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on 12 August 2013
Possessed by the Devil. Obsessed with Rock and Roll. Under the spell of a charismatic Ford Focus driven by a diesel compression engine and a thirst for motor oil. This little collection of horror stories spruced up by a healthy splash of Northern Irish smart-arsery revisits some classic themes and tips its hat to some new ones. You'll laugh, gasp and cringe, at times all at once.

Possession, Obsession and a Diesel Compression Engine is a short collection of six interlinked comic-horror stories. A fun, fast and Faustian read.

If you enjoyed FIREPROOF, this is a perfect companion read.

"The freshness of the voice in this collection of stories is very welcome, as is the cut-throat pace with which the action happens. These are not sprawling tales of morality and comeuppance, rather these are punch to the groin (in some cases literally) bits of story where everybody needs to be on their toes, the reader included." - Pete S. Allen SFReader.com

"If Robert Rankin was from Northern Ireland and had been reading a lot of R. Scott Taylor and Paulo Coelho, PODCE is the book he would write." - 'Critical' Mick Halpin

"Gerard Brennan is a master of gritty violence." - Colin Bateman

About the author:

Gerard Brennan is the author of the novels, WEE ROCKETS and FIREPROOF, the novella, THE POINT, and co-editor of REQUIEMS FOR THE DEPARTED, a collection of crime fiction based on Irish myths. He lives in Dundrum, Northern Ireland.

6 short stories dealing with primarily the devil and music. This was a short and fun blast of irreverent humour from the author. I probably won't find myself pondering on these stories in the days ahead but I enjoyed them and it was a decent way to wake up over a couple of mornings with a strong coffee and a Brennan short or two.
Truth be told, my preference is for the author's longer work where he can develop characters in greater depth but he definitely entertains. Not a stinker amongst the six, which is unusual for a short story collection, where there are usually a couple of weaker offerings. My favourite of the bunch was a tale concerning exorcism. From my previous experiences with Catholic priests, I can't recall their language being quite as colourful, but hey the world's moved on since I was a boy! Fierce and funny!
4 from 5
The author was kind enough to send me a copy of this for a read.
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on 12 June 2012
Possession, Obsession and a Diesel Compression Engine is a devilishly good read - and another winner from Gerard Brennan.
Made up of six stories (though I, for one, would have been delighted had there been 666 of them) Brennan's sharp writing fairly shines with wit and humour and you'll find yourself whizzing through and wishing there was more to read.
'Blood Bath' was a great opener, indeed I'd love to see this one turned into something longer. 'Steele Guitar' introduced the Devil's Own Music to a Methodist Congregation, while '925' offered up a decent bite.
'Road Rage' brought to mind Stephen King's 'Christine' but in the shape of a Ford Focus, and 'An Irish Possession' - my favourite I think - is an exorcism with a difference.
Finishing off with 'Would You Be Interested', the book is made up of intertwining stories bound together with impish glee, music, cars, a deal of soul-selling and the odd appearance from the Dark Lord himself. Along with his Agents of Doom, of course. Loved it, and will look forward to more from the wonderfully named Heebie Jeebie Press.
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on 7 July 2012
A collection of short stories, Possession, Obsession and a Diesel Compression Engine shows a somewhat different side to Gerard Brennan. Known for his excellent crime fiction to me previously, this collection shows off his talent for horror and fantasy writing, and is all the better for it.

Ranging from a possessed Ford Focus (in the style of Stephen King's Christine) to a guitar you'd sell your soul to play, each story will draw inevitable comparisons to the big hitters in the genre. The difference does not lie in the quality of the writing however, with Brennan bringing his knack for dialogue, pacing, and plot to the fore. Rather the difference lies in the humour which present throughout. There's a wryness to each story, a wit and a one liner, which vastly improves this collection from just another collection of rehashed horror tales, to one which makes you hope Brennan has a full length novel in this genre just waiting to be released.

Get it now, so you can say you were there at the beginning!
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on 31 January 2013
Possession… is a collection of six lightly interlinked short (mild) horror stories.

I’ve been lucky enough to be reading quite a lot of Gerard Brennan recently (for example the previously reviewed Fireproof). I’ve realized that Gerard likes to launch his stories with an eye-opening bang and none of these little gems disappoint. Each story is short (the entire book is under 11,000 words in length) so the author hits hard and hits fast.

For example there’s the opening short called Blood Bath which it literally is. The Devil likes to bathe in, yes, blood. He says:

The best bathing blood had to be extracted from frightened accountants. The easy part had always been scaring them; you just told them there was a problem with the bottom line or gave them a debit-heavy Balance Sheet. The tough part was catching them…

The other stories are about an obsession with rock ‘n’ roll, a possessed car (with a hilarious Thelma & Louise take), a ‘trip’ down memory lane, a deal with the devil and my personal favourite, An Irish Possession. The latter regards a boy possessed by an imp and his exorcism. This example describes the Irish priest carrying out the extraction process:

Aye, I know he had a mouth on him like a sailor. Well, compared to other priests, I mean. I never heard him say the F word, but he always said bastard and s***e and all the not-so-bad curses. Plus I saw him hit wee Fra’ McGuinness from Dunville Street when he caught him smoking in the Chapel car park. It wasn’t a wee tap to embarrass him either. It was a right hook, and the wee fellah fell on his backside.

All the stories are based in Ireland with varying degrees of local dialect. This creates a strong sense of place. The dialogue is tight. The challenge in a good short is to use every word to its fullest effect. Gerard does this brilliantly.

**Previously reviewed on Books and Pals Blog. May have received free copy.**
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on 2 December 2012
As a Brennan fan I found this group of stories interesting. They demonstrate a depth of creativity lacking in many authors. A very enjoyable read.Perhaps not as good as his other collection of short stories and definately not as interesting as his longer pieces but very enjoyable all the same.
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