Thursday, February 28, 2019

Book Review: 'No Happy Endings' by Gábor Eichammer

No Happy Endings by Gábor Eichammer
‘Waves are like memories, each passing second they form and then fade away’

Hungarian author/illustrator Gábor Eichammer aka ‘the Oakhammer’ is also an occasional stand-up comedian. His short stories reflect his statement that “I started the Oakhammer to share the stories that I have written and illustrated throughout the years. I always made up stories, after a while I wrote them down and eventually I began illustrating them myself. I call my style dilettante self deprecation is my nature.’ Gábor has published and received awards for his works in his native Hungary. NO HAPPY ENDINGS is his first book written in English.

A strange assortment of stories lies in wait for the reader of this new collection, and the spin on these seven tales take us to the point of resolution - and leave us with ‘no happy ending.’ The tales are ‘The, Wolf, the horse, the Eagle and the Snake’, Bald Spot’, ‘The Last Voyage of the Overett’, ‘Green Dragon’, ‘Taste of Evil’, ‘The Lord of Lightening’, and Someone’s in the Wolf’. 

The bite of Gábor’s prose is distinctive and propels these odd little tales. ‘The crooked tower stood on a mountain’s side, a pustule formed by ill hands. In it, a single inhabitant lived – a wretched mummy of a man who was young once. As a youthful lad, a great yearning for a maiden made him mad. A blond lass with eyes blue as the ocean became his folly. He never could have her, she was long promised to another…After a long battle with himself, he decided to forge his own fate and ran into the darkness of the night. He took his body, his own wretched vessel and hid it under a rock. His sol, black from all the venomous anger he bore, now became free. From under the stone out came a wolf instead.’ 

This unique and fascinating verbiage accompanies each of these stories, and the author proves he is equally adept in surveying thrillers, fantasy, horror, and insightful themes. Much of the joy of reading this entertaining book is due to the addicting style of the prose: just when you think you have outguessed the tale the surprise comes. This is a fine debut in the English language from an obviously multitalented young man.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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