A Bunch of Fives by James Flynn is a collection of short stories that successfully leaves readers feeling how the author had hoped; like they’ve had a blow to the face.
Content warnings: body horror, surgery, and other darkness.
Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on A Bunch of Fives by James Flynn
My goodness, each story in this collection was so dark in its own way! I loved that they were all so different! Not just in the themes and levels of intensity, but when looked at as the overall flow of the story as well.
Dataism is the one stand out from this collection for me. The thought of living in that world is absolutely terrifying!
Per usual, here are my notes on each tale.
This is the most fitting and funny preface I’ve read in a long while! Readers, you’re going to love the metaphor here!
Ignorance is Bliss
Mack and Eric travel to an island in search of the rumored Càn Giò Creature. One is excited, one is skeptical. The skeptic changes his mind once they discover what’s really going on on the island. But will they both leave?
This tale is so chilling. I love any story set in remote areas, so I was super excited to see what these two would uncover. There is a surgery involved that goes into some body horror, so tread lightly there if that concerns you.
This tale can be boiled down to this one chilling passage: “We’re living in the digital age whether you like it or not.”
Imagine a world where literally everything was to be posted online. You have zero privacy. If you go against the ways of the new world, you go to prison.
That’s exactly what happened the the main character here as he was caught with a journal of private thoughts he refused to upload.
I hate the thought of this type of work so much. I would be right there with the main character, hating everyone second of the internet focused society. I have my limits with the current state, I cannot imagine being forced to do everything on camera. I can barely handle work zoom meetings!
When a sex crazed man finds out that he’s going to be the father of triplets after a one night stand, he goes to extreme measures…
This one wasn’t for me, but I saw it through. The reveal toward the end was jaw dropping!
From Riches to Rags
Obsessed with money, this man spends all his time trying to increase the number in his bank account. But slowly over time, he becomes more obsessed with freedom as he cuts away anything that costs him money.
This story was wild! I was so nervous that something bad was going to happen. The anxiety this one filled me with! Phew!
The Dutiful Hit
When a hit man is approached with a job, he doesn’t ask anything other than where. On the night of the hit, he’s shocked to see who his target was.
This tale was so eerie! Just creeping through the house was anxiety-inducing enough, then add to it the horrors he found? Yikes!
My Final Thoughts on A Bunch of Fives
A must-read for fans of unsettling horror that forces you to think about the themes, whether you want to or not. This was a wicked collection of nightmares!
Thanks for reading!
And major thanks to James Flynn for adding my quote for The Hand That Pulls You Under at the end of this collection!