Patrick O'Leary's The Black Heart is an eclectic collection of genre-spanning short fiction. It will be published by PS Publishing. has had an opportunity to read this collection, so we'll publish our review here.


The Black Heart is an interesting collection of different kind of short stories. The stories and their contents range from mainstream to science fiction and from fantasy to horror.

The contents of this book are:

  • Introduction: Patrick O'Leary's Muffled Prayers by James Morrow
  • Author's Introduction: The Bears in the Moat
  • The Cane
  • Catching a Dream
  • Yo-Yo, Stradivarius & Me
  • The Black Heart
  • The Dreaming Bird
  • The Whole Schmear
  • What Mattered Was Sleep
  • The Witch’s Hand
  • The Verge of a Pucker
  • The Me After the Rock
  • The Flying Child
  • The Wooden Leg
  • The Bearing of Light
  • The Oldest Man on Earth

I haven't read any books by Patrick O'Leary before, so it was interesting to read this short story collection. If O'Leary's novels are as fascinating as these stories, I think I'll have to read them in the near future. Patrick O'Leary's writing style was fluent and the stories were genuinely interesting, because he seemed to have a good and seemingly endless imagination.

Although all these stories were good in their own way, my favourite stories were "The Witch's Hand", "The Dreaming Bird" and "The Flying Child".

"The Witch's Hand" was a fantastic short story and it reminded me a lot of old time campfire horror stories. It was well written and fast moving story with some horror and fantasy elements. "The Dreaming Bird" was a fascinating postapocalyptic science fiction short story. "The Flying Child" was a good horror story with science fiction elements.

"Yo-Yo, Stradivarius & Me" was a funny story about a crime committed by the person from whose point of view the story was told. It was a mainstream short story, but it was good.

I can recommend this collection to all readers who enjoy reading something a bit different.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.


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