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Strange Weather by Joe Hill

Strange Weather by Joe Hill is a collection of four short stories that have no connections outside of the fact that Mr. Hill wrote them and there is a weather aspect to each of the stories. Sometimes, that aspect is a key part of the story, such as in “Rain,” and sometimes it is just background like in “Snapshot.” One of the stories is science fiction while another definitely falls into the horror category. At the same time, one story is both science fiction and horror, and one is a bit too realistic to fall into either category.

In each of the stories, Mr. Hill takes a single moment and makes it into something spooky with little character development and a whole lot of atmosphere and finely-tuned scenes that capture a character’s feelings with minimal verbiage. Not all four stories are great. I personally struggled with “Aloft” as I didn’t really get the point. While I think “Snapshot” is creepy, there again I wasn’t enamored with the story. Perhaps it is because I do have a personal history with a family member experiencing dementia, but as creepy as it was, I couldn’t take to the story. “Loaded” is as disturbing as it is heartbreaking, and “Rain” is truly horrifying.

Wil Wheaton, as always, was by far the best narrator of the bunch. The others were perfectly adequate. I don’t know if their performances hindered or helped the stories, but I had no issues with any of their narration.

I’m glad I was finally able to cross this one off my extremely long list of audiobooks. Unfortunately, I don’t believe this collection is an example of Mr. Hill’s best writing. I was hoping for something a little more terrifying, a little more otherworldly, and a lot less esoteric than what I heard.

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