A septet of reviews for Daryl Gregory’s wonderfully creepy We Are All Completely Fine.
WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE features a most unusual therapy group, those who have looked into the abyss and been forever altered. It is always an unknown what happens to victims of supernatural or otherworldly entities who happen to be saved or survive. WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE gives us an insight into these survivors who are outcast from society. The writing style leads the reader to feel as if the group is cohesive, when they have differences between them. We learn each poor souls’ story of how they came to be the way they are today and see them grow together as an odd sort of family. The final mystery was intriguing and deliciously disturbing. Not for the faint of heart, WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE is a great read!
Jan, as she likes to be known, is the therapist who creates the inciting incident of the story, and Gregory’s light touch in imparting the reasons for the group’s existence is a nice change from the heavy-handed foreshadowing one often comes across in pulp horror. The same goes for the unraveling of the web of history that connects the characters, history they themselves ma be unaware of. You’d think a story that deals so much with the past would drag, but it doesn’t, and the tantalizing hints of back-story definitely left me wanting more about these characters. It felt like I only got a snapshot of the characters’ lives, and that their stories existed long before that snapshot and will keep going long after. And yet the snapshot itself was still very satisfying. That’s something I consider a mark of a superior story–there are loose ends and secrets and histories the reader is unaware of, but it adds to rather than detracts from the story.
It’s THE BEST. If this were the pilot episode of a show on Syfy, I would set up a Change.org petition for six seasons and a movie.
Gregory is able to convey a lot of depth with quick cuts and small hints that build into a larger, interwoven story that hints at something even larger and more sinister. It’s an impressive feat. I would say it’s a fun read, but that is only how I view it now, days later. After closing the book, I had to start my driving shift, and to be honest, I couldn’t shake the story right away. It’s weird imagery and techniques stuck with me. And in my opinion, that’s the mark of a great read.
Quoi de neuf sur ma pile? (Poorly translated from the French using Google Translate):
It does not read “We are all completely Call fine” mere spectator even interested. We’re intrigued, horrified often, we try to separate truth from falsehood, we take part in one or the other against one or the other, we sympathize with these extreme victims, they have suffered, and what they have left to do because nothing is ever finished. The reader is drawn into the story, driven by the atrocity of the fates to the heart of horror. The author forces him to watch, panting, what lies on the Other Side. The contract is completed, Gregory takes readers far into the dark fantasy that his premises led to believe.
Gregory’s written a wonderfully creepy little book that will make you think twice about going out after dark. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the people who survive the horror stories, this is the book for you. It’s a fast read – it was a great way to spend a weekend afternoon – but I’d seriously recommend you close the cover before sunset.
For information on We Are All Completely Fine, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story.