Steven Deighan. Let me tell you a bit about him and the stories he’s inclined to tell us. No, come over here with me to the rear of the pub where there’s less noise and confusion and where you can hear me clearly. That’s it. Sit down……
Now, you’d think by my setting you up in this situation that I’m about to convey to you just how incredible Mr. Deighan’s writing is,
regarding in particular the hundred-some-odd-paged book of short stories he’d submitted to me for review a handful of months prior to my ultimate evaluation of it:
A Dead Calmness.
Of itself, what we have here are fourteen short tales that, from a seasoned reader’s point of view, appear at first a bit shallow and stylistically unrefined. That aspect falls in line with a young writer trying to find his voice, is all. As I perused the first story then the next, I initially feared that I’d set myself upon a journey of having to endure a certain mediocrity along the lines of a university professor having to read through a student’s attempts to entertain me for a passing grade in creative fiction.
I hate it when that happens, because each book I review I proceed in reading with as little presumption as possible and, for the sake of its author and the genre itself, I take great care in giving it a worthwhile chance.
By the time I completed my reading of A Dead Calmness I was mystified. I was hoping for an enjoyable read, but, being an honest reviewer, I at the outset wasn’t so sure. What I came to realize was that each story got better, that I was witnessing a writer at the beginning of what’s certainly a most promising career struggling for his voice, and that the work as a whole displayed a showcase of vivid progression into what made me inevitably exclaim a passionately hearty wow.
Feels Like Stephen King was the story upon which fell the crescendo of this writer’s talent in this offering, written with a literary ingenuity along the lines of the best of us, and The Nightmare Man heralded a skill that can turn a novice into an eventual visionary.
Note: I recognized in his writing the urge to actually be Stephen King, projecting from obvious inspiration, evident in a few instances when his prose turns into
what I used to do when I was younger
doing the same exact thing.
That’s not a bad thing, for our inspirations develop us into who we are and what we’ll become.
Which brings me back to the pub thing.
Even at face value, all of Steven’s stories are the kinds of tales one would take you aside and tell you in secret, in a one-on-one sort of basis, tales you’d go home with while looking over your shoulder all the way. Read and answer me, am I right?
Cheers to Mr. Deighan, and if he continues in this progressive fashion he’s certain to write his way to the top of all our charts.