Oh Fuck Oh Fuck It Hurts by Ruth Anna Evans
Our bodies are fragile and destructible things, and one of the few knowable things in life is that they will fail us, painfully and entirely. With the destruction of our flesh and bones, whether from the inside or out, comes true fear. And therein lies the horror.
This collection of stories by indie horror author Ruth Anna Evans also features one guest story by award-winning author Rik Hoskin. This book will gut you, will fill you with a very personal dread, and will leave you with thoughts in your head that you won't easily forget.
Pain and I are old friends
As a sufferer of misdiagnosis and constantly being pissed about by the medical system in my own country. The introduction from Ruth hits home on so many levels, as the author opens up on her own experiences with her health issues. This anthology of medical horrors has at least one story the reader can strongly relate to. Whether that is the fear of medical bills in the story Lifeline or the heartbreaking story of suffering from an autoimmune disease. If you suffer from chronic pain or illness, this book has you covered as the reader is taken through a wide range of emotions. Fat hit home, as I also take medication with the side effects of weight gain. In the end, I just accepted who I am now at this new weight. But Cara's story pulls hard at the heartstrings and then amplifies the fear of weight gain and how your mind can make the situation worse. But the story also outlines her desperation as she goes for an experimental treatment for weight loss. The reader follows her journey all the way through and the horrors are real. Colonoscopy certainly brings back memories, as one of the many tests you endure for a diagnosis. The whole process down to the horrible liquid you ingest to 'clear you out,' is on point and to an extent made me feel better knowing someone else knows the experience. You feel less alone when you get someone else's first-hand account, and I could tell that for Ruth this story was deeply personal. But I also loved the creative freedom of Side Effects Include, as Laura endures so much pain and misery when trying to find a diagnosis for something that started with hair loss. Showing that not everyone reacts to treatments the same way, the scary part is these things DO happen. But each story is layered with amazing character development and the stories all hold true to the reader in some shape or form. The final story provided by Rik Hoskin is called The Visitor. As we delve into the life of a man paying for his mother's care beneath the surface is something much more sinister. The story by Rob just adds even more layers to this incredible collection of Medical horrors.
Brilliant Medical Horror
I was caught off guard here. I shouldn't have been, I know Ruth Anna Evans' writing style and I love it. Raw emotions, horror based in reality, strong characters. I think I had assumed with the cover and the title that these stories would be a little lighter, insanely over-the-top, or horror comedy. Nope! The stories in this collection are true to Ruth Anna's style. They are deep, emotional, beautiful and grotesque. I was positive that this book was made for me. I have been working in healthcare for 27 years, is there anyone better to review medical horror? Probably, but I'm going to do it anyway. Every story in this collection hits the mark. The healthcare system is insanely messed up. Being on the front lines, I know this better than anyone. But, to read these stories where reality is stretched just enough to make things that are difficult or unfortunate absolutely terrifying, it makes a person question the things that happen on a daily basis that are not terribly far from being devastating. We are also gifted with a tale by Rik Hoskin at the end of the book. It is bleak and contains a twist that I didn't see coming. I would absolutely recommend this collection to anyone. I may have felt things a little more deeply than people that aren't in the medical field, but everyone has been a patient at some point in their lives. These stories are raw, emotional, gory, beautiful and devastating. Definitely check this one out!
Gory and Good!
“If he had been wearing a heart monitor, it would have shown a flatline, but those weren’t pro bono anymore.” Ruth Anna Evans’ new collection of medical horror hits the spot! There are a number of short stories by herself, and one by Rik Hoskin as well. I have previously read “Side Effects Include” (and it was horribly wonderful!) as a stand-alone, but all the other tales were new to me. They are all frightening, devastating, and at times feel all too real as the future of healthcare becomes more and more of a capitalist structure. Seriously scary stuff. “Fat” had me tearing up, it hits way too close to home with society’s unrealistic standards and expectations (especially for women) on how you are supposed to look, act, and be…. The cover art is a shock to the eye with the colours and needles. It will definitely draw the reader in, don’t be afraid to crack these pages open!
Eclectic Medical Horror with Heart
This is a collection of short horror stories with a medical theme by Ruth Anna Evans, with an additional story by Rik Hoskin. Though the title is quite in your face and boisterous, a lot of these stories have Evans’s typical pathos and heart. There are eight stories in this collection and they cover a nice variety of horror. I just want to state up front that I received this book as an advance review copy. The opening two stories, Lifeline and Autoimmune touch nicely on the healthcare system and provide commentary on medical costs and insurance with the latter incorporating some fun body horror into the mix. FAT, one of the longer stories in the anthology also touches on the costs of healthcare, but focuses more on issues of self worth and the lengths to which we sometimes wish to go in order to attain an ideal. This one especially has the familiar Ruth Anna Evans feel and introspection, expressing the main character’s desperation and fatigue with the hand she’s been dealt. I also contemplate miracle diets and do a fair share of mental math when I weigh myself… Defective, the next story, will resonate deeply with anyone who is pregnant or has mothered children. It’s short and effective and doesn’t get preachy. Colonoscopy reads less like a fiction tale and more like a preparation for the aging. I’ve not had one yet, but my father did, and I don't look forward to it all. Side Effects Include is a harrowing story about the dangers of how the drugs meant to help us can also do us harm we never imagined. It’s also a nice critique on how we’re at the mercy of what modern medicine says we have to do. Again, I didn’t find it overly preachy, and it's blackly humorous in its way. Sixteen is a fun if a little tragic body horror story about how those damned young people just don't care! It’s a little on the nose, but it’s definitely tongue in cheek and mirthful despite the implications. The final story is The Visitor by Rik Hoskin. Though it’s well written and has an interesting premise, I found this to be the weakest story in the collection. It has good characterization and intrigue, but it all felt to me like a big setup for a final reveal that left me wanting a little more substance. It’s a creative story, though with a good voice. I’d recommend this collection for fans of horror with heart. The cover and title had me wondering if this would be more extreme horror than I was expecting, but it ended up being pretty insightful and a great deal of fun at times as well. I’ve read some of Evans’s other work and this was in line with those stories. If you like her work, I think you’ll enjoy this anthology.