Book Review: The Head by Brian Barr

four-stars

I have received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

While working on her deceased mother’s garden, Elizabeth finds a man’s severed head. When she was about to call 911 ‘the Head’ starts talking to her and convinces her to not call the cops and take him inside. Elizabeth falls in love with ‘the Head’, and she sets her mind to find his body.

This is short story, just over forty five minutes long. It is a weird one, with a disturbing and creepy element of surprise. I found the premises quite original, and the execution was great, impregnating the tale of weirdness from every perspective. With such a strange story you expect something horrific to happen at some point, but this time it was much more than I expected. The images that this story evoked were crude, horrific and out of a nightmare.

While I think the premises and the final effect were greatly done, I am not completely convinced about the stuff in between. Elizabeth falls inexplicably in love with ‘the Head’. True that Bill is charming with uncanny blue eyes, but he is just a severed head. I wonder about Elizabeth’s background to be able to fall in love with a severed head. I think it would have been interesting to explore this too, as I am sure there is a reason for every dysfunctional relationship, and Elizabeth’s story would have added another dimension to the book.

I like when the narration flows and does not interfere with the story. Rick Gregory did a very good job, accentuating Elizabeth’s emotions and transmitting her feelings at all moments. Gregory also made clear distinctions between characters’ voices without overdoing, which is something that I appreciate. There were a couple of time when I felt a longer than usual pause between a dialog and the tag just afterwards, but this is just a question of rhythm, and it was very very subtle. The audio production was correct.

I was impressed with this book, able to provoke strong reactions and with an original story. I think any horror fan would enjoy it, especially if they are into weird elements. Rick Gregory is a new narrator, but I foresee a great future for him. I am looking forward to his next book.

Available at Amazon/Audible

four-stars
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