It’s tricky when I review something that everyone else seems to love and I am… whelmed. Not over or under, just whelmed. This is one of those books.
I know Tom Cox’s previous non-fiction books and have read a couple of his cat books, which I enjoyed. I bought this when it was on offer on Kindle, intrigued by the prospect of Cox’s first fiction work and the fact that it was a collection of sort-of ghost stories.
The first story, ‘Help the Witch’ is really fascinating and a strong story that feels like it could be real. There’s also an interesting story in which a woman makes friends with a man in her meditation class- who then ends up to maybe not be quite what he seems.
As is the case with short story collections, it’s a bit hit and miss. Some of the flash fiction is a little bit unformed and the longer stories can feel like they lose their way a bit. I often felt that I wanted to scratch the surface a bit more- but then I have said before that I can find short stories a bit frustrating as a form, so this might be more about me than Cox.
Anyone who wants proper ghost stories might be disappointed (maybe if you have some suggestions for good ghost stories, let me know?), but it’s an interesting take on the short story form. I’m also aware that this has been getting rave reviews and I know Cox has his fans. And it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve not got on with a book as well as everyone else has (*cough* Eleanor Oliphant *coughcough* Essex Serpent *cough*).