I stumbled across Jeremy Robert Johnson's We Live Inside You on Amazon.com by accident, but with a title like that I couldn't not investigate more closely. I bought the kindle version of the book while my intrigue was still running high, and less than a minute later was reading about a man who got infested with a creepy parasite hivemind that not only took over his body but, increasingly, took over his entire personality. Even the tone of the story shifted in tone as the narrator became more and more proud of the fact that he was no longer merely a meat body but thousands of bodies. His joy in being able to share this bliss with the rest of the world, starting with the occupants of a movie theater who unknowingly began breathing in his microscopic airborne larvae, was really really really unsettling.
There's actually several stories about creepy parasites in the book. My favorite, hands down, was not the aforementioned "When Sussurus Stirs" but in fact the incredible "Cathedral Mother," in which a woman, driven to the extremes of eco-terrorisim in her pursuit of preserving the old growth redwoods of Northern California, stumbles upon a parasitic danger high in the canopies of the very trees she's trying to save.
Not all the stories in We Live Inside You are about parasites, though. There's actually a wide range of stories in here—stories about the end of the world caused by a devastating chant, of ghostly vengeance from beyond the grave, of strange drugs and stranger cults, gritty noir dramas and CDC horror stories, patricide, dead kids, and so much more.
The stories are raw, visceral, grisly when needed, and powerful. Jeremy Robert Johnson's the type of author who can set you on edge merely with his titles—especially once you're familiar with his writing style. I had to pause in dread and anticipation before continuing the book once I got to the story called "Priapsim," for example...
We Live Inside You / Angel Dust Apocalypse...
- ... makes the show Monsters Inside Me feel like a Disney movie.
- ... has a lot of really interesting behind-the-scenes stuff by the author where he talks about his writing style and techniques.
- ... makes me glad I had a kindle, since if I hadn't, I might have not bothered buying the book.
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