February 18, 2011
By Brian Keene
Review posted 02/18/2011
Jack's Magic Beans by Brian Keene once again showcases the author's talent of the strange, horrific and enjoyable aspects of a short story.
In this collection of 5 stories we have:
Jack's Magic Beans that tells of a supermarket gone astray. Where people act in a hostile nature hurting each other and killing everyone they come in contact with. Their rage, unknown. Jack, who was asleep during the start of the chaos, wakes up to hear screaming and pounding on a door. He along with a few others who have not been infected with this unknown rage, try to survive whatever comes next. Jack offers a solution, but does this solution really work?
Without You tells the tale of a man who has lost his self-worth. He is in a dead-end job that he just got fired from, in debt and married to a woman he fell out of love with. He remembers how it used to be where he would say to her "I would die without you." Under circumstances in which he can no longer take, he has made a choice to kill himself, but does he really die?
I am an Exit tells the story of a killer where certain aspects of the situations becomes what they consider "an exit."
This is not an Exit deals with two people sitting at a bar discussing things. The topic comes up about if they ever killed anyone. They both agree yes they have. One only killed a family, the other has killed more. What could this type of conversation produce as a result?
The King in: Yellow starts with a homeless man telling this couple they have to see the show Yellow. Of course Finely and Kathryn think it is just ramblings of a lost soul. They go to a restaurant and see a woman yelling and singing something about "Yellow." They think it's odd and leave. Then later Kathryn wants to see a show called Yellow that she sees on a advertisement on the street. They go to the show, but will they ever be the same again?
With intensity and a flare for the extreme, Keene opens the eyes of the readers who dare turn the pages of this collection. You think of things not heard of, you experience the words like the taste of a fine wine. There is no collection that will make you enjoy a story and fear the ending as much as this.