I usually steer clear of short story collections. I never feel invested, and if it has the makings of a good story, it’s over before you know it. Due to the length there is always a lack of depth. After having really enjoyed Tribesmen by Adam Cesare, I decided to take a punt on this collection, Bone Meal Broth, featuring nine stories. The eBook price is a steal.
This collection is anything but fluff, containing some vivid and brutal imagery. Flies In The Brain really made me cringe – home performed lobotomy, wow. The lives we glimpse in each tale have a pervasive darkness and often a sense of decay about them. There is a good variety of settings for the stories both in time period and locations. As an adopted Louisianian, it was great to see the seedier side of New Orleans as a setting for the noir inspired Pink Tissue. Every story packs a significant punch, concise but effective. As with any short fiction collection, there were some stories I liked better than others. My favorites were The Still, Flies In The Brain, and Border Jumper. In my opinion, it did seem like the stronger stories were at the beginning and their power waned towards the end of the collection. There was only one story that I didn’t care for. They were all interesting though, so I’m splitting hairs. I would love to see some of these stories expanded upon and they would be great as stand alone novellas.
It’s a quick read with some stories that will stick in your head long after you’ve finished. Definitely worth reading. Don’t even think about it, just buy it.
Reviewed by Andrew Tadman. @thebooksofblood