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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic horror fiction. A must-read!, 19 Oct. 2013
I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Kevin Bufton's debut collection of short stories features re-edited versions of stories previously included in other anthologies, and though I've not read the original versions, I can say in all honesty that reading this collection was an absolute delight!
The opening story, "Mother's Milk" is a dark look at a young mother's experience of delivering and living with a stillborn baby in an evacuated city apartment block, with no escape route and rapidly dwindling supplies. It's heartbreaking.
"The Shoot" is the story of a journalist who, while interviewing a legendary masked wrestling star who has never before given an interview, learns the truth behind the wrestler's anonymity - with dire consequences.
"53 Minutes" is an unusual zombie story, and apart from that little snippet of information, I'll say no more, because I don't want to spoil the readers' enjoyment.
"Roots" is a great tale of what could happen when trouble comes rolling your way, but it's not what you'd think!
"The Wren" would be a perfect tale for inclusion in one of the old Hammer films. It has a quality that reminds me of horror stories from the 60s and 70's which, for me, was a golden age of horror. It has a shock value comparable to "The Wicker Man".
"Hooked" is a nautical tale of a man's search for retribution over the loss of his hand, and features the zombie in its classic form. Somehow, it reminded me of "Moby Dick". Absolutely wonderful stuff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sx wondreful short stories, 18 Oct. 2013
Andy Angel (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
A couple of weeks ago I entered a competition on facebook, the prize was a copy of this book - thankfully I won. This is a really good collection!

As you would expect from the title their are six short stories in this collection, three zombie tales and three general horror.

The book opens with Mother's Milk, a truly disturbing tale of mother and child in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. I had become a little tired the whole zombie genre before reading this story but this author has really made me change my mind. It has moments that will truly set the reader on edge, horror as it should be.

Next comes 'The Shoot' where a wrestling fan gets to interview The Masked Marauder, the first interview the MM has ever done, and learns a secret he wasn't expecting.

Next up, '53 Minutes' another zombie tale, set in the same universe as Mother's Milk. The 53 minutes in the title is the time between death and reanimation. The story is set in what is left of a hospital and shows another angle to life after the apocalypse.

Roots, story 4 is set in the Old West with a father and two sons under siege from..........tumbleweed

The Wren is in the style of a folk tale set around Christmas but certainly not with a Christmassy ending.

The final story, Hooked, is another zombie tale but this time with a nautical leaning and set in the mid 19th century.

All these stories are of a very high quality. Horror, as a genre, can seem a bit overdone at times but this collection gives me hope for the future. I will certainly be looking out for more from this author and I suggest that, if horror is your thing, you do too, but for now I am heartily recommending this collection to you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I don't do star reviews so ignore that but please read the text!, 28 Oct. 2013
Kevin Bufton is an author friend of mine, but I swear to give an entirely unbiased review all the same! {Spoiler warning!}

Six of the Best is a collection of stories compiled from Bufton's inclusions in the Cruentus Libri anthologies that he edited - which I think makes for a nice and varied collection, as each anthology was themed but obviously there's only one story of each theme in this collection, which offers a broad and sweeping take on the horror genre. I think that's what actually makes this my favourite of Bufton's works that I've read so far. A lot of his work is written in the very traditional Steven King/Dean Koontz style of horror, and as I'm not the biggest fan of body horror or gore, whilst I can still appreciate the writing and always inventive plots, I'm not exactly the target audience! However this collection, whilst it still contains some more bloodthirsty horror - such as disturbing zombie tale `Mother's Milk' and `Roots', a memorable story which I can perfectly visualise as a horror movie - also contains some more psychological tales, which I enjoyed immensely.
The stand-out for me was `The Wren'. It's nicely paced and understated and draws heavily from folk tradition, which I love. The characterisation of Ryan and Nana is very well done, and I found their relationship moving. I think it's this initial setting-up of characters that lent the conclusion of the story even greater impact. And it certainly has great impact, even if you spot the twist from the many lovely pieces of foreshadowing and clues that Bufton dots throughout the story.
My other favourite from this collection is `Hooked'. In a story that I agree, as one other reviewer wrote, has undertones of Moby Dick, a maimed 19th century sea captain puts his scientific research crew's safety at second priority as he hunts obsessively for the creature that caused him to lose his hand. I found the characterisation and motivation in this one particularly thought provoking - in fact, it's as much a character piece as a horror piece - Bufton writes historical settings well, and I found the conclusion to the story strangely very satisfying.
A suitably horrifying Halloween read!
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Six of the Best: A Hellish Half-Dozen
Six of the Best: A Hellish Half-Dozen by Kevin G. Bufton (Paperback - 25 Sept. 2013)
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