The Man Who Screams at Nightfall

and other stories

Fiction - Anthology
159 Pages
Reviewed on 09/21/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

RUSH LEAMING has done many things including spending 15+ years in film/video production working on such projects as The Lord of the Rings films. His first novel, Don't Go, Ramanya, a political thriller set in Thailand, was published in the fall of 2016 and reached number one on Amazon. His second novel followed suit in summer 2018, entitled The Whole of the Moon, set in the Congo at the end of the Cold War. 2021 saw the 5-star reception of his crime thriller Dead Tree Tales. His short stories have appeared in Notations, 67 Press, Lightwave, 5k Fiction, and The Electric Eclectic. He has lived in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Zaire, Thailand, Spain, Greece, England, and Kenya. He currently lives in South Carolina.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite

The Man Who Screams at Nightfall and Other Stories by Rush Leaming is a powerful, gritty, and exquisitely written anthology based upon the author’s own travels (and 93% true so he tells us). The tales take us to some superbly presented settings--Zaire, NYC, Thailand, Spain, Greece, and South Carolina--and each story is prefaced by an abstract black-and-white photograph. Some of the stories are told in the first person wherein the narrator directly speaks to the reader, and others use the traditional third-person technique. But the most outstanding feature of the volume is the array of down and out characters we meet, characterizations worthy of those we meet in the very best literature—a young nun who flirts with a dying American engineer to keep his spirits up and an aged African man who can fix anything during the day but who keeps the villagers awake by his mysterious nightly screams, to name a few.

My favorite character is Ella, La Loca, a drug-ravaged model in Spain who sells fruit on the beach and steals cocktails from tourists’ tables late into celebratory nights. A number of the stories are told by a roving world backpacker in his numerous locations and dealing with the flotsam and jetsam of humanity, stealing, fighting, and falling in love. Oh, yes, there’s Robo-Cop, a drug rehab security guard, who has a quick, career-ending romance with an inmate. And a host of others who held my interest throughout. The Man Who Screams at Nightfall by Rush Leaming is a breeze to read, highly entertaining, and brilliantly presented—not to be missed.

Pikasho Deka

The Man Who Screams At Nightfall And Other Stories by Rush Leaming is an anthology of loosely connected stories following a young man's journey to self-discovery. Spanning forty years and bouncing to and fro between four different continents, these stories cover the life of Michael Shaw. The book opens with Michael forming a bond with a healer in a remote village in Africa, only to witness him disappear without a trace. A few years later, Michael is stranded with a young nun in an African forest after a motor vehicle accident, with an illness that leaves him on the brink of death. As the years pass by, Michael experiences the unexpected absurdities of life that include an encounter with a street prostitute in New York City that goes wrong, learning the devastating consequences of cheating at a pub in Thailand, and killing a man in Greece.

The Man Who Screams At Nightfall is a collection of slice-of-life stories that showcase the ups and downs of life through the experiences of a young man searching for meaning and purpose far from home. According to Rush Leaming, 93% of the stories in this book are true, which, while reading them, it doesn't seem that hard to believe. Despite the extraordinary events in Michael's life, there is a sense of authenticity to the narrative that makes his tales feel genuinely human and relatable. In the earlier stories, Michael is a somewhat naïve young man looking for adventure in exotic lands who, towards the end, becomes a dedicated father. A captivating collection I will gladly recommend.

Lex Allen

Rush Leaming's advice to readers to "Get ready for a literary journey unlike any you've experienced before" is an understatement written large. The Man Who Screams at Nightfall: And Other Stories is a landmark collection of short stories depicting a young man on a classic voyage of self-discovery, wandering the earth in search of some purpose in life. From childhood to parenthood and everything in between, these tales are raw and unflinching, and at times, poignant and moving.

The collection of stories by Rush Leaming in The Man Who Screams at Nightfall defines the unique form of storytelling, flash fiction, at its finest and ultimate level. Short sentences, concisely written to peel back one layer at a time, move the story toward a conclusion that often isn't one, and that's a prime factor in flash fiction. In each story, Leaming drops the reader into a specific scene, in a different part of the world and environment. Without a lengthy description of the characters, just enough to provide the imagery necessary to identify them, he catches and holds the reader's attention like no other I've experienced in the hundreds of books and stories I've read over the years. Each story presents a unique set of circumstances and a snapshot of a single event in the lead character's life. Verisimilitude, a sense of reality, shines through every story, making it all the more captivating and entertaining. The reality of the characters, the scenes, and the locations are confirmed by the author's statement: "BTW - all the stories in this collection are at least 93% true."