Life Of A Nerdish Mum is super excited to be part of the blog tour for Help The Witch by Tom Cox, a collection of weird and wonderful short stories.
Help The Witch
Inspired by our native landscapes, saturated by the shadows beneath trees and behind doors, listening to the run of water and half-heard voices, Tom Cox s first collection of short stories is a series of evocative and unsettling trips into worlds previously visited by the likes of M. R. James and E. F. Benson.
Railway tunnels, the lanes and hills of the Peak District, family homes, old stones, shreds fluttering on barbed wire, night drawing in, something that might be an animal shifting on the other side of a hedge: Tom has drawn on his life-long love of weird fiction, folklore and nature's unregarded corners to write a collection of stories that will delight fans old and new, and leave them very uneasy about turning the reading lamp off.
I would firstly like to say just how absolutely stunning the cover is, if I was walking past this book in a bookshop I would buy it just on the basis of its cover without knowing another thing about it! Seriously just look at it.
It seems to be tradition now that I read a collection of short stories around this time of year and I'm really glad that this year, Help The Witch came along. Each and every one of the stories is just as strong as the last. While reading I was trying to choose my favourite story like I would normally do, but I really struggled. So the one I chose to highlight was the one I thought was the most original and left me feeling uncomfortable as I read it, Listings. Listings is incredibly clever and it tells the story of a cave Goblin, a Tunk, through the medium of listings in a newspaper. Things like house lettings, lost pets and obituary's, give you small snippets of the story and the things that are happening in and around a house with a "cavern" underneath it. It's I think the shortest story in the book, but it's very impactful and the cleverness of it's telling rally stands out.
There's such a wide range of topics in Help The Witch, it really keeps you interested. Though with short stories, you can read one story, put the book down and then come back at another time; with Help The Witch you want to keep seeing what the next story will be about and how it will be told. Because of this I ended up reading it all in just one sitting and I loved it.
This is definitely a big recommendation from me and this time of year is the absolute perfect time to cuddle up in a blanket with a brew and this book.
I gave this book 5 stars.
About The Author
Tom Cox has written nine books, including the Sunday Times top ten bestseller The Good, The Bad And The Furry. His account of his year as Britain's most inept golf professional, Bring Me The Head Of Sergio Garcia, was long listed for the William Hill Sports Book Of The Year Award in 2007. Tom gave up writing for traditional media outlets in summer 2015 and now writes fiction and pieces about nature, folklore and the British countryside for his voluntary subscription website www.tom-cox.com. His last book, 21st Century Yokel - a nature book, but not quite like any you'll have read before - was the fastest ever book to fund with the crowdfunding publisher, Unbound, taking just seven hours.
Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour