I read and re-read my thoughts on Steve Parrish’s podcasts. I decided to re-do this review as a result. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned in the process of attempting to write this is that my first instinct (to only write reviews for things I absolutely love) was right. I tend to run hot and cold with just about everything so when I don’t completely love something I can be overly picky and sometimes downright nasty in my criticism. That’s why I try to avoid criticizing things publicly. I am not a very objective person and that’s not fair to who or what I’m talking about.
The short review is this: if you like dark and twisted horror/fantasy start with Chicken Pi and go from there.
I was asked by S. Lawrence Parrish if I would give a listen to any or all of his podcast fiction. This was the first time anyone has approached me like this and I have to say that it felt pretty awesome to have someone say they wanted me to review their work. I’m not sure how he’ll feel now that I have listened and have finally made up my mind to write a review.
To summarize Shape Shifters I would say take your average werewolf story and add some erotica. The erotica was my favorite part of the story.
I had two major issues with the presentation of this story. The first is the way the story is divided not just into chapters but into numbered sections within those chapters. I heard the numbers one through four so often through the podcast that I had no idea where I was in the story. It would have been better to just leave them out and read straight through. The second thing that made this podcast less enjoyable for me was the sound effects. Simply put, they were too much and too loud.
I think the two negatives cancelled out a lot of good here. I probably would have enjoyed this a lot more otherwise. I’m not a huge fan of werewolf stories but this one was different enough to hold my attention. It was entertaining enough for me to say give it a listen and see what you think, or, even better, give it a read and then let me know what you think of the story itself. Shape Shifters is Parrish’s first self published novel (he has been published in many online zines).
Shat was next…
I’m not usually a fan dystopian tales… I read the review on Podiobooks where someone had a tough time with a sodomy scene… I gave this a try anyway knowing that I might be put off by parts of it…
I didn’t make it past the ten minute mark.
This isn’t necessarily a reflection of the writing or the writer…this just wasn’t for me. I’m going to leave it at that. A part of me thinks a ‘real’ reviewer would still have listened to the whole thing and then given their assessment. The fact that I couldn’t do that has a lot to do with why I don’t think I want to do any more reviews.
I did go on to listen to Chicken Pi. Actually, I’m still listening. I have the last two to go at this point. I decided to do the review now because Chicken Pi is an ongoing collection of short stories. I will continue to listen to these and anything else Parrish puts up for our listening enjoyment.
These shorts are categorized as dark, twisted horror. There is truth in advertising here. I still wish he’d tone the sound effects down a bit; they need to sit just under the narration in terms of audio levels for my taste. But aside from that, these are some seriously messed up stories that I have for the most part enjoyed.
On the whole, if you like dark and twisted (and I mean violently and disgustingly at times) you should give Steve Parrish a listen and a read. For me, he’s hit or miss, but that makes sense considering my preferences. I know many folks who should love his stuff. At the very least, give him a try.