There are people out there that don’t consider writing an art form. Though in reality a well written short story or novel is a work of art. A writer creates a world, characters and situations meant to entertain us as readers. Some writers have an easy time making us laugh, scaring us and making us scratch our heads in disbelief. Synchronized Sleepwalking by Martin Mundt is a book that does all of these things.
With a name like Synchronized Sleepwalking you know right away that this isn’t your average read. This book includes stories that could fit in different genres, such as Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy and bizarre fiction. To give an example of how bizarre this book is the first story is a work of flash fiction called A Bird In Hand. It’s about a man who goes to see a dominatrix that owns a parrot. When the dominatrix leaves for a bit, the man has “relations” with the parrot. If you think that’s weird it gets much weirder later and with this being the first story I was left with the feeling of “What the heck kind of book is this?”
The second story is one called The Girl With A Motorcycle For A Heart. The setting is a futuristic world where everyone is born a criminal and when you turn 18 you have to pay for the sins of your past lives. A girl named Penny has just turned 18 and she is different then the other criminals because she is innocent. There was a heartbreaking point in this story about what jealousy can do to someone and how your past defines your future.
Another good one in this collection that’s bizarre with a great point to it was Chair. On the surface this is an odd one with a man who is trying to become a billionaire by selling his body parts and who eventually gets a job as a chair. This story maybe hilarious with the description of what he feels as he lives his life as a chair and sells his body parts but it also has a good message about what people are willing to give up to be rich. The ending of this one is excellent when we find out that even people who give up everything will still pass judgement on others.
If horror is your game this anthology has it in the The Black House. I like the idea here of a haunted house where a man learns of the existence of sin eaters: creatures that are invisible and are waiting to take your soul when you die a sinner. The description of the old mansion and the sorcerer that owned it are excellent in this creepy story.
The best thing about this book is probably how it goes from fantasy in The Once Upon A Time King where someone takes over a kingdom in an original way to comedy along with a vengeful chicken in The Saga Of El Polo. Synchronized Sleepwalking is the kind of book you buy if you like a little comedy and weirdness with your horror. Though this is more than just a book full of weird stories, several of these stories have a great message to them and you have to appreciate a book that makes you laugh and think at the same time.