Review of Wrathbone and Other Stories by Jason Parent

October 18, 2016


This is my first taste of the work of Jason Parent. Here there’s a main course, a novella of historical fiction, a psychological horror of sorts, and several bits of garnish, perhaps even midnight snacks, especially in the case of Revenge is a Dish.

From the onset, it is clear Jason Parent has an order to his delivery, keeping it on point with the theme and the pacing does quite well to build suspense. This suspense is almost immediate in Wrathbone, though subdued and mounting. The old-timey vibe offers a great backdrop to the ancillary tale to the greater truth most know a thing or two about from history class or perhaps History, the channel.

The assassination of Abe Lincoln, sure, everybody knows something about that. But what about the folks there witnessing the event?

Unravelling after the assassination, Wrathbone sees demons tearing apart his family and understands his duty as the head of the household.

It’s dark and compelling and the way the mindset is presented reminded me of a wonderfully dreary Dostoevsky tale. Breakage and second-guessing, a combination that works.

After Wrathbone comes a tight list of shorts, all were good and in the case of For the Birds, something wholly surprising, pushing it toward fantastically grim. Welcome left turn, is but a cherry on top.

To conclude the collection was a tale that jerked the senses and tickled any squeamish sensibilities before settling into a bleak comedy.

This collection is unarguably of note and is completely without filler, only the finest cuts included. Absolutely worthy of the short period it took to read.


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Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
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