Enough Of This Shit Already

All posts tagged Enough Of This Shit Already

Short Stories Challenge – Enough Of This Shit Already by Tony Black from the collection The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime Volume 7

Published March 22, 2016 by bibliobeth


What’s Enough Of This Shit Already all about?:

Teenager Alana is suffering after a break-up with her boyfriend and an incident at a party with popular “jock” Brad Johnson. This short piece of fiction follows her as she takes justice into her own hands.

What did I think?:

I’ve never come across the author of this story, Tony Black before but in the introduction to this collection he is described as a “relative newcomer” to crime fiction by the editor, Maxim Jakubowski. After a bit more research I’ve discovered he is most famous for his tartan noir novels and to date has written thirteen novels, a number of novellas and contributed to quite a few collections like this one. As a proud Scot myself, I’m a bit ashamed that I haven’t heard of him previously and after reading this little belter of a story, will be sure to pick up something from his back catalogue.

There were two things that surprised me about this story. First of all, I was quite surprised at how short it was taking just five minutes to read from start to finish and secondly, the actual content of the story. I mean, when you read a certain genre you don’t expect it to be all love, peace and harmony of course and perhaps the title of the piece threw me off slightly – maybe I was anticipating something humorous? I’m not sure but what I ended up getting was an amazing literary ride with hugely dark and twisty undercurrents.

I don’t want to ruin things for anybody who hasn’t read this story before so apologies for any vagueness but as I’ve said before in some of the other posts for my Short Stories Challenge, the real beauty of a story like this comes when you read it for yourself. Our main character is a teenage girl called Alana and from the very first line we get a hint of her mindset:

“Shopping is, like, my way of getting over Steve…until the meds kick in anyway.”

Alana has recently broken up with her boyfriend, Steve after he caught her at a party underneath another guy, Brad Johnson. Brad is now giving Alana quite a lot of grief in the way that some teenage boys do, especially when they are showing off in front of their friends. Alana manages to hold her own admirably when he is around, even through her misery and the poisonous remarks of the other girls at school who are calling her every name under the sun. The worst part about the entire incident however is that Alana cannot remember what happened and it is pretty certain that she wasn’t drunk or taking drugs at the time. Her mother is terribly worried about her state of mind although it is clear that Alana hasn’t told her exactly what happened at the party. Now her situation is about to get a hell of a lot worse when a particular type of test she buys from the pharmacy turns blue and the path she chooses to go down to ease her suffering may not seem like the particularly conventional type.

This short story packs an incredible punch. The author weaves so much anger, distress and all-round chilling events into just a few pages and then blows everything out of the water with a real humdinger of an ending that certainly had me biting my nails down to the knuckle as I marvelled at his talent with words. It’s also a story that has had me thinking about it long after finishing, especially imagining what would come next if the author had continued to write. Definitely the mark of a terrific author in my opinion and one I’m excited to read more from!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):


NEXT SHORT STORY: Stars Of Motown Shining Bright by Julie Orringer from the collection How To Breathe Underwater

Short Stories Challenge 2016 – January to March

Published January 9, 2016 by bibliobeth

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Image from http://quotes.lifehack.org/quote/ali-smith/short-stories-consume-you-faster-theyre-connected/

Hooray for a new year and more short stories! This is what I’ll be reading for the first three months of 2016.

Week beginning 4th January 2016

Duet by Kate Mosse from the collection The Mistletoe Bride And Other Haunting Tales

Week beginning 11th January 2016

The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer by John Ajvide Lindqvist from the collection A Book Of Horrors

Week beginning 18th January 2016

Dreams In The Witch-House by H.P. Lovecraft from the collection The Definitive H.P. Lovecraft

Week beginning 25th January 2016

Enough Of This Shit Already by Tony Black from the collection The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime Volume 7

Week beginning 1st February 2016

Stars Of Motown Shining Bright by Julie Orringer from the collection How To Breathe Underwater

Week beginning 8th February 2016

Charm For A Friend With A Lump by Helen Simpson from the collection Stories To Get You Through The Night

Week beginning 15th February 2016

Paranoid: A Chant by Stephen King from the collection Skeleton Crew

Week beginning 22nd February 2016

Still Life by Dianne Gray from the collection Manslaughter And Other Tears

Week beginning 29th February 2016

Notes From The House Spirits by Lucy Wood from the collection Diving Belles

Week beginning 7th March 2016

How I Finally Lost My Heart by Doris Lessing from the collection The Story: Love, Loss And The Lives Of Women

Week beginning 14th March 2016

The Graveless Doll Of Eric Mutis by Karen Russell from the collection Vampires In The Lemon Grove

Week beginning 21st March 2016

The Adventure Of The Speckled Band by Arthur Conan Doyle from the collection The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes

Week beginning 28th March 2016

Choke Collar: Positron, Episode Two by Margaret Atwood (stand-alone)