Sunday, July 13, 2014


It  is  dark  and  the  wind  scalpels  its  way  through  the  cracks  in   the  wooden  walls,  the  spaces  between  the  logs  where  the  newspaper  no   longer  holds  back  the  elements.  When  the  wind  rushes  in,  the  fire   moves  back  a  bit,  as  if  letting  someone  scoot  past  to  get  to  their   usual  seat  in  church.  Winter  is  on  the  way.    
Your  mother  is  already  in  a  fitful  sleep.  Her  shoulder  twitches   occasionally,  and  she  makes  small  fear  noises.  Your  brother  sits  in   the  rocking  chair  in  front  of  the  fire.  He  does  not  blink.  He  stares   into  the  flames,  like  he  is  waiting  for  a  message,  a  sign,  a  reason  to   move.   

So begins the first story, How We Quit The Woods, in Jeffery X Martin's (Black Friday) new book Stories About You Volume 1. If you read Black Friday you'll know Martin as an engrossing writer and Stories About You possess that same ancient/ritualistic rhythm, that same sense of experience that Black Friday had. But this time Martin has added a twist. The title is quite literal. YOU are the star of each story. The whole book is written in the second person. Hold on. I know what you're thinking and yes, it works.
While not every story is a horror story enough of it is for you creep fans. Martin can deliver the dread by the truckload with literary skills to back it up.What I found most interesting was the meditative quality of the stories, they're almost hypnotic the way YOU the reader is always being addressed.Also, as with Black Friday, emotion is one of Martin's most powerful weapons. He's not just trying to shock or scare you-he's trying to get at your heart. 
I don't think a book of second person short stories could be pulled off by just anyone. To even go for such a project takes balls and to pull it off with such style takes a mind and imagination like Martin's. Stories About You is very cool and really enjoyable. Screw the mainstream cookie cutter supermarket paperbacks, embrace a writer with class and style, fiends!
You can get Stories About You HERE

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