Friday, November 26, 2010


Ian Ayris recently posted about the importance of coming up with a good short story title. I have to agree with him--it can almost make or break a story for me. Electric Candyland, the new Matthew McBride story at Darkest Before the Dawn, not only has a kickass title that rolls off the tongue, but sets you up for a wild, meth-induced ride.

There some blazing lines in here, like: "He stared lost into his own reflection, hard pressed to recognize the man he used to be. His eyes were a spiderweb of red lines that connected to deep black pupils which were as dead as a starless night." I love how he takes a cliche--bloodshot eyes--and totally reinvents it. The entirety of the opening scene with Fish examining himself in a mirror, unable to wrap his head around the most simple of facts, is both surreal and terrifying.

Then when two meth-addict cops show up looking to score, things go completely haywire, leading to an ending that's like a chorus of screeching violins. McBride seems to be everywhere lately (Crimefactory, Plots with Guns, A Twist of Noir, Needle's winter issue), and this is another fantastic addition to his body of work.


  1. "Sometimes paradise changed colors" is one of the best fucking change the action lines I've ever read. One of the main reasons it's so brilliant is you don't get what it is until the end of the story and then you realize it and are reduced to a simple "Jesus Christ", said over and over. Helluva ride Matthew. One ass kicking hell of a ride.

  2. It's brilliant. He's top of the range. The real 'noir' deal.

  3. Matthew def has it going on with his writing and his image. He seems like he could be a great character in a crimw novel himself. Love reading his stories as they go well with a Kid Rock soundtrack, a pack of Lucky's, and a bottle of Maker's Mark.

  4. aj, that was the line i had. super writing all the way through, topped off with an outstanding ending.


  5. Thanks a lot for the review and all the awesome & encouraging comments.