“Unpleasant Tales,” by Brendan Connell is quite a collection of over twenty strange, twisted, and often horrific short stories. These works are not for those looking for an escape into the wonderful and happy land of the G-rated fairy tales we have all grown so fond of. If you’re squeamish, then these are not for you.
Connell is certainly an author that is terrific at descriptive details, often forcing the reader to partake in visualizing scenes that could be found in classic horror films. Think, flesh eating, distorted human-like creatures, and weird socially awkward people with crazy agendas. He is a writer that and does not fail to vividly use the imagination in an nontraditional way to entertain and amaze his reader.
“The Maker of Fine Instruments,” for example, has the reader entranced in a sick demented man’s obsession with music, and how far he would go for the ‘perfect’ sound. The ending may be one that readers will see coming, yet nonetheless it fails to disappoint. Readers will not want to put this down, regardless of how strange the tale is. It will make your hair stand on end, and force you to wonder where the beautiful sounds of your favorite concerto actually derive from.
Another stand out tale is “The Girl of Wax.” Again, we find that man has fallen victim to an infatuation which brings nothing but grief and despair; yet this time- with a woman. This tale could make you wonder just how far someone will go to find companionship, as well as how thin the line between what is real and what is illusion actually is.
Each story offers a life lesson of sorts, such as how certain phobias or obsessions can lead to nothing but trouble. The often twisted protagonists of each tale bring a sense of human reality to the story as they entertain the reader with their usually deadly and wicked imperfections.
This collection of stories includes such titles as “The Unicorn” and “The Last Mermaid,” but don’t be fooled by the names. These tales are not for children, and are not backed by Disney’s seal of approval. Connell’s creative works are meant to be read by adults with strong stomachs, and an interest in the fantastically weird.
In the end, Connell’s works stand out among other writers of the eerie and peculiar.