In June, we read an American horror short story collection by Fran Friel called Mama’s Boy and other Dark Tales and I totally forgot to write a blog post about it, because I’m useless.
Overall, Smut Club agreed that this wasn’t our favourite collection of stories ever. There are a few horror enthusiasts among us and a few who never read it but we still agreed in the most part.
There are fourteen stories in the collection of varying lengths and styles (a couple are only a paragraph long or in poem form, others are much longer and have chapters) and many of them were written to prompts for competitions and things.
Some of the stories had great potential and good ideas at their heart but never quite realised what they were aiming for. This made for a sometimes frustrating and disappointing read.
A couple of the stories were very well done though – we were all quite fond of the story Gravy Pursuits which involved a man desperate to find the best gravy recipe ever and a sweet, well-meaning librarian who helps him with his plans.
A lot of the tales felt like they leaned heavily on other stories and/or folk tales and didn’t have quite enough to stand in their own right.
The title story, Mama’s Boy, had a definite flavour of Psycho about it for example. That said, it was a very effectively written dark story although the ending left us all a little flat as it had such a good build up through the story.
All in all I gave the collection 2.5/5* and I haven’t rushed out to find any more of the author’s work.
In complete contrast, July’s book was an English rom-com novel – I’ll get back to you about that one after the next Smut Club meeting!