I must admit, I was intrigued by this book simply by the name. I mean, everyone has probably wanted to kill a co-worker or two in their lifetime. But still, lamenting over well placed break room knifes and scalding coffee only gets you so far so let’s read some good stories, shall we?
While reading down the books Table of Contents I started off a little worried about what was ahead of me. With chapter titles such as “The Death of Dennis”, “The Death of Dylan” and “The Death of Donna” I had an early impression of spit-fire style executions, no real narration and some unoriginal plots. Thankfully I was very wrong. (For the record, Jane has my favorite death sequence.)
After reading the Introduction I started on the tales. For the most part, most of the deaths reminded me of the elaborately setup sequences you might find in a ‘Final Destination’ type movie. Some involve actual killers and some just a huge amount of bad luck and karma on the part of the victims. Meat grinders, darts in the forehead, being crushed under a car or electrocuted on stage, and even a brought-to-life video game antagonist whose online avatar was killed one too many times will make these people wish they had done something a little different that day. At 24 deaths throughout the book, keeping them all from being copycats of each either was a small feat and one that was pulled off well.
The beginning of each chapter contains an anecdote which I almost found myself looking forward to more than the next tale itself (but not quite). Scopel’s writing style works well for short stories that need as much description as possible in as few words as possible and it was easy to plow through page after page because of it.
Chapter lengths varied quite a bit, some taking up only 2 pages while others take up to almost 6. In looking back through the book a second time, I think I appreciated the longer length tales myself; they had better character development and a bit more visual description on the events that occur. I read this book in only two sittings myself, but given its nature that every chapter stands on its own and doesn’t require any other chapter for storyline, it could be spread out into a lot more if needed which is good for us nighttime and weekend readers.
Two short written essays appear after all the tales of carnage, both of which were rather interesting reads. They, combined with the Introduction, give you an idea of who the author is, what his mindset is and how he got his start writing horror fiction. Following this are four short horror tales. The Choice, a tale about two friends trapped by a horde of zombies, and While You Sleep, a tale about a wannabe serial killer who can’t quite bring himself to make the first kill, are the best ones.
To finish the book, the usual last pages are present, an excerpt from another book published by the author, Afterward and Acknowledgements, and an About The Author page with blog and web links. (A warning for those afraid of creepy clowns, Scopel’s alter ego, Wee Willie Wicked, is prominent on his front page and is out to get you.)
Overall, the book was definitely entertaining and a fun read. As a writer myself, I’m hoping my first entry into the short horror fiction genre works as well as this one did.
Buy it here.
Book Review: The Daily Death – How I Killed My Co-Workers in 30 Days – Author Thomas Scopel