Let Me Out I've Had Enough
by Mark Matthews
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 1 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 8 Oct 2021
"Matthews is the reigning king of modern psychological horror." —Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award winning author of KIN
Grief, depression, loneliness, suicide—these are true monsters who live under our bed. Prepare to be taken by the hand to explore the darkest of human emotions and fears. Stories about those of us who have had too much and cry out desperately for help, begging for relief, asking of anyone who might listen—Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough. The first collection of shorts from Mark Matthews, the author of novels such as Milk-Blood, The Hobgoblin of Little Minds, and the Shirley Jackson Award Nominated editor of Lullabies for Suffering.
Stories range from the most basic horrors to the most cosmic—A father dangling from a noose after an attempted hanging gone wrong. A psychiatrist haunted by the spirits of his dead ex-patients. An alien woman must contract a virus to save the human race, and a father must sacrifice his life to do the same. You'll visit eight different worlds, created by the 'master of modern psychological horror,' and after you've returned to where you began, you'll arrive completely safe, but certainly not the same.
*Content Warning for frequent mentions of suicide*
Includes the previously published work Body of Christ
Includes new fiction set within the world of the author's novel: The Hobgoblin of Little Minds and multiple other pieces of never published before works.
"Matthews is a damn good writer, and make no mistake, he will hurt you"-JACK KETCHUM, author of The Girl Next Door
"Matthews is the reigning king of modern psychological horror." ~KEALAN PATRICK BURKE, author of KIN and Sour Candy
"Few new writers today are doing horror with such intensity." ~MICHAEL A ARNZEN, five-time Bram Stoker Award winning author
"Matthews writes true reality horror, with supernatural elements that only serve to make his fiction more believable." ~MICHAEL BRADFORD, Executive Producer, Monkey Knuckle Films
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 15 members
Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough is a collection of psychological horror stories that delves into depression, isolation, grief, with most of the stories focusing on death, often suicide. Given the dark, disturbing nature of these stories it almost feels wrong to say I enjoyed the book, but it’s the truth. If you’re looking for ‘happy endings’ looks elsewhere. If author Mark Matthews’s intention was to make his readers uncomfortable while dealing with some serious issues, I’d say he was quite successful. As with most short story collections, I found some stories to be more successful than others, but I enjoyed the vast majority of them, and the despite the dark nature of the stories the ‘inspiration’ behind the final story in the collection Met My Old Lover in the Grocery Store honestly made me laugh. (I love Dan Fogelberg’s Old Lang Syne) I’ve like to thank the author, Wicked Run Press, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough.
Let Me Out I've Had Enough by Mark Matthews presents a collection of short stories revolving around death, despair, and people who are at the end of their rope. It’s a raw and visceral exploration of the human psyche during people’s darkest hours—written by a licensed professional counselor. Needless to say, this is one heavy read. The stories vary in subject and genre, but they are all filled with the same underlying theme of sadness and desperation. On one hand, there’s by far the most bizarre and experimental of the bunch: “Body of Christ.” This story centers around both a girl coping with the death of her mother and a boy who's coping with the death of his father in … unusual ways. This particular story teeters between grotesque and comically absurd at times, but its horrifying conclusion redeemed the story for me and made my skin crawl. There are two standouts in this collection for me though. First is “The Last Bug Chaser.” The story follows an alien who may be the last of its kind and whose body is key to the survival of the human species against a raging deadly virus. This was my personal favorite of the bunch and I found it to be a compelling and unique spin on the alien invasion trope. Second is “The Burdens of the Father,” an eerie dystopian tale where Earth's oxygen is limited and an expecting father grapples with whether to try and rehome his family. All in all, Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough is a haunting and fascinating exploration of mental illness if you’re in an alright head space to read it.
Thank you so much to Wicked Run Press and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC; it is greatly appreciated. This book contains seven short stories, and one novella. They all vary by subject and genre, with some even having a major sci-fi feel, but they all share the dark thoughts that humans are capable of. There is an introduction by the author that I definitely think is a must read before diving into these stories, as he explains some of the major content warnings. Do not read this book if you are in a dark headspace, or are having any thoughts of suicide. The first and last stories are probably my favorites in this collection. I found them both to be quite powerful, and play on some statistics. Even though this book is extremely bleak, the last story actually leaves us with some hope, and is probably the closest this can get to a "happy ending". Suicide is a huge theme in these stories, but religion also plays a key part. You can definitely see the questions that the author has about existence and the afterlife. It's truly a deep-dive into the author's mind, and is fascinating even. With that in mind, some of these stories are stomach churning. The novella, Body of Christ, is insanely dark, depressing, and even terrifying. Although the whole time I was reading this one all I could think is, "that's not how women work," so prepare for some strangeness here. This collection will not be for everyone. It is the epitome of our dark thoughts, so many might find that these stories go too far. This is another reason why I think the author's introduction is so important. He is a professional counselor that is exposed to suicide daily, and has used writing as an outlet for that experience. I think writing is a fantastic way to deal with trauma and emotion, and it's quite personal that the author has chosen to share it with us.
Let Me Out I've Had Enough is the first collection of short stories written by Mark Matthews, an author that I had the pleasure to know thanks to his beautiful horror novel The Hobgoblin of Little Minds. This collection of horror / sci-fi stories heavily delves into depression, grief, loneliness, suicide: because of its content, I would not recommend this book if you're having dark thoughts (please read the introduction by the author, he explains a bit the content of each story and respective trigger warnings). As with any collection, I didn't connect with all the stories ("The Last Bug Chaser" for example is about an alien coming to earth with the goal to contract a powerful virus to save humanity - isn't it ironic? Still to early for me, sorry), but some I really enjoyed. Here's my favorites: - Mastectomy Scars: the story of a daughter who recently lost her mother and desperately misses her - heartbreaking but beautiful; - Body of Christ: the longest story in the collection, possibly one of the weirdest and most disturbing novellas I've ever read in my life but so good; - Mask of Sanity: a classic horror story of a new drug with very strange and unpredictable side effects. Eight different worlds, but all equally dark and unsettling. Definitely not for everybody, but still a good book. 3 stars. * I'd like to thank Mark Matthews, Wicked Run Press and NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review.