Caution: Contains Small Parts by Kirstyn McDermott. Ebook review

CAUTION: CONTAINS SMALL PARTS by Kirstyn McDermott, Twelfth Planet Press, Kindle £4.38

Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
If you’re not familiar with Australian dark fiction or if you simply ( like me) missed this title when it was published two years ago, then you should immediately make amends and get a copy.
I had stumbled on Kirstyn McDermott’s name a few years ago, when I was reviewing volume 22 in the Stephen Jones famous series Best New Horror. The anthology included her story ” We All Fall Down”, a deeply disquieting but moving piece where lesbian love acquires a tragic, supernatural shade following a car accident. I was impressed, but I lost trace of McDermott until, recently, I met her again as an author in an Australian Year’s Best where her magnificent tale “Caution: Contains Small Parts” was the opening story.The acknowledgements page had led me to the present collection by the same title.
So, here we are with four, outstanding longish stories confirming the writer’s exceptional talent.
“Caution…” is an extraordinary, emotional ghost story revolving around a creepy wooden dog, so brilliant that I don’t want to spoil it by revealing too much.
“What Amanda Wants” is an insightful,bitter tale featuring an overworking, stressed counsellor dealing with an odd young woman affected by unusual problems.
In the enticing, horrific “Horn”, a fantasy writer get too deeply involved with Unicorns, while in
” The Home for Broken Dolls”, a clever mix of fantasy and horror, as well as a sort of fairy tale for adults, dolls behave just like human beings.
McDermott’s stories are offbeat,spellbinding tales where suspension of disbelief never staggers thanks to her hypnotic narrative style.
Wholeheartedly recommended.