Terry Grimwood's There is a Way to Live Forever was published by Black Shuck Books in February/March 2018.
Information about Terry Grimwood:
As well as writing, Terry teaches, acts and directs, and is a regular harmonica player and vocalist at “Aint Nothin’ But The Blues” open mic Sunday afternoon jams in London. He is the author of five novels and novellas: Shadow Waltz: Soul Masque Parts 1 and 2, The Places Between, Axe, Bloody War and Deadside Revolution. His short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies over the years. He has also written and directed three plays: The Bayonet, Tattletale Mary and The Friends of Mike Santini, and contributed to and co-written a number of engineering and electrical text books. He runs theEXAGGERATEDpress and Wordland magazine.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about There is a Way to Live Forever:
THERE IS A WAY TO LIVE FOREVER
Only pick up a stranger if you can face your demons... and hers
Only stay with your lover if you can give yourself body and soul
Only sell your flesh is you can bear humiliation, pain and the deepest darkness
Only play God is you can endure the unutterable loneliness of the Divine
THERE IS A WAY TO LIVE FOREVER
Thirteen excursions into the shadowlands that border the known and the terrors that lie beyond
A REVIEW OF TERRY GRIMWOOD'S THERE IS A WAY TO LIVE FOREVER
Terry Grimwood's There is a Way to Live Forever is one of the best short story collections of the year, because it's an excellent collection of literary speculative fiction stories that have strong elements of horror, slipstream and dark fiction. It's refreshingly different from other similar kind of short story collections due to the author's ability to write intelligent and thought-provoking stories.
Terry Grimwood is an author whose fiction I've come to appreciate and admire a lot, because he writes intriguing stories. His prose impresses me with its honesty, realism and strangeness. One of the main reasons why I love his prose and writing style is that he effortlessly creates an effective atmosphere with his descriptions and - when needed - he also evokes a sense of harrowing dread and distressing isolation. His stories have subtle quiet horror, but also terrifyingly brutal elements which have a powerful effect on the reader.
In this collection, Terry Grimwood examines the shady borderlands and areas that surround life and death through a dark lens, which reveals quite a lot about the human condition and everyday life. His exploration of love, anguish, life, fear and pain is potent and insightful, because he never underlines anything in his stories and avoids giving easy answers. Readers will find several dark, surprising and thought-provoking scenes in this collection.
This short story collection contains the following stories:
- Demons and Demons
- There is a Way to Live Forever
- Think Belsen
- A Child is a Woman's
- The Higgins Technique
- Romance in D Flat
- Long Train Runnin'
- Jar of Flies
- The Devil's Eggs
- Journey to the Engine of the Earth
Some of these stories were already familiar to me, because they've been published in various anthologies and magazines, but it was a pleasure to read them again. I was deeply captivated by all of the stories and found them excellent, because they've been written for thinking adults.
In these stories, the author uses speculative fiction as a tool to write about difficult themes and issues. Many of these stories may make you look differently at reality and the world around you, because they challenge your perception of the world and force you to take a close look at the various complexities of modern life.
The author's way of blending speculative fiction with literary fiction impressed me, because he does it well. I was especially taken by his way of spicing up the stories with disturbing scenes and his obvious desire to write gripping and intelligent fiction.
Here's more information about the stories and my thoughts about them:
Demons and Demons:
- In this story, Mike offers Sara a ride in his car and finds out that Sara is running away from a demon she has summoned. At first Mike believes that Sara is crazy, but soon he notices that she is telling the truth.
- The author writes excellently about what has happened to Mike and Sara, because of them have demons of their own. It was interesting to read about Mike's past, because something terrible had happened to him that haunted him.
- An excellent and well written story that is both entertaining and intriguing.
- In this story, a proportion of the Earth's populace is affected by a six-day phenomenon called the Fracture and become Fracture-crazed lycanthromorphs, lykes. Richard is believed to be a lyke and both he and his wife, Louise, suffer because of what people believe, because the rabid and violent lykes are feared by many people.
- The author's vision of what happens to Richard and Louise is chilling, because both of them face prejudices and false allegations that bring them pain and suffering.
- This is a satisfyingly different kind of a werewolf story. To be honest, this is one of the most original werewolf stories I've ever read.
There is a Way to Live Forever:
- In this story, Rob meets a woman called Miriam who claims to know him from somewhere. Rob and Miriam begin to see each other and that leads to problems...
- The author writes fluently about the relationship between Rob and Miriam and tells of how Rob's daughter reacts to the news of Rob dating Miriam.
- This is a brilliant story, because what is revealed about Rob is satisfyingly chilling and unsettling, and the finale puts the whole story into a new perspective.
- I liked this story very much, because it's something different. I especially enjoyed the ending.
- I was already familiar with this story, because it was published in the excellent anthology The Monster Book for Girls (edited by Terry Grimwood, TheEXAGGERATEDpress, 2011).
- This is a memorable story about Anna and her weight problems.
- One of the main reasons why I love this story is that the author doesn't shy away from difficult material, but embraces it and delivers a thought-provoking tale about weight problems.
- This darkly humorous and twisted story is simply marvellous. It may not be to everyone's liking due to its contents, but it's a must-read story for those who love British black humour and enjoy twisted stories.
A Child is a Woman's:
- A story about a social worker, Heather, who goes to meet one of her clients, Maria, who lives alone with her child. Maria isn't convinced that Heather will believe her, but she begins to tell Heather what happened to her when she was an estate agent and was selling a house at Number 10 Dalton Street...
- As Maria's story begins to unfold, the author delivers his readers an atmospheric and chilling ghost story that will stick to readers' minds.
- This is one of the best ghost stories of recent years, because it's captivating and unsettling in the best possible way and the author takes his time to create an effective atmosphere.
The Higgins Technique:
- First published in the excellent Blind Swimmer anthology (Eibonvale Press, 2010).
- A well written story about photography, sex and porn that is told from Geoff and Emma's perspectives.
- This is one of the few stories, in which the different perspectives compliment each other, because the author reveals what both characters go through and how they feel about what is going on.
- This story is in equal measure disturbing and thought-provoking.
Romance in D Flat:
- In this story, a blues musician, Marty, is asked by a woman to play "Romance in D Flat" for charity. Something about the woman's request feels familiar to Marty...
- This story gradually grows into a fascinatingly strange story and becomes an intriguing examination of Marty's past and things that haunt him.
- I was impressed by how realistically the author wrote about Marty and how fluently he explored what Marty felt about the man who had taken his father's place.
Long Train Runnin':
- In this story, Ray buys a train set for his ill grandson, who becomes fascinated by it and plays with it all the time. Soon something strange begins to happen...
- This is one of the best and most touching stories I've read this year, because the author writes well about what it is like for people to have a seriously ill child.
- I think that this story will linger on the readers' minds for a long time, because it's haunting and sophisticatedly unsettling.
- A story about Daniel and Kristen. Kristen gradually notices that Daniel seems to have a strange effect on her.
- The complexities of relationships are intriguingly explored in this story, because the author examines what kind of an effect Daniel has on Kristen and how Kristen behaves around Daniel.
- A though-provoking and fascinatingly strange story.
Jar of Flies:
- In this story, Karen - who is a vicar - comes upon a crime scene and hears that Geoffrey and Janet Millwood are dead. Geoffrey's throat seems to have been torn by Janet and Janet has killed herself. Karen hears that an old woman called Alice Rackham, who has returned to the village, may be connected to what is happening...
- I was fascinated by this story and its eerie atmosphere, because it becomes increasingly disturbing and strange towards the end.
- The author explores such themes and issues as religion, witchcraft, exorcism and mental illness in a captivating way.
- This story is highly enjoyable and atmospheric horror fiction.
The Devil's Eggs:
- In this story, Khaled is being sheltered illegally in England by his cousinds and needs money. Soon he finds himself digging for strange Devil's Eggs...
- It was interesting for me to read about what happened to Khaled and how he became friends with a woman called Dawn, because they were both searching for the eggs.
- I enjoyed this story very much, because it's a bit different kind of horror fiction. It's kind of like a unique combination of insectile horror and cosmic horror with plenty of creepiness.
Journey to the Engine of the Earth:
- This story was already familiar to me from the brilliant anthology Where Are We Going? (edited by Allen Ashley, Eibonvale Press, 2012).
- In this story, Visitors, who have come from a distant place in the universe, have selected persons to find the Engine of Earth. The search takes The Visitors and their human teams to worst possible places imaginable.
- An excellent and memorable story with a strong ending.
- In this story, people mourn the death of the beloved Princess Joanna. Those who don't mourn her in an approriate way are treated badly.
- This story is a pitch black satire about worshiping the Royals too much.
- I liked this story a lot, because it's intriguingly brutal and has a good ending.
In the above mentioned stories, Terry Grimwood navigates through various scenes, situations and relationships with admirable expertise. His fluent way of telling of what happens to the characters and in what kind of state of mind they are in is captivating.
I found myself unable to stop reading this collection, because the stories were impressive and strangely compelling. I was captivated by their diversity and the atmosphere in them. This kind of fiction strongly appeals to me, because I enjoy literary speculative fiction that has dark, controversial and unsettling elements.
Terry Grimwood's There is a Way to Live Forever is an impressive short story collection which deserves a permanent place on every dark fiction reader's bookshelf, because it's filled with quality stories. I consider this short story collection to be a must-read collection for everybody who loves dark stories and well written speculative fiction.