Book Review: Pills by Jack Binding
About The Author:
Jack Binding is a British author from London, but lives in Sydney. He writes dark fiction that combines horror with black humour. He regularly releases short stories on Amazon, which have received high critical praise. He is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Clive Barker, JG Ballard and Martin Amis. His first full-length novel is due to be released in 2017.
Jack Binding was interviewed this month by the CTM Bookish News & Reviews column. You can read his interview here.
This is an anthology of eighteen short stories. Some characters crop up more than once, and in that way some stories link. The first story is linked to the last story, and in the middle, there are some links and random stories too.
Pills is a very clever anthology, with very clever writing. The way it links and at the same time has some disconnections within the stories is outstanding. Don’t let this put you off, as there is no way you will get lost or think huh? The author has a certain writing style, he uses first person POV quite a bit, so in that way you are in the shoes of the main characters.
The stories are quite raw, gritty, shows how some Londoners think and feel, which I could relate to and are very well written. The characters… humm, badass! There is not a character I did not dig in this book, however the characters are just like the stories gritty, raw but likeable or damn right scary! There is sexual content and adult content also. This is a book for mature readers.
Favourites Of The Eighteen Stories
Property: A great start to the collection, the end will shock you. Loved it. To me this story kind of highlighted the downfall of the rat race of London.
Dot Matrix: This story needs to be a full-blown book I can see it, or even short novella on its own. A gripping story. I hung onto every word. It has a good thriller feel.
Happy Endings: Ah… not so much a happy ending, but a great story, very entertaining from a woman’s perspective. I won’t say why read it.
Bit: I had no idea where this was going to go, it’s a gorgy/ horror one, I really enjoyed the shock ending. This is one that could also be continued.
Twenty Seven: When I read this story I wondered if the author had read a lot of conspiracy theories? It reminded me of some I had read and got engrossed in. A great story. What happens when you make a deal with the Devil himself?
Sleeping Pills: A rather emotionally shocking story. A good one to read, sad ending.
Perfect Anastasia: Deep down I saw this as a love story, with some unfortunate things thrown in. We also meet Mags for the first time, Mags is badass!
Sexting: Clue is in the name… great story! Shock ending.
Dog in A Suitcase: Wowzers, no further comment. Just read it.
Cremation: Good serial killer story with a very creative twist. I wanted to know more about the lady at the end.
FMM: Wowzers the characters entertained and made me laugh a lot. I could relate to the setting of this story, the fashion world. Really liked it.
Rocking Chair: Super creepy, it made me think next time I hear a floor board creak, I’ll wonder if it’s one of these characters. Freaked me out.
Standing Ovation: Mags crops up. The ending of the anthology has the same bang the start did what a way to finish up!
I’m giving Pills 5 + stars for a number of reasons, it’s well written and the flow works with these short stories. Each one has some kind of twist or shock ending, I didn’t read one that didn’t leave an impression on me. Be it scary, creepy, laughing, shock or a mixture of all these emotions. Believe it or not, some of these stories feature an element of love … gone wrong for whatever creepy reason. As a romance lover and reader, it resonated with me. That said these are not romance stories, God no, far from it. But some feature relationships as the base of the story.
Overall, Pills was a damn good reading experience, I would recommend it to lovers or fans of Stephen King. And no the author has not tried to imitate at all, you can tell he is himself and very British. It’s the vibe of his stories that would sit well with King’s fans, as well as horror and dark humour fans. I will be reading more of Jack Binding.
Grab a copy of Pills from: Amazon