We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

Retro Review



We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory
Horror Fiction, 182 pages
Harrison is the Monster Detective, a storybook hero. Now he’s in his mid-thirties and spends most of his time not sleeping. 

Stan became a minor celebrity after being partially eaten by cannibals. Barbara is haunted by the messages carved upon her bones. Greta may or may not be a mass-murdering arsonist. And for some reason, Martin never takes off his sunglasses. 

Unsurprisingly, no one believes their horrific tales until they are sought out by psychotherapist Dr. Jan Sayer. What happens when these likely-insane outcasts join a support group? Together they must discover which monsters they face are within and which are lurking in plain sight.
"We were a team of professional insomniacs. Once you know there are monsters under the bed, closing your eyes becomes a foolhardy act. So, we paced. We stared into the dark. We listened for the creak of the opening door."

This is a story about a group of strangers, all from different walks of life, who have been brought together for a group therapy session. They are all trauma survivors but each of them carries scars caused by the stuff that haunts dreams and fuels horror films. None of them are fine. Not even close.


The horrors unravel very slowly and the reader is forced to piece together each reveal and attempt to make sense of it. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on with each character because there is no big info. dump spew. Not that I’m complaining. Things unravel just as I assume they would in a real life therapy group. Because of the trauma (or simply because they are human) only one guy jumps in and spills his entire history but not in a coherent manner. The rest are wary of each other. And for good reasons.

This was an intriguing novella filled with frightening ideas but I truly wish it had been a wee bit longer and that I could’ve learned more about the characters than I did. Their backstories were fascinating and horrifying but there was much left unsaid. Perhaps a sequel is on the horizon?

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review.

Comments

  1. Sounds like a really good read and I'm adding it to the wishlist. Your review left me really curious. Since it was a novella, did you find it would have worked better as a full length novel? Sometimes I have a hard time with novellas, although I LOVE Matt Wallace's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would've worked better for me as a longer story, for sure. There were so many interesting back stories and ideas here and I was left wanting to know a whole lot more. I believe he wrote a prequel after this but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

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  2. I like the idea of these kind of books but I've never sure if I'll find them too slow now. These high octane zombie novels I read have spoiled me a bit for reading traditional horror because of the pacing. I might consider this though.

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    Replies
    1. You might want to try a sample first. It is a bit of slow starter and things unravel at a leisurely pace.

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