(Dieser Artikel ist aus rational nicht zugänglichen Gründen in englischer Sprache verfasst. Ich bitte die Leser, die das stört, um Entschuldigung, aber nur ein bisschen. So wie Prominente das manchmal machen, wenn sie so tun, als würden sie sich entschuldigen, aber in Wirklichkeit nicht einmal bereit sind, den Eindruck zu erwecken, als würden sie eingestehen, einen Fehler begangen zu haben, und sowas sagen wie „Es tut mir Leid, dass einige von Ihnen sich von meinen Äußerungen angegriffen gefühlt haben.“)
I love Jeff Strand. I want to be like him. If he wasn’t so far away, I would probably loiter around his home each night and try to catch a glimpse of him, all the time trying to talk myself into the delusion that we are, indeed, quite close friends. I want his children. I mean, I want children with him, together, as a familiy. Not that I want to take the one he already has. Now, that would be creepy. Unfortunately, I’m male. I’m also heterosexual, so there goes that.
But should you read this, Jeff, and should you happen to be gay (which I have no reason to suspect, but what do I know?), please do not consider this my last word on the subject.
Now you know how much I love him, maybe it’s time to let you in on the reason: Jeff Strand is a writer. Scratch that. He is the writer. Which is also why I kind of hate him. Jeff Strand is exactly the writer I want to be. The only reason I am able to love him in spite of that ist that, at least, I’m slightly better-looking than him. That’s gotta be worth something, I guess.
He is funny, he is original, he paints convincing, interesting characters, he shows us their strengths and their weaknesses and gives us reasons to like them, whether they are good or bad, and then he kills them. His dialogues are quirky, amusing, and they are never just transparent plot devices to hand the reader some piece of information. His stories are fast-paced, violent, cruel, funny, touching, macabre, did I mention funny?, and absolutely insane.
Just reading the short descriptions provided on the cover should be enough to know that you want to buy all of his stories. For instance:
Wolf Hunt. Two thugs for hire. One beautiful woman. And one vicious frickin‘ werewolf.
The sinister Mr. Corpse. The feel-good zombie novel of the year.
Benjamin’s Parasite. A rather disgusting action/horror/comedy about why getting infested with a ghastly parasite is unpleasant.
Pressure. What if your best friend was a killer… And he wanted you to be just like him?
Oh, and he also has a blog.
If you’re still doubting, first: What the hell is wrong with you? Second:
„Do you have a cover story?“
„For your family. You’re not going to tell them that a couple of hired thugs came over and broke your thumbs for stealing from a drug lord, are you?“
„I guess not.“
„Are you clumsy?“
„I… I can be.“
„So, theoretically, you could have tripped, put out your hands to break your fall, hit the floor, and snapped your thumbs, correct?“
„I’m not sure.“
George sighed. „Work with me, Doug. This is for your benefit. I’m trying to protect your marriage. You want your grandkids to know that you’re a scumbag sleazeball criminal? You’re way too old to start life from scratch, so you need to commit to the story, make it believable. Let’s practice.“
„I fell… and, uh, hit the floor…“
„That’s total crap. You need conviction, and you also need a sheepish demeanor. Look me in the eye and start off with something like ‚You’ll never believe this‘, and then hold up your thumbs. That’ll make it look like you aren’t trying to hide anything. It’s kind of a ridiculous story, so your performance needs to be spot-on.“
Douglas cleared his throat. „You’ll never believe this… but I was walking through the living room…“
„Hold up your thumbs.“
Douglas held up his thumbs. „I was walking through the living room, and I tripped on a dog bone–“
„Chew toy sounds better.“
„A chew toy. I fell and tried to break my fall, and I hurt my thumbs.“
„Nobody’s going to punish the dog for making you trip, right?“
See what I mean? Now go and buy his books. All of them. Off you go!