Author: Greg Chapman
Release date: May 19, 2021
It’d be fair if you were seeing this review and found yourself confused.
Yes, I did recently read and review Chapman’s collection ‘Vaudeville and Other Nightmares.’ And yes, the title story is in that collection. But, now, the title story – a novella – is getting a stand alone release and fans of Chapman know just how fantastic that is, that more people will get their eyes on Greg’s work.
Greg kindly sent me both to read and review and I devoured the main novella and the collection over the course of a few sittings.
What I liked: ‘Vaudeville’ itself is a tense, tight read that is only about 50 pages or so. The story follows a young boy, Anthony, struggling to continue on after his father took his own life in the woods near the family home. His mother has stopped paying attention to him and high school hasn’t been so kind. So, one day, Anthony goes to the woods, searching for answers and finds Mr. Crispin, the leader of the ghoulish gang that inhabits the forest.
Chapman really has created a creepy story, but it’s the truly creepy characters within this that I found most unsettling. Crispin has two other ‘pals’ in his act and everything about this trio was unnerving. The entire time I wished I could yell for Anthony to run home, to stay away, but you know a bargain will be made and consequences will occur.
Greg did a stunning job of bringing the forest and these characters to life and Anthony may be one of the best young characters I’ve ever read. The depth giving to him is amazing and his hurt is palpable.
The ending, or finale, was spot on and as much as it hurt, it was exactly what the story required.
What I didn’t like: The story itself follows a plot line that’s been done before, but that doesn’t hurt it at the end of the day. You know how this will end, but you won’t be able to look away. For me this isn’t a criticism, but for some you may feel like you’ve read similar before.
Why you should buy this: I’ve said it so many times, but Greg Chapman is an author you NEED to be reading. His stories are so amazing and he can flip a switch between emotional depth and blood curdling carnage. Greg is one of my favorite authors and time and time again he delivers dark stories that stay with the reader long after you’re done.
‘Vaudeville’ is a fantastic novella and if you’re someone who loves dark stories that surround circus/carnival themes, you’ll absolutely love this.
Up for pre-order now!