Mechanisms Of Despair
Gary Buller
March 31, 2017
Dead Man’s Tome
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

 There are a lot of cool things about Gary Buller’s new short story collection Mechanisms of Despair. So let’s plunge right in and check it out! Something very generous and kind-hearted of all the people involved in this project is the fact that all the proceeds from sales of this very fine book or e-book are being donated to The Alzheimer’s Foundation USA and The Sarcoma Foundation UK. This means that every book you purchase is going to help people out. Both those who are fighting against bone and soft tissue cancer and those trying to stop the loss of people’s memories to the point of constant confusion and being unable to connect with their loved ones. These guys are using their dark fiction and art to help those who live a horror story every day but don’t have the option of just shutting a book and walking away from it. Big Hearts-Gary Buller-Jesse Dedman-Shawn Langley-Calvin Demmer and company. We and your families salute you!

The stunning cover art is the work of Shawn Langley and while it prepares you a bit for the contents inside Mechanisms Of Despair you still get a shock with story number one. The Way Out sets the tone with how this collection of stories is going to scare us readers and screw with our heads. A gent by the name of Dan is stuck in some kind of freaky hotel and is trapped in his room. He tries to appeal to other guests and passersby for help, but-they’re all scary freaks doing stuff like blowing their own heads off with shotguns and razor-blading their wrists. What the Devil is going on in this joint? Read on and you will find how Dan trapped his own despair filled self in a room with no way out!

Another story, Time To End It, seems to be cut from the same cloth as the first. Or is it? A young woman commits suicide again and again and…too many ways to count. Amazingly, every time she fails and rises again to try another method. Jumping from bridges, jumping in front of cars…Is this woman unbreakable? No. All the doctors need to cure her is the flick of a switch. Speaking of female people, the last story in this collection is Dog of The Dead by special guest author, Holly Buller. This young lady writes a fine story and I think we’ll be looking forward to more great writing from her in the future. Thanks for encouraging her, Gary! Here’s a great example to show the world that we writers of dark fiction are kind, warm hearted people who love our families. Just don’t let it get around. We don’t want people to think we’re too nice!

However, to get to Holly’s story, we still have to travel through some truly frightening territory. Into The Fire is going to make you scream! Not just because your face has been severely burned by hot fryer grease either, like the main villain-victim, but that certainly contributes. Is there a place that you used to go as a kid with your family? A favorite place with warm memories? Wouldn’t you just love to go back there as a grown adult and say hello to all the nice folks? Have your favorite meal of fish and chips? NO. No you wouldn’t want to do that because things have changed a LOT. Instead of a friendly handshake, you’re grabbed by a huge behemoth wearing a mask made of human skin over a ruined face while your car is destroyed so you don’t rush off too quickly. It’s Play Time! Well, not for you. No, you’ve become a toy for this imbecilic giant to destroy. He tortures you by ripping pieces off of your screaming body until you die. Then he throws you away for a new toy. “Daddy?”

If that didn’t make you lose it, then it’s time for Gary to give you The Present, a tale about Christmas and gifts. Except that one of the presents is going to make you lose your bleeping mind! Soon everyone in a nice happy family is figuring out unique ways to off themselves. All thanks to a simple looking box that “doesn’t do anything.” Hmm…For more details, get yourself a copy of Mechanisms Of Despair. Happy Holidays!

You won’t believe it, but this is Gary Buller’s first book and it is powerful stuff! While it is very important to know that buying this book will help people who really need it, I want to make sure that the actual writing and art is recognized. Gary and his crew of evil henchmen (and one young lady) have created something darkly beautiful. Let’s all encourage them to do it again real soon! I highly recommend this book and that cover, man it is awesome! You can feel the hours of care that went into this project. I warn you that these stories will haunt you, no matter how hard you try to forget them!