Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Review: Lost and Lonely - by Brian James Freeman

5 of 5 Stars     Review copy

Lost and Lonely is a novella-sized collection of five short stories that can be read in a single sitting or stretched out over a  week.

Losing Everything Defines You - This short begins with a familiar trope...

"If you're listening to this, I must be dead."

After Wendy and Andrew vanished the question that must be asked is, "Did the husband do it?"  They always suspect the husband, but in this instance, he was questioned but never arrested.

I love Freeman's turn of phrase...

"Each night I cower in bed, the covers pulled up to my neck, the darkness wrapped around me like the grip of a dead lover."

Loving Roger - Starts with a riveting opening line...

"Everyone makes mistakes, a truth Patty knew all too well, which was why she believed in the power of forgiving and forgetting."

A story of mistaken identity, or is it?

How the Wind Lies - "Never speak a lie, lest thy lie becometh the truth."  

This short is set well in the past, during the time of westward expansion.  Something is killing the buffaloes.  Each found with two puncture holes and drained of all blood.  William, Sarah and their three children had left the colonies to escape this very threat that has now appeared at their doorstep.  I don't want to reveal too much, but I loved where this story went.

Perfect Little Snowflakes - Melissa was just 16.

"One day she was a teenage girl in love with her boyfriend, the next day she was a mother-to-be with no idea what to do."

True, they had options, but what happens next is not what anyone would expect.

The Plague of Sadness - A 9-1-1 call that goes awry and its aftermath.  A story that is incredibly short, but left me totally drained as a reader.

I found myself hungry for every word on the pages of Lost and Lonely.  Each story in this collection is powerful in its own unique way.  They are the kind of stories which leave you restless.  The kind that stay with you long after you put the book down.  Also, Glenn Chadbourne's illustrations throughout are magnificent.


Lost and Lonely is currently available as a Signed Limited Edition Hardcover from Cemetery Dance http://www.cemeterydance.com/lost-and-lonely.html

From the author's bio.  Brian James Freeman sold his first short story when he was fourteen years old and his first novel when he was twenty-four.  His novella, The Painted Darkness, took the Internet by storm as an eBook during the summer of 2010, reaching more than 30,000 readers in the first few months after publication.  The book was published in hardcover in December 2010 by Cemetery Dance Publications, with the signed editions selling out in just 24 hours.  Freeman is also the author of Blue November Storms, which was recently revised and republished, and Black Fire.

Since December 2008, Freeman has been the managing editor of Cemetery Dance magazine, where his column "The Final Question" appears.  Freeman is also the publisher of Lonely Road Books where he has worked with Stephen King, Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan, Mick Garris, Stewart O'Nan, and other acclaimed authors.

He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, two cats, and two German Shorthaired Pointers.  More books are on the way.

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