He Who Tells It… Err… It’s All About the Tale

It is the tale, not he who tells it.
–Stephen King
The Breathing Method

Yes, I’ve quoted this before, thank you very much.

If you don’t like King you still have to like that quote. There is more truth in those nine words than you get from any politician.

The sad thing about that quote is so many people, myself included, prefer reading certain authors and if those particular writers don’t write the tales, then they don’t read them.

Yeah, I know. Insane, right?

I like F. Paul Wilson, Iain Banks, that King fellow, Cormac McCarthy, Jack Ketchum and a couple of others, including some early Poppy Z. Brite. I used to read everything I could get my hands on by my favorites. It wasn’t until a couple to five years ago that I started reading stories told by writers outside my favorites circle. By doing this I found some really great stories. Sometimes the writing hasn’t been all that good, but the stories have and it’s all about the stories, right?

With the whole it is the tale, not he who tells it thing in mind, I want to turn you on to an author who not only writes really good—probably the best writer some of you have never heard of—but his stories are some of the best you’ll read, at least until he writes more. Well, that was a long run on sentence.

[[Herbie’s Note: This blog will do the writer in question absolutely no justice. It can’t possibly live up to the writer’s brilliance and ability. End Herbie’s Note]]

Enough dilly-dallying. I speak of John Mantooth, writer extra extraordinaire.

I met John on a writer’s forum a few years ago and even then he was particularly good. Now, particularly good is in the past and somewhat holy cow that was awesome is here in the present.

Recently, Chizine Publications released a collection of short stories that Mantooth wrote titled, Shoebox Train Wreck. Nice title, don’t you think?

Sixteen stories. Two hundred fifty pages. All Mantooth.

Hey, come a little closer to the screen. I want you to understand something:

John Mantooth is one of the best writers out there who a lot of folks don’t know about. He’s also a super nice guy. Every time I read one of his stories I can’t put it down. Very few writers grip me and hold me and make me turn page after page after page until the story is done. John has that ability. Not even King does that. And you can ask my wife how slow a reader I am. With Mantooth, there is no slowing down. I can’t. His words won’t allow it and no, that’s not an embellishment.

Remember how I opened this blog today? It is the tale, not he who tells it. I believe that. So, if you are looking for stories that will keep you glued to the pages until you are done and that will leave you satisfied in the end (other than wanting more of his stories, that is), then you really should pick up a copy of Shoebox Train Wreck, by John Mantooth.

You can find Shoebox Train Wreck here.

I’m pretty certain you won’t be sorry. Herbie gives Mantooth his seal of approval and you guys know how fickle he can be.

Also, you can check out John’s blog, A Bus Full of Losers here

Hold on a second here. There is one more thing I want to point out. John’s story, This Is Where the Road Ends appears in the Snutch Labs collection Tales From the Yellow Rose Diner and Fill Station, which you can find here.

I’ll end this by saying, if you like stories that are told well, then you’re going to love Mantooth’s work. Pick up a copy today. Maybe one day, he’ll be one of your favorites. He’s already one of mine.

Until we meet again, my friends…

4 thoughts on “He Who Tells It… Err… It’s All About the Tale

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