Growing Things and Other Stories is author Paul Tremblay’s first stab at an anthology series.
Tremblay first rose to prominence after a rave review from Stephen King for his novel A Head Full of Ghosts which lived up to its hype and then some.
He’s also recently worked on the excellent slow-burn The Cabin at the End of the World and the chilling Disappearance at Devil’s Rock.
One of the reasons for King’s praise is no doubt grounded in how Tremblay approaches his characters and has the knack very much like the Master of Horror to turn everyday situations into terrifying situations.
Growing Things largely succeeds when it’s doing this type of storytelling; with some of the stories feeling slightly disjointed or a few pages short.
We certainly get our money’s worth here too with 18 short stories to devour and also some clever winks and nods to say that these tales share the same universe as his previous work.
Highlights include ‘It’s Against the Law to Feed the Ducks’ and ‘Notes from the Dog Walkers’ which turns a diary format of canine exercise into something bone-chilling.
‘Something About Birds’ again uses another writing format; with an interview transcript and it’s clear throughout that Tremblay has tried to look at each story differently and give it a fresh spin or write it a different way. Even when you may not fully enjoy the story you can appreciate the craft going on here.
Given this is his first attempt at an anthology series Paul Tremblay has gone above expectations and delivered a must-read for horror fans.
Growing Things and Other Stories is out now from Titan Books on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle.