Contents May Unsettle by David Court

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I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to review David Court’s most recent release, Contents May Unsettle, this is a selection of short stories boasting 20 Short Stories and Poems.

Personally, I preferred the stories to the poetry, not because the poetry isn’t good but just because I thought the stories took precedence in this format and I really enjoyed them. You may find the opposite or enjoy everything just as much. Another thing I really liked about this book is the little icons on each story/poem (yes, I did just say I like the pictures – I know, I know).

I have a few favourites in this book, one of which is absolutely hands down, 12 Drummers Drumming. This was originally published in Burdizzo’s Christmas Collection, 12 Days of Christmas. I didn’t actually review that book, but I am very pleased to have had the chance to experience this story anyway, and who knows that anthology may just make it onto the blog this Christmas as a result!

My next favourite I did actually have mixed feelings on, To Mnemosyne, a Daughter. I really enjoyed this story and the outcome of it, but I do have to note that for me this one could have finished sooner. There was a point in the story where I felt the end was a perfect opportunity, but it kept going and my feeling was that the actual ending was rather unnecessary. As always, happy for anybody to disagree but it’s just how I felt about it. The structure of the story, the events and the imagery within were all spot on, I just felt that Mr Court missed his perfect end on this particular occasion.

For similar reasons, I enjoyed the story ISOL-8, now when I say similar I don’t mean that the story itself is the same but it is along a similar theme with there being a writer wanting to get work done and going to certain lengths to get there (such as needing some peace and quiet, and so going to a retreat – is similar to this one..sort of). It’s difficult to explain without spoiling the plot but it comes at a similar idea with a different story, and I liked that very much.

Each of the stories in this book feel original, the imagery is great in each one and I had a great time reading it. I remember the first time I reviewed a David Court story, I noted that I may not have fully understood it because I just didn’t really gel with it. This was not the case in these stories, and I’m pleased to have reviewed more of his work following that one short story because he is a very good writer and he really brings his stories to life. I do have more works by Mr Court which were sent to me following that review to give me more experience of his work – alas – I didn’t get to them just yet due to a huge TBR pile. I will be bringing those to the blog so sit tight and Mr Court will be back to Rebbie Reviews. I would definitely recommend this book, but I’m not sure I can apply the same to this as I previously have. I usually end up saying something like “there’s something in this book for everyone” when it’s a collection with multiple authors and there usually is but, and this is by no means a bad thing, there isn’t something for everyone in this it is unmistakably horror and if you don’t want to read Horror then don’t buy this book.

If you are a horror fan then there will be something for all of you in this book. It’s important to remember that whilst mixed collections have a varying degree of horror and indeed not all stories in those are even forced to fall under the horror banner, these do, and they are delicious with it. Be prepared to drift into the world of David Court and all of the horrors he has to offer

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