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on 26 December 2014
Totally love the fact that GJ does NOT apologise for being an English author and uses all the correct spellings!
He is the master of short, sharp stories and excels at it in this set. Each of the stories are based around residents in a block of flats, GJ cleverly links them all but you can read each one individually, but I challenge you just to read one and not be drawn into finishing the entire set.
GJ has pulled a master stroke in managing to link every single story to each other, places, times, people, relevant news items.
Really enjoyed all the prologue “chats”

The Insomniac:
Oh dear, poor obese Trevor is so tired keeping up with demand in his chip shop that he makes a fatal error, his efforts to make good don’t go as planned.
GJ Manages to do the inner dialogue perfectly giving a great “view” of the chippy on a Friday night with all its bawdy customers and of Trevor and how he feels about life, family, love and everything really!
Then the desire for late night french fries occurs add in a little slip and an incident involving some cling film, mix in some mud and finally a twig!
I did not know whether to laugh or cry at the ending, it was so beautifully thought out and executed, this author just blows me away.

The Taxidermist:
Fred has a disturbingly disgusting desire to start practising on his neighbours cats. Thankfully they decide to not be cooperative.
I despise all animal cruelty, even in fictional stories, it was fairly obvious where this story was going but as I follow this author on FB I note that he too is an animal lover and trusted him with my emotions. I was not disappointed although the story made me feel glad in one way it still irked my heart.
The horror is slow and painful to endure and made me squirm but ultimately it was the gore that made me cheer.

The Butcher:
GJ does cliché and stereo type so well its wonderfully kitsch!
Anton the Russian has been upto naughty things and tension is high in the preparation room but when Anton is giving a promotion he refuses and bloody hell reigns, how do you say no to a drug baron.
GJ does well to make you like what should be an unlikable man, then feel his pain at his demise, in a rather unique fashion.

The Florist:
Elena is just trying to make her orchids grow the best when it all goes a bit wrong.
GJ pays such attention to detail I could not help but be drawn into the story. The way he interconnects the characters is charmed, having learnt about Jimmy in The Insomniac and the “sister” we now meet her in all her weird glory.
Elena and her son Jimmy have been busy installing a watering system and she has added a special fertilising ingredient she has found in the Sky High shop.
As she gets a good dousing of the newly enhanced misting spray strangeness ensures – riveting reading all the way to the crescendo.

The Lovers:
Nalin and Isaac seem to have a perfect life until something random happens to change things for them.
Having already met the characters I felt like I slipped into their lives unwatched and with the brilliantly researched and factual back history of Nalin’s life I was engrossed, and sad at the world’s history.
During some amazingly erotic love making something awful (and funny) happens and I was left heartbroken at the ending.

The Animal Lover:
Gertrude can’t fit out her apartment door but her animals keep her company.
Whilst I love animals the description of the smell in her flat and what the various animals did was enough to make me gag! Over all her cruelty was far worse than Fred the Taxidermists. The ever so accurate portrayal of obesity was both sickening and fascinating.
As Gertrude teeters on the edge of a heart attack on her trek around her flat to find her inhaler I found myself breath holding and waiting for the inevitable. Her finale demise was very slap stick in what appears to be GJ signature way of killing people off, most amusing.

The Agoraphobic:
Gordon is the building manager with a nice money making side-line involving hidden cameras, so all the goings on are being watched, recorded and broadcast.
It is in fact his best night ever with all his regularly voyeurs logging on to watch the mayhem going on in the building, and the revolting Gordon is just watching it all with £ signs dancing in his eyes.
It was a brilliant way to catch up on what was happening in each flat from another perspective, the time line alone was magnificent in its perfection. In a few sentences GJ summed up the night of horror.
When he gets a knock on the door the person on the other side is not who he expected.

The Foreigner:
GJ launches from one dead body to another, and does it with superb style.
Samira is a covert spy and assassin, but she also a complex and sad past, however now is the time she must make a quick escape as Gordon’s little internet business has alerted authorities to her.
GJ could easily write thrillers as he clearly has all the knowledge and skill to lead readers down a dark path of intrigue then set them on fire with the truth.
Another amazing little snippet of the bigger story, another sad ending but with that little hint of a giggle.

The Geek:
Poor schoolboy Benedict is often bullied and left alone by his hard working (and playing) mother, but he has been working hard on his school project and he has a dream.
I loved the way GJ interjects all these little comments that just speed you make to other scenes, this would make a brilliant Tarantino style film.
In the Epilogue he really rounded up the horror and giggles, tying up every loose end and give an incredible to ride to his readers.
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on 22 June 2015
Loved this book. Some well rounded characters, good interweaving storytelling. Especially liked the end chapter, was not expecting that outcome. If I lived here I would move.
I have only given this a four star as a protest, having read and enjoyed all of Glens, short story collections. I wish he would think about adding some more. I think his bestseller is the Sixth Extinction series, and although it is equally as good as the short stories, it not my favorite genre. So Mr Johnson, listen to your public and get some more short story collections going.
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on 10 February 2014
I never read short stories, the only reason I read this book was because it was written by Glen who has already tempted me into reading books way outside my usual genre. Glen has done it again, written a book in which the stories and characters are so skilfully interwoven that it reads like a novel rather than short stories.
A brilliant book beautifully illustrating the fact that life can be snuffed out in the blink of an eye in the most unlikely manner !!!
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on 6 February 2014
I absolutely love this author...this book is awesome i spent all night after work reading this and I really enjoyed it. His imagination is totally amazing this should be made into a film as all his books should. Keep writing Glen you are talented.
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on 8 January 2014
The story written here and how the neighbours life intertwine is just amazing.Extremely well written.Glen is a people watcher indeed to get all the characters life's spot on.Gory,twisted and dark,well done Glen
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on 12 May 2014
I have read the trilogy of these disturbing stories and have thoroughly enjoyed them all. More pretty please Glen Johnson!
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on 20 August 2014
Really good set of short stories
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on 14 March 2015
Don't read this if you are squeamish or faint of heart...or you don't believe in the tragedy of synchronicity !
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on 13 November 2015
Gripping read. The individual tales are great stand alones but excellent how they all link in at the end.
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on 25 February 2014
There are a few errors in the typing and a few spelling errors. The story's finished too abruptly for me, was looking for something further to happen, but I enjoyed them.
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