For A Breath I Tarry

Fiction - Anthology
256 Pages
Reviewed on 03/24/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

For A Breath I Tarry is a collection of original short stories and poems written by a cooperative of different artists and collated into a single volume by Edward Campbell and Joanna Friedman. Each piece does have an arm's-length relationship with the same man, Joseph Cooper, whether implied or outright stated. The work ranges in length, tone, and tenor, from the free-verse poem Farmstead Remnants by Karen Shepherd, which reflects on the omnipresence of poetry in everyday life, illustrating the poet's craft through imagery of rural settings and mundane objects, and leaning into poetry's resilience and potential for transformation, to Darkness by Edward Campbell, where Joseph Cooper finds himself in a hellish realm, surrounded by screams and grotesque scenes of torture, until a demon reveals who is responsible for his torment.

I love a good collection of horror stories and found that the different voices telling them in For A Breath I Tarry made the experience even better. The writing is excellent across the board, and there is no shortage of talent or imagination. There were two that I loved the most. The first is The Wall Street Horror Show by Rob Santana, where an illicit bull-versus-bear fight unfolds on Wall Street. People witness the brutal spectacle and its aftermath, which is the thriving of Wall Street. Santana's metaphor is exceptional; that a triumph in the market is not without casualties, with winners and losers, and that success has a cost. The second is This is Your Next Life by Eleanor Hunt, when Paul finds himself in a bizarre afterlife game show where he must choose his next life from three doors: a magical realm, a mundane existence as a girl, or the mystery door. It's a brilliant blend of absurdity and existential questioning. Overall, this is a fabulous collection. Very highly recommended.