Darker Seuss

Darker Seuss

Extra Grim Fairy Tales of Even Grimmer Existence

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
94 Pages
Reviewed on 01/03/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Growing up as the fat dorky kid, Dr. Matthew McKeague quickly learned the power of comedy to make people hate him less. Later, a 5th-grade teacher told him that he was like an “even darker Steven King” after hearing his rhyming poem about shark attacks. Surprisingly, his classmates approved too. So Matt kept studying storytelling until he became one of those silly doctors who can’t save you if you’re choking on a hot dog. Matt's first book "Darker Seuss: Extra Grim Fairy Tales of Even Grimmer Existence" quickly became "Number 1 New Release" on Amazon in Humorous Verse, driven by Matt's unique satirical comedy that should stand the test of time rather than becoming outdated in a week. Matt's style is one part wacky, one part dark, and one part heartfelt film from the 1980s featuring underdogs and awkward misfits. Sardonic, rebellious, and smart with a mix of intentional stupidity, Matt strives to make audiences laugh while also contemplating life's (sometimes) harsh realities.

Book Review

Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite

Darker Seuss: Extra Grim Fairy Tales of Even Grimmer Existence by Dr. Matthew McKeague is a hilariously arresting collection of five short stories that will both entertain readers and provoke them to think about life. This is a perfect collection of five stories told in verse, very beautiful verse, with lines that will ring eloquently through the reader’s heart; they are sometimes grim, sometimes humorous, and at times a powerful reflection of life itself. Readers will discover Dave, a hopeless man struggling to get a handle on life, an old grandfather writes unusual notes to his grandchildren, and then the kid who gets stuck in a crushing rut.

There is so much to these tales, more than the mere art of telling stories. The language is so beautiful with powerful rhymes that ring through like music to the ears. The author has a gift for humor and it is seamlessly woven into the stories so that readers find themselves laughing as they read on. For instance:

“I am shabby and flabby and falling apart.
From my gut to my butt to my clearly clogged heart.
My memory’s fading. I notice more napping.
When I try jumping jacks, my back fat starts clapping.”

Darker Seuss: Extra Grim Fairy Tales of Even Grimmer Existence is a masterpiece, a great work of poetry with very relevant and well-executed illustrations. Although the stories are entertaining, each story has many lessons that readers can apply to life. Yes, one can’t help thinking while reading the stories. I enjoyed the great characters, the uniqueness and the clarity of the persona’s voice, and above all, the humor that permeates every line of this great poetry. Dr. Matthew McKeague is a great writer.

Jack Magnus

Darker Seuss: Extra Grim Fairy Tales of Even Grimmer Existence is a humorous collection of short stories in verse written by Dr. Matthew McKeague and illustrated by Van Gia Hao. While the subjects he covers in this collection are definitely not the Dr. Seuss material one would ordinarily read to young children, the rhythm and rhyme schemes found herein do have the cadence and movement long associated with the classic children's author’s work. McKeague includes five short works in this collection that feature individuals who are all somewhat out of step with the rest of the world. His opening story, Dave Vs Existence follows the dismal routines of a depressed man who somehow gets jolted back into life via a deadly accident with a truck. Advice from Gramps is a series of letters written in a hospice by a grandfather whose relations are all sprawled out and sleeping around him. Clean Up Aisle Jen features an obsessive clean freak who finally loses it on a trip to the supermarket.

Will Dr. Seuss be rotating madly in his grave each time someone reads Dr. Matthew McKeague's homage collection, Darker Seuss: Extra Grim Fairy Tales of Even Grimmer Existence? He might just be, but I somehow think he would also feel that that's not such a bad thing -- it might liven up the afterlife a bit. McKeague's stories are clever and funny, and his characters are astonishingly real, strange as that may seem. Van Gia Hao's illustrations are masterful. As I read the verses and followed on to the illustrations, I felt as though I had somehow fallen into a time warp. Visions of those epic underground comics from the 1960s, Zap Comix, starting competing, and blending in with the illustrator's artwork, and I began to wonder if somehow R. Crumb had been swept up in the creation of this decidedly different short story collection. There's something for everyone in Darker Seuss, but only if you have a sense of humor -- if not, try it for the illustrations -- they're sublime. Dr. Matthew McKeague's homage collection, Darker Seuss: Extra Grim Fairy Tales of Even Grimmer Existence is highly recommended.

Ruffina Oserio

Darker Seuss: Extra Grim Fairy Tales of Even Grimmer Existence by Dr. Matthew McKeague is a collection of five engaging stories in verse. The stories touch on a variety of themes, including hope and despair, the absurd and the ordinary, and a lot of philosophy, but they are very humorous, too. Readers will read about a grandpa writing short tips for his grandchildren, a boy who keeps to himself getting stuck in a crushing rut, but the “The Greasy Spoon Conspiracy” will leave readers laughing their lungs out. The stories are dark and absorbing, featuring characters that reflect the grim quotidian that stares at us all, even occasionally.

Darker Seuss: Extra Grim Fairy Tales of Even Grimmer Existence is a work of pure genius, a well-crafted piece of poetry with exciting rhymes and a rhythm that is as steady as the sound of the tropical dance. How beautiful the poetry is, the imagery, the perfect rhyming of well-measured poetic lines. What is astonishing is that the author doesn’t sacrifice plot for poetry. Readers will enjoy the diction — which reflects the tone of the story, the characters, and the setting. Dr. Matthew McKeague has an irresistible charm that comes across powerfully through the use of humor and a variety of literary styles. It’s entertaining in a suffocating kind of way. And then there are the illustrations that are so telling in themselves. Simply brilliant! Loved every bit of it.