The Man Who Screams at Nightfall and Other Stories
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (01/2023)
In this collection of eclectic short stories, author Rush Leaming takes the literary world by its reins by diving into the supernatural, the unsettling, and even the daring human scenarios to present readers with a unique panorama of a world most intriguing. Based on true events, Leaming’s short stories transverse across continents in countries such as The Democratic Republic of Congo, Thailand, Greece, Spain, and America bringing together experiences that range from themes such as loneliness, guilt, redemption, nostalgia, loss and love.
With a strikingly beguiling title story that introduces the entries, and which dips into haunting fantasy, the author’s creativity shines as he pulses with humanistic empathy marking the best of his work. Here, readers will come across a protagonist who finds out that he has more in common with a social outcast with a troubled spirit in a remote village than he ever thought possible. Elsewhere, a dying man in the hands of a compassionate nun reimagines himself in a relationship with her in a different world as he flirts with her, in the hope of keeping his spirit alive. In another, a security guard in a drug rehabilitation center falls in love with an inmate. Altogether, this fine collection is marked by deadpan and chilling casualness that expose the searing realities lurking behind the curtain of social surfaces.
Leaming imbues his prose with commanding intensity. In short, his work feels that it has been lived in a different lifetime. As he recounts this story, readers are bound to feel like they are on a journey with him, from the chilling, to the darkest, the inhuman and even the hopeful situations. Most of the stories are told in the first person narrative supported by a cast of well hewn characters that masterfully develop on their own as the plot hurtles along. What “The Man Who Screams at Nightfall and other Stories” presents to the world is an uncanny reality that is not only raw, but moving as well, evoking soul-searching and reflection for our own thoughts and struggles as well.
“The Man Who Screams at Nightfall and other Stories” is a five star collection of short stories that unveils the hidden society, the grotesque diversity among us summing up into a convincing portrait of contemporary storytelling that readers will find themselves leaning on.