Epeolatry Book Review: You Know It’s True by J.R. Hamantaschen
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Title: You Know It’s True
Author: J.R. Hamantaschen
Publisher: West Pigeon Press
Release Date: 6th Feb, 2021
Synopsis: Twelve Stories of Truly Dark Fiction
Acclaimed throughout the underground horror world and having come seemingly out of nowhere, J.R. Hamantaschen built a reputation based solely on the quality of his stories. He returns to the short story genre and finishes what he started with his last collection of horror fiction, containing some of his most innovative, unsettling, and uncompromising tales.
You Know It’s True, is J.R. Hamantaschen’s fourth collection of weird horror short fiction. I’ve wanted to check out Hamantaschen’s work since an acquaintance brought his work to my attention a few months back. So, when offered the chance to review his newest collection, I jumped at the opportunity.
These stories are extremely heavy. Each tale deals with differing aspects of the existential dread haunting the human condition. Topics range from suicide and its effects on family, porn addiction and its relations to self-isolation, and violence against animals, children, and the elderly; most of this accompanied by an unusual twist that will leave your head spinning. This work is not for the faint of heart. Every aspect of this book is strange and intriguing, including the introduction, the copyright page, and the explanatory notes following each story.
Stand out stories were the first two of the collection: ‘I Should Have Been a Pair of Ragged Claws / Scuttling Across the Floors of Silent Seas’ and ‘House Katz’. These tales both packed a real emotional gut punch, and I still find myself thinking of them days and weeks after reading.
The rest of the collection is well written, but for one reason or another, each of the remaining accounts just weren’t for me. A couple were a touch too mundane, while others played too close to the barrier of what I feel comfortable reading (and shattered that barrier in some cases). This is not necessarily a terrible thing. I know many readers with much a stronger stomach than I for exploration of the taboo.
If you love the pessimism and nihilism of Thomas Ligotti but want something a touch more edgy, this is the book for you.
Overall I give this collection a 2.5 out of 5.
Available from Amazon.