Review of “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold

Just now, I posted a review of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones on Goodreads. I am posting only the opening two paragraphs here, because the rest of the review contains spoilers. If you would like to read the entire review, please look me up on Goodreads or look up reviews of The Lovely Bones and search for mine among the hundreds already there.

I listened to the audio version read by the author, Alice Sebold. This version is about 10.5 hours in length and I listened to it on a trip from Midland, TX, to Gillett, AR, that lasted about 10.4 hours (counting only actual driving time). When I arrived home, I brought my baggage, groceries, and the dog in and dropped everything else until I had finished it.

This book is very well written. It is poignant, thoughtful, easy to comprehend, and reader-friendly. The title does not refer to what you probably think it does. That’s not revealed to the last chapter or two. It really makes one think about one’s relationships with one’s family and how one fits into the overall picture of life and death. I definitely recommend reading this book. It might change how you look at things.

Please continue to my profile on Goodreads to read the rest of this review.


Update of October 25, 2019: Developing a YouTube Presence

Just a note to inform everyone that I am developing a YouTube channel. I have not posted any videos yet but will be posting a few test videos soon just to learn the ins and outs of the system and the capabilities of my rudimentary video and audio equipment.

In the meantime, I have put together a few playlists. If you want to view them, go to YouTube and search for “Phil Slattery” (of course) and playlist. When I did this just now, the first nine playlists that appeared were all mine.  The others involving Zumba, etc. are from another Phil Slattery in Ireland or elsewhere. There are several Phil Slattery’s on the Internet, but very few involved in writing fiction.

All the playlists are for my own entertainment/ edification/ education at this point. However, two will be of interest to those following my writing. They are entitled “The Man Who Escaped from Hell” and “Shadows and Stars”. These are playlists I put together to help capture the mood of my novels in progress: Shadows and Stars and The Man Who Escaped from Hell, the work that is to follow Shadows and Stars. Think of them as soundtracks to novels similar to movie soundtracks. Were these two novels to be made into movies, these are the soundtracks I would suggest.

Hopefully soon I will be posting some videos concerning my writing and other interests of mine.



“A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” is Free on Amazon Kindle Today (Reviews Wanted)

Cover of the Kindle edition

The last face Jack saw was the executioner’s as he slid the needle into Jack’s arm. 

“I didn’t mean to kill him,” said Jack. 

“The jury decided that you did,” replied the executioner. 

What seemed like several minutes passed while Jack, strapped to the gurney, sweated and waited, head throbbing with tension, watching the buzzing fluorescent lights overhead, until a black fog enveloped him. 

He awoke standing naked holding two buckets overflowing with concentrated sewage. Sweat mixed with grime and soot rolled down his arms. The atmosphere, a mixture of steam, tear gas, sulfur, and the smell of death, burned his throat and stung his eyes, filling them with tears. What little he could see glowed mottled orange and red. Thousands of naked men and women, covered in grime and sweat, cringed whimpering among jagged rocks or ran about in terror while lugging buckets of sewage, blood, or God knew what else.

From the short story “A Tale of Hell” by Phil Slattery

My e-book collection of horror shorts A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” is free today on Amazon Kindle.   For your copy, go to my Amazon author’s page where you can find links to my other works as well.

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the resurrection of the Aztec black arts to a medicine man’s revenge in the Old West to the depths of Hell to mob vengeance and modern day necromancy to sociopathic serial killers and on to alien worlds in the distant future.

Edward Z gave the collection five stars on Amazon and commented:

August 16, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition
There is a lot of sorcery and dark magic in this collection and the main characters are mostly evil or morally bad in some way. Plenty about Hell, demons, and psychopaths too. This led to some dark and violent stories. But there was a great variety of plots that kept it going along nicely and made it enjoyable to read.

Two werewolf stories are in here, and they are both done in clever and original ways, one being done partly from a wolf’s point of view. It had sort of a dark comedy thing going on and was rather amusing. Three of the stories feature a sorcerer named Jack Thurston, who is a really well done evil sort of character and the best of the bunch in my opinion. The author methodically goes through his rather complicated and gross preparations for the spells and it adds a bit more weight to them then usually found in these kinds of stories.

The short stories section ends with a great Sci-Fi story that is a complete change of pace compared to the rest. The insect alien was given a lot of personality and the entire backstory created for the spacefaring humans and the alien planet was well done and detailed considering it’s a short story.

The Flash fiction and Microfiction sections then take it back to the dark characters and/or wizardry and are quick, fun reads to end the collection.

P.S. Winn gave the collection four stars on Amazon and commented:

October 28, 2018

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Comments on previously published stories in the collection include:

Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: “Wolfsheim” is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “A Tale of Hell” as a “… chilling vision of hell”. Other comments on “A Tale of Hell” from readers of Fiction on the Web:

“An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack’s reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack’s malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…”

“brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…”

” Enjoyed this story. I thought it was nicely written. Started with a familiar vision of hell, but added several unique treatments; kept me interested in how it all would end. Thanks”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “Dream Warrior” as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”. Fiction on the Web readers commented:

“quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done”

“…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come…”

“Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!”

“I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands.”

Reader comments on “Murder by Plastic” include:

“Chilling and brilliantly economical”

“Very well-paced and intriguing”

“Fabulous story! Five stars!”

Get your copy today and check for other free works of mine as well while you are on Amazon.

Go to or Goodreads or any other social media to leave a review.