I listened to Failure as A Way of Life on audio book. When I got the book I told Andersen I was a little dissapointed that he didn’t narrate it himself. I’ve listened to a few of his books he did the narration on and he has this way of speaking that really captures that depressing feel of his characters. It just fits perfectly (Squirm with me is a prime example of this). I’ll still say that he would have been excellent voicing his character Ryan, but narrator Pete Ferrand did a superb job on this, so I decided to let it go.
So the book is about Ryan and best friend Gus, who both work the same job at an artisinal water bottling plant and basically have the same lame, boring, and unsatisfying lives. When they try to contaminate the water supply at their work there is an accident that affects Gus in a posistive way. This leads to Ryans jealousy as he attempts to replicate Gus’ good fortune.
This book is classic Prunty. The characters are down trodden and misfortunate. The people in their lives barely connect to them and constantly unusual things are happening around them that they just take with a grain of salt.
All in all it was pretty great. I’m a big fan of Andersen Prunty, and I always enjoy reading his newest output, this one was no exception.
Buy it Here Failure as a Way of life
Pray You Die Alone is another great collection of short horror stories. Prunty is skilled at creating horror with lots of dread and twisted elements. There’s not much bizarro in this one, which is why it reminds me a lot of another of his collections, Sunruined. The seven stories contained in this book are excellent, each in different ways.
The opener, The Summer of Flies is a creepy tale of Marcus, who starts to wonder if he is the last person left in town. When he meets Ellen, she convinces him that she knows where the bodies of everyone else are, and that they should try to find the killer.
In the second story, Death Tripping in New Orleans, it has been two years since Tod survived a terrible car crash. Following a voice to New Orleans Tod finds himself face to face with the truth of his past.
Durning is the story of Christina from Durning, Ohio. When Adam agrees to go back to Christinas home to meet the family he gets a surprise he never dreamed of.
In Air Cathedral we have serial killer Arthur. Desperate to find the Air Cathedral, Arthur has killed countless times, but will this time finally bring him what he wants?
The Nowhere Room is the tale of Anna, who after having mental attacks for years decides it’s time to head back home. She needs to go back to the Nowhere Room and face what happened all those years ago.
The story Black Rosita’s Man is about a blues guitarist like no other named Alistar Doos. Nathan East goes to hear Alistar play and try to find the answers to a friends disappearance.
Closing out the book is the story Rayles, which may be the most bizarre of the bunch. The town was once a place for dreams, but that was before Rayles got sick. Now the town is more of a prison. As bad as the people want to escape, what will they find past the town limits?
Each story showcases Prunty’s vivid imagination as he ushers his characters through horrific situations. I recommend this for anyone who is interested in checking out Andersen Prunty’s work for the first time. And if you are already a fan of his work, you will definitely dig this collection.
Buy it here Pray You Die Alone