The Black Book by AJ Kirby, TWB Press, horror, short story



Perfect World

The Haunting of Annie Nicol



16,500 words - 45 pages

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A Horror Short Story




Some books are impossible to put down. This book is impossible to get rid of. The Black Book. Beware.

Crotchety Oliver Capstick is a book reviewer who has the power to ruin writers, which he does with callous disregard for the consequences. He works from home, an old out-of-the-way house, lives with his cat, Milton, and holds only a tenuous connection to one other human being, the Postman who delivers the tomes he’s charged to read and review. One such tome, a black book, which Oliver tosses directly into the trash, is about to force him to review his life with the same callous disregard for the consequences.  

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Praise for The Black Book

Review by  Anna Stephens at Hubpages:

Novelist AJ Kirby is everywhere these days. For an author, that's a good thing. His third novel, Perfect World, was published by TWB Press at Easter 2011, and they obviously liked him a lot, snapping up this novella-length horror story with aplomb.

Kirby's writing is going from strength to strength and this novella is no different. Returning to his well-established horror/thriller roots, Kirby presents us with Capstick's unique personality and fratcturing of it as the black book begins to haunt him.

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Review by Marilyn Baron, author of the Angel series

First-Rate Horror Story: Can’t Put This Book Down

Some books stay with you long after you’ve finished them. But the black book that arrives in a parcel in curmudgeonly book critic Oliver Capstick’s metal post box by the side of his door never leaves. AJ Kirby’s “The Black Book,” carries all the hallmarks of an AJ Kirby story – high-brow humor, well-written prose and suspense. The snooty Capstick is a recluse, with no contact other than his loyal cat, Milton, and the postman who delivers the books he’s charged with reviewing, although he goes out of his way not to engage the postman in conversation. When his wife left him, he “breathed a sigh of relief and promptly forgot everything about her.” He’s isolated, works at home in a converted attic, surrounded by a roomful of books (no romance), usually in his dressing gown, and spends his days dissecting books, mostly devouring authors. When the musty old black book arrives, Capstick does his utmost to dispose of it, or return it to sender. He even feeds it through the INSINKERATOR, page by page, but, like a boomerang, it keeps coming back, as though it is alive. Burning the book doesn’t help either. The walls are closing in on Capstick and clogging up his life. His mental faculties are declining and he’s faced with reader’s and writer’s block. The black book is the book that won’t die. Capstick is determined to get rid of it or die trying. I highly recommend The Black Book. You won’t be able to put it down.