This is a brief review of the book, also posted to Amazon. Expect a much more in-depth version next Tuesday on the Castalia House blog.
This is an excellent collection of “tails”, though with the caveat that some stories are better than others. Mr. Simon has a very dry wit about him that characterizes his best stories.
The title story “The Worm of the Ages” is probably the weakest, though is still quite strong. Nevertheless, I can’t deny the deja vu feeling that I was reading a re-telling of a scene from “The Silmarillion”. A pretty good one, true, but it felt a bit derivative.
Things improve from then on. The following stories are much funnier, which suits Mr. Simon. His very best tale, “A case of vengeance”, is in the vein of the excellent Smiggy McStudge stories from his website, bondwine.com. It is about a demon who tortures a soul in hell by giving him the opportunity to wreak vengeance on the man he has murdered over and over again, until he is nothing more than slush consumed with the dull urge to destroy.
The best lines in this tale have a black wit to them reminiscent of the best of Screwtape’s letters, and a depth of insight characteristic of his brilliant non-fiction essays. Clever, funny, and insightful – what more can you want?
But all of the stories are very good. This book is highly recommended.
To all thinking of buying it: LEAVE A REVIEW ON AMAZON!!!! It can be one line, but it makes the book more visible and helps to convince people to give it a shot. The more reviews, the more it shoots up the Amazon lists and the more people will buy it. This is VERY IMPORTANT!