Posts Tagged ‘Broken on the Inside’

Broken on the Inside by Phil Sloman

June 5, 2018 - 8:17 pm No Comments

Broken on the Inside by Phil Sloman
Published by Black Shuck Books on 3rd June 2018
166 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having read the novella Becoming David and some other short stories in various anthologies written by this author. I was pleased that he had now got his own collection in the Black Shuck Books Shadows series. The book features 5 short stories where the mental state of the main protagonists play an important part to the stories
Broken on the Inside: The title of the book is a story about Kira a young woman who over time became histrionic. Living with her mom who had the same condition, Kira wanted a cure. So when she came across Dr Secombe who professed to a miracle cure. Kira knew that she had to give it a go. As you are following Kira’s story, there is a sense of happiness as she gets her old life. However as the story takes a turn for the worse, you can sense the tension between Kira and her mom’s relationship. The story builds to a shocking reveal, which I did not see coming.
Discomfort Food: Rebecca works in a fast food restaurant and has a secret that only the meals know about. This reminded me of a modern version of the Tell Tale Heart. This was very descriptive and I loved the ending.
The Man Who Fed the Foxes: Paul is suffering from depression. Drinking heavily, he finds some peace when a family of foxes take up residents in his garden. After he began to feed them, they had an unusual way of showing their satisfaction. The majority of the story revolved around Paul’s grief. As I learnt more about why he is so upset, the actions of the foxes made it just right. An unexpected ending.
There Was an Old Man: I think most people know the nursery rhyme, There was a Old lady that swallowed a fly. Well this story is about John Hinklow and the aftermath of this event. As the story progress you can sense John’s anguish and do wander if a lot is in his head. The story is a page turner as I wanted to find out what happened at the end.
Virtually Famous: Having read this story in Imposter Syndrome, I was happy to see it in this collection. This is what a wrote the 1st time I read it and I still agree now. From the start this story got me hooked. The opening line “He died a thousand times today and would die a thousand more”. Chet Tyler was fixated on his own game and whilst some gamers wanted to be him others wanted to kill him. The fascination Chet had with the game was unnatural. The author has the knack of making you unsure whether you are reading the gaming or Chet’s experience. The lines of fact and fiction is blurred. You know Chet had a substance abuse but was he imagining it. All this made me want to read more.
Each story was completely different and whilst there were not monster’s and demons in this book, it shows how frightening human nature and conditions can be. Each story built up to unexpected endings. I love this author’s short stories and I hope they are more to come. If you have not read any of this authors work before than this is a great collection to get you started.