Review: Resisting Madness by Wesley Southard

So many of these dark stories made me laugh and for that this book gets SO many points!


Resisting Madness by Wesley Southard

Published November 2019

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Received for Review Consideration

What drives a man mad?

Maybe it’s the death of a loved one...or the petrifying fear of hands around your throat…the dread of rejection…or maybe it’s the black, soulless eyes of a child that shatters your sanity…

Within these pages, delirium reigns supreme. You’ll discover how far a prisoner will go to be with his dying wife, and what lurks between the walls of that Louisiana jailhouse to keep him there. You’ll find out how deep a man can cut himself to dig out the past. You’ll meet a college professor whose fear of flying might be the least of his worries. And you’ll learn how a sister’s love for sweet treats can reunite a broken family…whether they want it or not.

Aliens and lot lizards…disembodied lips…the voice of God Himself…

Thirteen stories and a brand new novella from horror author Wesley Southard.

Within these pages, we all go a little mad…



My 2 Cents For Free!


Resisting Madness is a fun collection of little horror niblets that ends with a novella sized story. Books like these are a struggle to rate with stars because some stories always work better than others. Collections are always difficult for me to review because writing the review is basically me writing a zillion little mini-reviews and doing my best to say something to inform but also desperately trying to not give too much away because then why bother reading the book, right?

So here are some brief thoughts in order of appearance. Some will be rated others will not because this is how I operate.

With Many Thanks To Newark: A grumpy as shit man gets seated next to an obnoxious as shit man on a flight. This dude will NOT stop talking and I felt for the grumpy guy SO much because I have no patience for that in general but especially when forced to take a trip I don’t even want to take like this guy here. I’m saying nothing more except that this feels like a lost episode of Tales from the Darkside and I LOVED that show so much. 3.5 stars

Arrearages features a misogynistic prick finds who hurts others with reckless abandon. I thought this was a ton of gruesome fun and I will not apologize for saying so 😹. 4 stars

He Loves Me Not is a short piece all about love. The all-consuming kind of love. This is another that made me laugh and don’t we all need more laughter in our lives?

By the Throat - There are two very unsympathetic characters in this story but that doesn’t really matter because it was short enough where they didn’t annoy me and the ending made me laugh (again). So many points for the dark humor.

Minor Leaguer was not my favorite. It’s about a drug lord and there’s some mild torture which wasn’t a problem but there is way too much hockey talk for my delicate sensibilities and also too much jock braggery. But I’m not at all a sports fan if you’re wondering. Sports and sports talk and menfolk bragging about their sports prowess put me to sleep. My dislike of this dialogue is totally on me. You may love it and find it riveting but I’m giving it 2 stars. No thank you.

Between Those Walls is a sequel to the last story and to be honest I wasn’t excited about reading this once I read that tidbit in the author notes because I feared there'd be more hockey talk and I'd had more than enough. However, I am a glutton for punishment and I dug in anyway. This one is about a drug dealer and his misguided attempt at escaping his prison cell. This one is pretty darn weird and it wasn’t really for the likes of me but at least there wasn’t any hockey talk here to bore me to death. Sometimes it’s good to trust your instincts however and perhaps skip a thing or two . . . 2.5 stars

God Bless You was a quick and silly flash fiction.

Home Invasion written with Nikki McKenzie isn’t at all what I thought it was going to be and I am thankful for that because I thought it was going to be some sort of rapey home invasion murder story and I didn’t want to read that (but I would’ve read it anyway because this is how I am). It’s about an old coot aptly named Cooter who is abusing his young co-worker's ears with disgusting tales of his nasty sexual exploits. He’s terribly gross and horribly funny and this reminded me so much of a Richard Laymon dialogue that I felt right at home. Things take a turn when they spot something otherworldly crash across the way. This story is rather revolting and I loved it for that. Turns out it was a tribute to Ed Lee so even as gross as it was it could’ve been even grosser and gotten away with it, haha! 4 stars

Confusion in Southern Illinois was a little cruel and a bit mean and rather horrifying and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

King Cake: Honoring their dead mom’s wish to be fruitful and expand the family a sibling brings a “King’s Cake” to dinner. Horrificness ensues! These siblings were SO rude to each other and I disliked them very much and wished for nothing but terrible things to befall them.

Now You Don’t is told from the POV of a dachshund. I read this story with my heart in my throat fearing for this sweet wee beast who was so scared. My poor heart can’t take another like this so I’m glad it was the only one!

Lip Service is a weird story about a lonely guy and the phantom toe suckers that keep him company in the darkest hours of the night. Such lighthearted silliness after that troubling pup story. What’s not to like here?!

Bust to Dust: Omg this one was so much ick! Loved it.

Resisting Madness is a novella-length tale about a special effects artist and his wife who birth a beautiful son who was born with an affliction. His wife skedaddled right the fuck out of there because she couldn’t take it. And NO I am not telling you what “IT” is! He raises his son on his own and let me tell you, I give this guy kudos because it was a struggle. I thought this story was a wee bit predictable but it kept me hooked and I felt for the guy.

Recommended for some dark laughs!

⭐⭐⭐1/2



Comments

  1. Yikes- that cover! And yes collections are tough to rate, for sure. This sounds like some twisted fun though haha!

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    Replies
    1. It definitely had me doing some inappropriate laughter!

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  2. I agree with Greg, that cover is something else! I do like a short story collection, thanks for sharing!

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  3. That is quite a gross cover! I don't do great with anthologies as there always seems a lot of guff surrounding the little gems!

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    Replies
    1. Very true. They're also so time consuming to review but this one was fun. No regrets!

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  4. I NEED to get to this one soon!! I love Wesley's work!

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