Reviews tagging Gore

Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

12 reviews

apiersonsmela's review

Go to review page

dark sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

I wanted to like this book more than I did. What I feel it does well is to draw attention to many pressing issues in modern (American) society, but where it falls short is in the length and nuance of the stories, so that many are just “wouldn’t it be messed up if this happened?” Personal favorite is Through the Flash, but I wouldn’t recommend other stories to my friends. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

viaviaggi's review

Go to review page

challenging dark mysterious reflective tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

3.75


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

emily_mh's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

amykuc's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging dark mysterious reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

This book was unlike any I've ever read before. The writing is tight and the stories are often difficult to look into. We start off with The Finkelstein 5 where a trial beyond understanding ends with a horrific verdict. And once you're in, it's impossible to climb out. Amusement parks, retail shopping, and school shootings are all written about from a voice we have never heard before. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

booksthatburn's review

Go to review page

adventurous challenging dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

FRIDAY BLACK is a finely constructed collection of stories which range from simply invoking a certain kind of Black and American existence, to ones where the premise is inextricable from the intersection of these identities. 

Some of them have not literally happened but feel like they could if reality got just a little bit worse (or, more awfully, like they’re already here). Others are more speculative, requiring some shift in reality in order to be plausible, or being altogether impossible. In all of them, the relevant social and existential rules are deftly conveyed to build tiny pockets of a different space, in which a story is told that believes its own premise unabashedly and wholeheartedly. 

Three of the stories have a shared underlying reality, but I’m not certain whether the others are meant to be connected with them or not. None of the premises are mutually exclusive, but a few would definitely be oddly paired if they canonically coexist. My favorites are “Zimmer Land” (for the way it shows the precarious position of a marginalized employee in a job which objectifies his existence even as it exploits his identity), Friday Black” (for making shopping feel like a zombie story), and “Through the Flash” (for unflinchingly capturing the potential and inevitability of brutality in a certain kind of time loop).

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

mateoj's review

Go to review page

challenging dark tense fast-paced

2.0

life tip: 'I should have stopped reading after the one about aborted fetuses' will always be a true statement. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

kyarabereading's review

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional funny mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

4.5

I think Adjei-Brenyah does a good job of mixing in commentary of very real social issues with very absurd elements of fantasy. It's those crazy twists that each story has that really drew me in as a reader and helped me want to find the meaning behind each story. The book covers really dark topics that make you want to put the book down because they can be hard to stomach, but Adjei-Brenyah's writing style is so beautiful and haunting and interesting that I couldn't bring myself to do so. Also, some stories shine more than others, but I think that's expected of any short story collection. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read, and I will definitely be reading it again. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

adamnoel's review

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

I really enjoyed this book. Some stories sincerely left me breathless. Obviously, they're horror stories, but this was horror not meant to scare the reader, but to leave them truly horrified. More than one story left me anxious, almost nauseated as I contemplated them. More than once, I finished the story and had to put the book down and recoup before starting the next. Adjei-Brenyah wonderfully executed what he set out to do, and I look forward to reading his next release. However, not all stories were as strong as others, sometimes by a wide margin. A few left me mystified as to what the point even was. I suppose they could've been grotesque for the sake of it (which is a valid form of horror, don't get me wrong) but in a book that was so clearly centered on social/political commentary and metaphors that beg you to ponder them later, I felt like some were out of place. But overall, I was really impressed, and what few stories I didn't like were outweighed tenfold by how much I enjoyed the others. Adjei-Brenyah has a really intriguing style and his creativity is intense. Definitely give this book a try if you're on the fence about it!

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

hpfan9501's review

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

horizonous's review against another edition

Go to review page

The collection opens up with a gut punch of a story called "THE FINKELSTEIN 5" and I highly recommend it, beyond that I was more or less completely lost, or in the case of "LARK STREET", repulsed. To me that story striked me as blatantly pro-life with a teenage couple who decides to have an abortion and the two aborted foetuses coming back to guilt-trip the guy for a night.. After that I kept reading because I thought there must be something more to this collection with all the praise it gets, but when I couldn't even get through its titular story I decided, this wasn't for me.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings