From the author, on the title:
The title of the collection was inspired by the First Epistle of Corinthians (15:5), written by Paul the Apostle: “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”. As with much of the bible, there are multiple interpretations of the meaning in this statement. But there are several interpretations of the title of this book too. Some within it do not sleep, some who read it may not sleep, and he who wrote it often doesn’t sleep.
So I found Adam Nevill (as a writer, not the actual person!) by randomly walking past his book The Ritual last year at my local library. Well I guess I didn’t actually walk past it, because I grabbed it and borrowed it from the library. It was really good – creepy, dark, and the characters felt like real people. I just went back and looked at my review (here), and it was actually two years ago. Anyway, I’ve had him on my “continue reading things from this guy” list for a while now. I found this collection of short stories on Amazon, and it was available for Kindle Unlimited. I’m a sucker for free ebooks.
Anyway, like I said, this is a collection of short stories. Each one took between fifteen and thirty minutes to read. I usually read my Kindle in my bed while trying to fall asleep. I started this book, and just got so creeped out by the first story that I changed it to a daytime only book, and read it on my Kindle app on my phone at work during lunch. I think the first story was my favorite. That’s at least the one that scared me the most. Some were totally weird and not really scary, but most of the stories were at least a little creepy. It’s amazing that he can write each story like it’s own little world with very distinct characters and settings. None of them felt like a rehashing of another story, or of The Ritual.
Here is a list of the stories, and how I felt about them:
Where Angels come In – this one was creepy (that will be a recurring theme), and a little scary. Mr. Nevill really knows how to set a dark mood.
The Original Occupant – this is the one that made me turn off my Kindle and only read this book in the daytime. It’s slightly reminiscent of The Ritual, in that it’s set in a Scandanavian / Nordic countryside, and there’s a creature lurking in the woods. That’s it though. Oh, except that it’s scary!
Mother’s Milk – not my favorite, but definitely creepy and kinda gross
Yellow Teeth – this one is kind of meandering at first, but it gets to a weird and scary place eventually.
Pig Think – scary for sure, and also super interesting
What God Hath Wrought? – this one is slightly western, slightly zombie, but definitely creepy.
Doll Hands – very weird, but also good
To Forget and Be Forgotten – creepy, and apparently a little of it is based on a true story, which makes it creepier.
The Ancestors – haunted murderous toys? Hell yes.
The Age of Entitlement – this one is only very slightly related to Yellow Teeth in that there is a friend who is an asshole. He’s also a taker, and the main character puts up with him for way too long. It made me cheer for a murder!
Florrie – this was a great way to end the book. It wasn’t so much scary as kind of sad. It also somehow felt comforting too.
I guess there weren’t any that I really didn’t like. Mother’s Milk was the closest to a bad one. It wasn’t actually bad either, just not quite my cup of tea (with milk).