Review of Disarrhoea

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joshfee77
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Review of Disarrhoea

Post by joshfee77 »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Disarrhoea" by Kevin Vodden.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Disarrhoea is an anthology of six sci-fi horror stories by Kevin Vodden. It begins with "Disarrhoea", a tale of the effects of a disorienting airborne pathogen on humans and the resulting breakdown of society. "Fearground" centres on a carnival barker's interaction with the passengers of the universe's most frightening thrill ride. "Terror Pericolosa" is a sci-fi tale about the exploration of an unknown planet by potential colonists from Earth. "The Matryoshka Loop" deals with an expedition seeking gigantic wasps, and the crazy results of capture and imprisonment in the creatures' lair. "Eat Thy Neighbour" features a reality cooking show with a horrific difference, while "Credit Where Credit's Due" assigns unlikely intellectual qualities to the humble dog and cat, as they give thanks for all the humans who have made their daily meals possible.

Vodden's first tale, "Disarrhoea", launches straight into the action, establishing a disturbing premise where people are trapped indoors, unable to leave their homes. His simple, direct writing style avoids inappropriate descriptive words while still featuring enough clever details to add plenty of realism. The neat, elegant prose relays each story without unnecessary fanfare. Touches of realism throughout his stories include text messages expressed verbatim (with the sender omitting the apostrophe in all of their contractions), credible scientific theory and conjecture, and realistic-sounding future human names such as Matrix, Zephyr, Shard, and Swift.

The author describes a tense and dramatic low-speed chase in "Disarrhoea" particularly well. "Fearground", comprised entirely of the carnival barker's dialogue to the terrified people aboard his frightening thrill rides, is also beautifully realised. Alternately funny, innovative, and horrifying, this tale hits all the right notes. "Terror Pericolosa", more of a straight science fiction tale (though with definite elements of horror), consists of great imagination combined with scientific accuracy, or at least a convincing approximation of it. "The Matryoshka Loop" is a head-trip into alternate realities, which is the sort of story I always enjoy.

Vodden also has a knack for producing sudden, horrifying lines for his characters which hit hard and stick in the reader's mind long after the story is over. His stories are strong and detailed, backed by credible scientific terminology and conjecture. "Disarrhoea" and "The Matryoshka Loop" are my favourites, but I thoroughly enjoyed all six tales in this anthology. My only minor criticism is that, from a sales perspective, today's readers seem to prefer shorter paragraphs than some of those in this book, simply for perceived readability. However, this did not bother me, and neither did the minor typographical errors I found, which numbered less than ten in total.

For this reason, I rate Disarrhoea 4 out of 4 stars. Vodden's anthology is an entertaining thrill ride for any fan of science fiction or horror, blending the two seamlessly. It will not appeal to those who find violence and grotesque elements off-putting, though it does not include anything too graphic, and contains practically no profanity or sexual content. I really enjoyed this book, and I think those with similar reading tastes will, too.

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Disarrhoea
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Amy Luman
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Post by Amy Luman »

Usually I’m not a fan of short stories. These, however, seem to get right to the point and are able to hold the reader’’s attention long enough to get the point across.
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Post by Willard Damn »

Really loved the fact that it's actually horror makes it more interesting.
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Post by Peace10 »

I’ll really pass on this. I can’t comprehend the storyline. Great review!
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Post by Richard Azubike »

I think I'm not interested in reading this book but thanks for this review.
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joshfee77
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Post by joshfee77 »

Amy Luman wrote: 14 Jun 2022, 14:07 Usually I’m not a fan of short stories. These, however, seem to get right to the point and are able to hold the reader’’s attention long enough to get the point across.
They certainly do, though, at up to 80 pages, a couple of them are almost novellas! However, I did really enjoy them. Vodden is a smart, versatile, and entertaining author.
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joshfee77
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Post by joshfee77 »

Willard Damn wrote: 14 Jun 2022, 15:49 Really loved the fact that it's actually horror makes it more interesting.
Definitely. I thought this book was straight sci-fi when I first saw it. Upon reading that it also had elements of horror, I was hooked.
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joshfee77
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Post by joshfee77 »

Peace10 wrote: 15 Jun 2022, 11:08 I’ll really pass on this. I can’t comprehend the storyline. Great review!
Thanks! Vodden's storylines were definitely "out there", but I like that. The weirder the better for me.
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joshfee77
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Post by joshfee77 »

Richard Azubike wrote: 18 Jun 2022, 08:29 I think I'm not interested in reading this book but thanks for this review.
That's understandable. Weird tales such as these aren't for everyone. Thanks for commenting!
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Post by Kyrian007 »

Outstanding review on this book. I adore how you highlighted the humor in the book in your review. I appreciate the review. I'm excited to read this intriguing book.
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