Book Review: Rejects by Matthew Vaughn


Title: Rejects

Author: Matthew Vaughn

Release date: May 31, 2021

If you’ve read my other Vaughn review from today (Mephistopheles Den) you’ll have read about my first excursion into buying from Godless and what Godless is all about.

I won’t rehash any of that here, but I will say, I was happy to have not one, but two, Vaughn releases to dive into.

What I liked: ‘Rejects’ features a trilogy of short stories that have appeared in various anthologies, collected here for the first time.

Hammer Smashed Face – if you listen to death metal at all, you’ll have heard Cannibal Corpse’s song ‘Hammer Smashed Face.’ This story took really only the title into consideration, as instead, we pick up with a man doing some housework, who smashes his thumb with a hammer. As he goes to leave to get help, his neighbor barges in, telling him he can’t go outside, as there are monsters out there. Vaughn does a great job of creating tension in this one and having some brutal scenes in such a short page count.

Feelings of Malaise – absolutely my favorite of the three, we arrive to find a man sitting in a strange waiting room. Across from him, another person is attempting to do something horrible to themselves. When he is called into see the doc, his wound has changed and things go from bad to worse. Vaughn even says this is Cronenberg-esque and the story is all the better for it.

Showdown at a Seventh Street Strip Club – this one was actually a ton of fun. It was essentially an Extreme Horror take on the movie ‘The Hangover.’ We get two friends who can’t remember much, piecing together the events after they decide to go to a strip club and do drugs. Such a blast.

What I didn’t like: The stories were all good, but as Vaughn even mentions in his notes, they all would’ve benefitted from a longer word count. Each one either just ends or is missing a bit of detail to truly elevate them.

Why you should buy this: If you’re a fan of Vaughn’s these are great stories to read and see him work outside of his normal characters. If you’re a new fan or Extreme Horror Fan, these are all great starting points.


Rejects by Matthew Vaughn

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