Today's random review showcases a collection by our very own, m ennenbach. NOTCHES was published by Death's Head Press in 2021 and contains a brillant array of stories told as only Mike Ennenbach can.
We released CUCKOO by m ennenbach in Sept. 2023, and another collection, DREAMWHISPERS, in November of 2022.
Mike is one of my favorite authors due to his raw emotional intensity and unique voice. His ability to fully immerse a reader into the worlds he creates is unmatched.
Check out my review of NOTCHES below and please click the links to purchase his titles for yourself. You can also order signed copies of CUCKOO and DREAMWHISPERS in the shop.
by m ennenbach
Notches is an excellent collection of short stories penned by m ennenbach. There is something here for every taste or personality. A bit of horror, a touch of tragedy and loss, the bleak despair of the human condition, the doldrums of just being caught up in our existence and finding the humor or willpower to keep going.
The opening story “Blue” is a desperate tale full of love and longing, and an unfolding mystery that grows more horrifying with every passing night. There are two more tales of loss and sadness, “Chances” and “Noises” that will have you remembering and grieving those times when you also faced such pain and loss.
There is a gorgeous epic-length poem that is a beautiful telling of the tale of Persephone. I do not have words appropriate enough to describe this tale. You must read NOTCHES for yourself and discover it with the same complete awe and wonder that I did.
Several other tales are more surreal and bizarre, such as “T-Rex and the Baby Doll,” “Coffee Machine” and “Customer Service” will make you chuckle and cringe as each situation unfolds with endings that are perfectly penned. “Customer Service" made me laugh out loud several times, as did its follow-up story, “Interview.” Each story reads like a full-length novel, so rich and relatable are the characters and emotions found within, regardless of the story they tell.
Ennenbach is more than an author, more than a poet. He is the personification of the human condition. His ability to draw you in and hold you there, deep inside each story, to feel the pain, the grief, the despair, and desolation within, is almost unparalleled by authors today. He is truly an expert storyteller, no matter how he chooses to tell his story. Get to know him. Remember his name because you will be hearing it again, again, and again.
Five Gold Stars for NOTCHES.
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