The first half of the collection is made up of the fiction stories, all followed by short pieces explaining their inspiration or the reason they were written. Some have been in previous publications or were competition entries that have been revisited and tweaked.
I must confess to not being a fan of a lot of the stories although I did enjoy Tarantella in particular. I liked the open-ended storyline – it was hopeful but not conclusive and I found this very satisfying.
Thomm Quackenbush has a brilliant touch with words – he manages to create very clear scenes and can convey a lot about a character in the limited space required by the short story genre. I just felt a few of the stories needed something else – I don’t quite know what exactly but there was something missing which meant I struggled to read more than one story in an evening rather than romping hungrily through them.
In contrast to this though, I thought the non-fiction selection of stories were just fantastic. They were touching, full of real, raw emotion and made me laugh, nod along and on more than one occasion burst into tears. I almost wanted them to be longer – they were snapshots into life and I desperately wanted the whole story in between.
Overall I don’t think Find What You Love And Let It Kill You was for me but if you are a fan of the short story genre it could well be a gem.
My Rating: 3/5*