Around the Corner from Sanity Will Have You Questioning Your Own
Last year, I got an e-mail from a gentleman by the name of Jason Kilgore asking me if I would review his novel Around the Corner from Sanity: Tales of the Paranormal. (By the way, all authors are more than welcome to contact me, asking me to review their work!) I checked out his book, read the description, and then saw a review from a fellow author (Jon Dobbin) stating, “Kilgore’s work holds the same intrigue and suspense of Edgar Allan Poe.” At that moment, I knew I had to read this book. When an author and their work is being compared to a man I admire and share a birthday with, I just have to read it.
Let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
What is Around the Corner from Sanity About?
Around the Corner from Sanity is a little different from what I’m used to. Instead of it being one long story, this anthology contains fourteen short stories. Some are longer than others, but they all contain the same element…slow-building suspense. Even the stories that are only four pages long has that slow-building suspense, which is incredible. Now, I’m not going to talk about/review every story in this book – like I said there’s fourteen of them – but I’m going to try my best to mention each in some way. Whether I talk about some of my favorite characters, favorite plots, dialogue, etc., I will try to mention every story in Kilgore’s Around the Corner from Sanity.
My Top Five
I would like to start out by discussing some of my favorite stories in this book. If I had to pick my top five, I would say “Rabbit Cry”, “Anger Not the Gods of Rake and Mower”, “Fatty”, “Mommy”, and “The Secret of Jeremiah James”. All of Jason’s stories in this book were well-written and told in such a way that you needed to finish the story before putting the book down; however, these five just stuck out for me. They were either terrifying, hysterical, or satisfying.
“Rabbit Cry” was about a single-mother, Joanne, moving back down to Arkansas with her seven-year-old son, Skip from Newark after finding her husband with another woman. She moves into the old family home and her neighbors…well, let’s just say the Leatherface family would’ve probably been best friends with the Tates. Mr. Tate was the suspicious neighbor with his wife, Damsel Tate, who was the God-fearing wife, and his teenage son, Moab, who was the sociopath. I guess you can say they’re your typical hillbillies from a horror movie. I mean the way the story starts out was like it was straight from a horror film: “Joanne bolted awake. A sound had rushed into her sleep like a tornado, roaring through the window with promises of pain and destruction.”
When you find out what the noise is, it’ll send a shiver down your spine, especially when you start hearing it in your head.
What Did I Liked About Around the Corner from Sanity?
By the way, one of the main reasons I loved these stories was because you legitimately felt shivers coursing through your body, your heart skipping a beat, your eyes widening in fear, and just felt a real reaction to these stories. That’s why I loved novels like Things from Francine Garson or Still Breathing from E. A. Fourier, because you either felt for the characters or with the characters. Kilgore’s Around the Corner from Sanity delivers those same emotions, except it’s more fear based.
I must admit I’m a big fan of horror movies. I recently watched The 50 Best Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen on Amazon Prime and I am excited to have a new list of horror movies to watch, but I love watching them because of how they make me feel. They’ve made me jump, they’ve made my heart race, and some have made me scream a little and I love it. (Yes, I know, I’m weird!) However, I haven’t really read anything in the horror genre, so I wondered how an author would make you jump and make your heart race when you’re reading it and not seeing it while hearing the ominous music in the background. Kilgore answered that question for me. He does a fantastic job of making you feel what the character's feeling, of making you feel scared, of making you scream “Oh my gosh, run!” at the book. I was truly amazed.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about…
From "Catherine's Locket"
“At one o’clock, Hanna took her place in front of the living room mirror, eyes closed and hands trembling. Fiddling with the locket out of nervous habit, she opened her eyes. All she saw was her ashen face staring back at her. The reflection showed oddly combed hair and wide, brown eyes. She softened and took a deep breath. Laughing at herself, she moved away. But the laugh caught in her throat. A different angle. The reflection of a figure by the recliner. Half-hidden by shadow, a man, tall but stooped over.”
From "Rabbit Cry"
“Joanne turned from the driveway back toward the porch but stopped abruptly. An ember burned at the fence line some fifty yards away. A cigarette. A shadowy figure stood there smoking it, watching…”
From "The Children of Magnolia House"
“She had been in the sitting room working on a landscape when she heard the distinct sound of a ball bouncing on hardwood. When she stood up, the sound stopped. The kids were both at school, and Jim was at work… “Hickory dickory dock!” a little girl chanted. Maggy wheeled and caught sight of a white skirt and a black dress shoe as the child disappeared around the corner to the kitchen… “The mouse ran up the clock,” the girl continued. Her shrill voice echoed off the kitchen tiles. Once again Maggy turned too late and saw the flash of a white dress.”
“Kaylee looked over at the girl, then back to the kitchen. Then she looked down at the piece of paper in her hand. On the other side from the phone number was a scrawled message. It read: Don’t leave the living room. STAY THERE! LIGHTS ON! Kaylee gasped. She shot another look to the kitchen. A shadow moved… Crimson eyes opened and flashed at her.”
From "The Secret of Jeremiah James"
“The car jumped a good two feet and came down into the boy and his bicycle… The boy had lain just off the pavement. His shattered body was wrapped around the twisted blue frame of his bike.”
All of that is only a small portion of what you can find in Jason Kilgore’s Around the Corner from Sanity.
I Went Off the Path!
And now I’m realizing I totally went off the beaten path. I started discussing my five top stories in this book and then went a totally separate direction. “Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.” Please forgive me, but you honestly have to read this book. The imagery, the storytelling, the foreshadowing, and the slow-building suspense are very well done. Like I mentioned earlier, my favorite element in this anthology was the slow-building suspense because that truly reminded me of Edgar Allan Poe. However, another element I loved was Kilgore’s placement of foreshadowing. When he uses it, it almost gives the story away, but at the same time it doesn’t. You think the story is going to go one way, but then it makes a sharp turn and goes a completely different way. Again, it's really well done!
In conclusion, I absolutely recommend Jason Kilgore’s Around the Corner from Sanity: Tales of the Paranormal. If you love watching or reading horror, paranormal, and supernatural stories, then you will enjoy this anthology. The stories in it will shock you and horrify you, but some will also make you laugh. Kilgore does an excellent job of tying in different emotions or behaviors, like laughter, to make it more real. To learn more about Jason, please visit his blogsite. To learn more about his books, like Around the Corner from Sanity, please visit his Amazon page. But you can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Policies & Disclosure
Please remember I am not getting paid to write this review. I am just a fan and fellow author helping out another great author. To learn more, please check out my Policy page. Also, I would love to hear what you think of this review and of the book, if you’ve read it. You can either comment below (please read my “Comments Policy” on the Policy page before doing so) or contact me.
The photos featured in this post are my photos. The first is my copy of Around the Corner from Sanity: Tales of the Paranormal by Jason Kilgore. The second is my “signature photo”, me with my copy of this terrifically horrifying anthology.
**This post was originally published on March 25, 2020**