Kiss Me was released in 1996
Look, so far along the way on this journey, I’ve been candid about each and every experience reading Andrew’s work.
‘Kiss Me’ frightened me to no end.
First things first – the cover. I actually love this cover. Especially versus the ‘Kiss Me’ Kindle single cover;
No offense to whoever designed that – but it reminds me of a Molson Canadian beer commercial, while the lady on the cover holding the beer and savoring her smoke in silent contemplation in the original, really spoke to me.
But compared to all of Andrew’s other works, all of his ‘horror/thriller’ stuff – this looks like it may very well be from a different author.
Secondly – the stories. This isn’t/wasn’t marketed in the least bit as a ‘horror/thriller’ collection, and rightly so. It isn’t. We didn’t begin to see Pyper’s true leanings until ‘Lost Girls’ arrived a few years later.
Now, before the Pyper-super-super fans jump down my throat (Randall, I’m looking at you!), I am aware that Andrew has other short stories out there. I haven’t read every short story from him, as I haven’t snagged those anthologies as of yet. As well, Andrew collaborated with a very cool company on an “experience package.” Which I haven’t seen. “The Buried Puppet” from The Mysterious Puppet Company looks great (and if you want to order one – or love me enough to buy me one and sent it; https://mysteriouspackage.com/products/the-buried-puppet) and Andrew wrote the narrative for it.
But ‘Kiss Me,’ is none of that.
What ‘Kiss Me’ is, is a collection of stories that feature a staggering amount of Canadiana and homage to the every-person. I’ve often described this collection as a The Tragically Hip album on the written page. Where Downie used lyrics and his voice, Pyper uses words and his writing voice.
Once I cracked the pages open (in reality, loaded my Kindle hahaha!) I found that I was reading Pyper as Pyper, just without the level of absolute horror or stressful anxiety that is normally attached to his work.
So, while I personally believe, this is the forgotten Pyper book, I wish more people would read this and experience the stunning stories that are featured here. This collection reads like a cross-Canada journey. We get so many different people, from different walks of life, but with the ease with which Andrew writes, you immediately feel like you are reading about a relative, a colleague or a friend.
The review I wrote for Kendall Reviews is being revisited today as well, which is a bit of a chuckle, seeing as I got a non-horror book to featured on a horror site, but that is purely from the Pyper name. Andrew is renowned for his dark fiction.
To wrap this retrospective up, I really would love it if you would take the journey and discover just how phenomenal of a writer Andrew is. This collection perfectly encapsulates that, by having a “horror/thriller” writer pen some stunning literary stories, but still using the same writing voice.