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  • By jeani_rector
    Aug 4, 2009
    "Brilliant Modern Horror" The Exaggerated Man is one story out of a book of short horror stories. However, it is not my favorite. The stories that really stood out for me are exceptionally brilliant, on-the-edge-of-your-seat page turners that have twisted, unexpected endings. The prose is so descriptive that you feel you are part of the characters. Author Terry Grimwood writes modern horror, with an introduction by award winning author Gary McMahon. I am going to review the stories that really stood apart from the pack. The Friends of Mike Santini—For an Englishman, Terry Grimwood really seems to know Las Vegas. He describes the atmosphere of the sleezy Lost Wages glamour of the 1950s vividly, and brings back memories of my mother’s beloved Rat Pack. The protagonist, Paul Wilde, is telling the story in today’s times, as an aging, has-been movie star. He is looking back to the 1950s, when he performed with the legendary Mike Santini on the Vegas Strip. So just how did... More > Santini suddenly rise to the top of the fame charts so effortlessly? Wilde finds out in Grimwood’s cleverly written, twisted, and deliciously dark tale. What the Dead Are For—This is my absolute favorite out of the entire book. This story is part social commentary, part horror. I think this is just about the most brilliant piece of fiction I have ever read. Granted, it is not for people with a fierce loyalty to only one particular religion, because this story describes many religions. But for those more open minded, What the Dead Are For is a wonderful tale about how blind faith and blind devotion can over-ride human empathy and even human decency. Everyone has always asked him/herself: what happens when we die? What the Dead Are For is a brilliantly imagined and totally unique idea of really could happen when we die. Could it? Soul Money—Why would a business man encourage a former pick pocket to steal his wallet? Of course the former criminal gives in and takes it, and the business man gives a sigh of relief. Although this is very modern horror, Soul Money is still somehow reminiscent of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. I loved this story. Melissa and the Singer—This one is good protagonist study, containing excellent character development. Not exactly a horror story, this one is compelling nonetheless. An overweight and shy Melissa wishes she could be more like her co-workers, who seem to have more normal social lives. When she gets her chance to shine, she does just that. But is it enough to break the barriers that other people have put against her? This is a touching story that delves into Melissa’s deepest emotions and one really cares about the character. Deadside—Truly a very frightening, give-you-nightmares horror story. You want fear, then read this story. The ending is such a shock; superb, and makes me think of Stephen King. That is high praise indeed. My only complaint with The Exaggerated Man is that I find that some of the stories are uneven, and others seem similar to each other. But over-all, everything satisfies the need for a really good scare. This is a very good book and The Exaggerated Man is well worth its price. This is one of those books that you find yourself still thinking about it after you are done with it. I will probably read it a second time for the sheer guilty pleasure of the chills and goosebumps it gave me the first time. I would highly recommend The Exaggerated Man to any fan of modern horror fiction.< Less
  • By greg
    May 17, 2009
    "Looking nervously over my shoulder ... by Greg Hamerton (author of The Riddler's Gift)" Deftly-crafted nightmares of ordinary humans struggling with crisis, making decisions that lead you ever deeper until you're aching for liberation from a gripping and sometimes graphic hell, whereupon you get ... the twist! Great short stories, like a blend of Stephen King and Roald Dahl, from a writer who understands human frailty all too well. Exaggerated Man opens with one of its strongest pieces, Coffin Dream, in which Grimwood demonstrates his talent for deconstructing reality and whispering in your ear, in the dark, until you really aren't sure that you are going to wake up. The characters in Grimwood's stories all struggle with personal issues - they are mostly complex and troubled, and often unpredictable. In some stories you're expecting a violent reaction from them because of all the tension in their souls, but then they do nothing and you're left with an understanding of how... More > truly human they are. The inability to overcome weakness is what makes characters flawed in the first place. There is a good range of stories in this collection, from demons to ghosts, from science-fiction crisis to fairy-tale-gone-wrong. They may not all be to your taste, but with the great variation in style and theme throughout The Exaggerated Man, there are certainly many gems that I marked to be re-read when I need a spike of supernatural espresso. Warning : If you are easily disturbed by occasional violence, gore, blasphemy, foul language, and demonic themes then Horror probably isn't your genre, is it, precious?< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9780955852206
Edition
Second
Publisher
The Exaggerated Press
Published
May 7, 2009
Language
English
Pages
237
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.91 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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