Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 7th February 2017
REVIEWED BY NEV
A copy of The Head was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Brian Barr, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is self-published.
Well now. The only other book I have read from Mr Barr was his novel, Carolina Daemonic: Confederate Shadows. Now my review of it was a bit of a mixed bag. I did like his writing style but the story didn’t totally float my boat.
A chance at reading this short story from him was one that I was not going to pass by. I have been waiting for a while to read something more from him and this one had me intrigued.
This is what I thought.
Elizabeth is tidying up the garden that belonged to her recently passed mother. While doing this, she finds a decapitated head in the undergrowth.
As if that wasn’t enough, when the head introduces himself as Bill, Elizabeth realises her troubles may just be beginning.
What the hell have I just read? I honestly don’t know. I have no clue where to start with this review. I am speechless and clueless. I need to think about this one for a while.
OK. After a bit of thought, here I go.
We have no other characters for the majority of this book other than Elizabeth and Bill. Elizabeth seems to be a nice girl. She seems to be a bit, how can I put it, dim? Gullible? I really don’t see her having a whole lot of sense. Bill is…..eh…..a head. If you listen to what Elizabeth is thinking then he is a good-looking head, but a head none the less.
The plot? Bill wants Elizabeth to help reunite him with the rest of his body. The end.
But it’s not the end. This is where things get interesting and even more surreal than a woman finding a decapitated head in her back garden that talks to her. I cannot tell you anymore of the story or it will spoil everything for you.
So…..eh…..what more can I tell you? Trust me when I say that I am not making light of this story whatsoever. I am just flummoxed. I don’t think I have read anything like this before.
Brian Barr has a knack for writing stories that get you thinking, whether that is intelligent thinking when reading Carolina Daemonic or scratching your head thinking when reading this one.
It all seems a bit weird and farfetched to begin with and then two thirds into the story, it turns into a wonderful dream like sequence of horror and death and mutilation and fear and terror that would put a huge smile on the face of anyone that loves horror.
The ending in this was truly superb, and to be honest, it is what brings the score up.
I think I may need to read this one a few times to truly get the feeling for it. The writing sometimes just felt very very basic, like it was the first story someone had ever written. On other occasions, it felt like that was totally how it was supposed to be. I am not totally sure whether Mr Barr has written this one with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek or if he was serious.
If it was tongue in cheek, then this is a masterpiece. If it was not intentional, then a little brushing up on the short story writing may be needed.
I know Brian Barr has a definite writing talent in him. That was perfectly clear with Carolina Daemonic: Confederate Shadows. This one just felt, to me at least, as if it was put out there when not totally polished.
Having said all of that, this is an entertaining read. As I mentioned before, the end sequence is really really good. It’s like an old skool, you will be cursed for the rest of your days if you take what you want, type of story.
To summarise: still not sure if it is unpolished or intentional but this is still a good read. It is worth the money for the ending alone. It’s one of those hands over the wide open moaning mouth moments.
★★★.5 this may change.
★★★★ certainly gave me the creeps
If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy The Head or any other books from Brian. This not only supports us but also lets us know how many people actually like to buy books after reading our reviews.
A woman finds a head in her mother’s garden.
Things get weirder when the head talks to her…
CONFESSIONS REVIEWS BRIAN BARR
My name is Brian Barr. I am a published fiction author. Along with novels and short stories, I’ve also written comic books, including the Empress series with Chuck Amadori. I am NOT the author of God’s Plan for Us, written by some other Brian Barr.
My debut novel, Carolina Daemonic Book I: Confederate Shadows, is out now. My second novel will be Psychological Revenge: The First Super Inc. Novel.
Carolina Daemonic is a dystopian alternative timeline urban fantasy-horror with LGBT, steampunk, and occult elements.
Psychological Revenge is a fun, campy superhero novel with zany villains and lots of action.
Be on the lookout for my stories and thank you for visiting my page.
I am also a proud member of the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop.
And for more about Brian, visit his site or find him on social media: