I wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect from this collection of short fiction from Daniel Braun. I’d enjoyed his story ‘An American Ghost in Zürich’, which featured in the Grey Matter Press anthology, ‘Savage Beasts’, so I went in to this collection with high expectations. I’ve heard this collection described as ‘strange’, and I’d been inclined to agree. Braum’s collection flirts with horror and weird fiction for sure, but there is something else going on here that almost makes the stories defy categorization.
The stories themselves often have a very dream-like quality to them and one aspect of the writing that I particularly enjoyed was the choice of location within the stories. Away with familiar places featured in a lot of today’s stories, instead Braum’s takes us to the Caribbean, Hawaii and a host of other tropical destinations. Another aspect I particularly enjoyed was the musical theme that features heavily in Braum’s stories. You can almost hear the music playing in the background as you read and I felt it really added something unique to the stories. Braum’s knowledge and obvious love of music shines through. Similarly I enjoyed his inclusion of old magic, ancient gods and unexplained occurrences.
The prose is deceptively simple and you will find yourself effortlessly guided through each story, drifting along on a wave of tropical beats and jazz filled passages, exploring unusual destinations where strange occurrences are often. Of the highlights for me, I really enjoyed ‘Spark’, a strange tale about a pyromaniac and the title story is also a wonderful story but my favourite was ‘The Green Man of Punta Cabre’, a strange tale that features an ancient Guatemalan god! Braum successfully weaves a web of mysticism and magic through his stories, making them addictive and often unpredictable. It’s this unusualness and unpredictability that I really enjoyed and made this collection really shine for me. Highly recommended reading for those looking to take a journey to a far away place where anything is possible.
Pick up a copy from here.