Fly on the Wall

Fly on the Wall: Fairy Tales from a Misanthropic Universe is a collection of short stories showcasing the kind of dark twists and bloody morality that evoke Martial’s epigrams and the Grimm fairy tales, with sets that often wouldn’t look out of place in a Tarantino movie. The writing of the stories pulls in similar dramatic contrasts. While one will read very much like a classic fairy tale, the next can come across as slasher horror, to the point that I found that the author’s technical versatility in this aspect was one of the most interesting points of the collection.

Alfy Dade’s themes, running from a page to several thousand words, range from inevitability to consent, the point often coming from a completely unexpected angle to make the reader think and rethink. While short story is a type of writing I almost never read, I still found several of these made for compelling reading, playing as they do on fatal weaknesses, broken minds, and unifying the book with the realisation that, in the end, everyone’s struggles end the same way. The book is starkly depressing, technically brilliant, and certainly worth exploring for anyone looking for food for thought and a no-punches-pulled view of society.

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