Shorts: Stories from beneath the Rainbow by Hans Hirschi is the newest of the author’s many book and as the title suggests a book filled with short stories, some just a few pages and some almost at novella length but in this book there is a story for everyone. There are stories in here that for me stuck out more than others, and I have decided to share my thoughts about three of them.
The first story, that stuck out more than others and for me, and it is very obvious to why it is this one, is the short story titled Nightmare, not only is it written in complete Hirschi style it hit home in a way that felt like being railroaded. It was a long time ago I felt physically nauseated reading a story because it felt so real and you looked over your shoulder at the world you live in and in doing so you could see what he describe happen for real. The fact that I knew the people it is about, well, that only made it so much real because their faces were etched inside my mind as I read. Creepy to say the least! And god awful too real to be anything but a pure Nightmare!
The second story, that comes to mind is the Scarf. I was warned about this short story about the annoying character and the awfulness of his persona. After reading it, and even now as I write this, I have to go back to the see if I’ve read the same story as everyone else because I honestly don’t get it. Jimmy is just a dude, his reaction to what happens isn’t that odd nor is it that uncommon. People just think acting like a Hollywood hero is the norm when a crime is committed when in fact a lot of people don’t not because they are assholes but because one half the people who see a crime committed doesn’t realize it until too late (ask me I know) it goes very fast and by the time you react the crime is more or less over or moved else where. Two, human nature is not to stay and fight it is to run and hide. So, from my perspective Jimmy is one of the most real and to an extent empathetic people in this book. I’d even go so far to saying the author’s own perspective of him is slightly unfair since the expectations on Jimmy is more than his human nature made him to be.
The third, and last story I want to share is the Slasher, now color me amazed that this story comes from the master mind of Hirschi, it sort of scares me and I wonder how smart it is to be alone in the same room as this man. (And that was joke for those who doesn’t know me or Hirschi). No, but seriously the main character of this story is a serial killer and it takes a certain skill to write a character like that, at least in my opinion. And that makes me think about Jimmy again, the strong reactions towards him when we have a real psychotic killer a few stories down and no one had anything to say? Maybe it is easier to relate to psychotic killer than a human being with the self-preservation of his own species. I have no idea, but this story turned me off like a cold shower and I mean that in a good way. It is disgustingly creepy and puts you in the mind of a killer. Blech! Well done Hans Hirschi!
It is hard to write this review without saying, I don’t like short stories, but I really do liked these. Some were too short for me to get a true feel for the character or their situation, but the stories that I loved (the three mentioned and a few others) they really made a great impact on me and has you thinking long after you finished reading. No matter if that thought is in pure disgust because it was that horrible, or you felt like yelling at the author for scaring you half to death or feeling sorry for a character who is so misunderstood. My heart really goes out for Jimmy and I think in a way I probably like him the best of all the characters portrayed in this book.
What should be said is that in reading Shorts: Stories from beneath the Rainbow you as a reader will get the chance to see the width and depth of a great storytellers mind, Hans Hirschi’s mind and that shouldn't be missed out on!
And to my very very good friend, Congratulations to yet another great book to be read over and over!
You can find Hans on the following social medias:
Hans Hirschi’s website
Beaten Track Publishing
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.