Book Reviews Fiction Horror Short Story

The 8th By Matt Shaw

The 8th
Matt Shaw

I am overcome with such emotion right now.

I did not expect this story.

I was expecting a “RAGE” ¹ type of short story. Stephen King pulled every copy of RAGE off the shelves after the massacre at Columbine, and after the recent events at Sandy Hook Elementary, Matt was pondering the same.

Pulling this story would be a tragedy. (At the time of this writing, news is starting to surface of yet another school shooting. This time in California. No concrete information at the moment.)

Every word, from the dedication to the end, holds such raw emotion. I agree with Matt (in the author’s note) when he says that violence is not the answer, but who hasn’t been driven to their absolute limit before? You want so badly for the pain to stop.

THE 8TH is written in a first person narration, like most of the stories I’ve read by M.S. so far. The way he writes really pulls me into the story. That’s one of the reasons that I try to write my reviews right when I finish reading. I’ve been getting so emotional with the last few stories, and I hope I am able to express it in a way you’ll understand me.

It’s about a boy, starting off in a yet another new school, after just moving again due to the fathers job. Another new school – the same old problems. He meets and quickly makes friends with David, another boy whose life is being made a living hell by the schools group of D bags. Meeting David awakens something in him. He can no longer just sit back and be bullied, and he can’t watch it happen to his friend either. The school won’t stop things, parents never realize how bad things are.

It’s a story of sadness, of hurt, and of revenge. But, in keeping with Matt’s style – don’t fool yourself into thinking you know where this story is going. Right when you think you know where you are, he shoves the blindfold over your eyes, spins you around a couple times, and shoves you in the opposite direction.

ÂąStephen King – Rage


Signs that may indicate your child is a bullying victim:

•Comes home with unexplainable injuries

•Comes home with damaged clothing or other belongings •Frequently “loses” items like books, electronics, clothes or other valuable items

•Tries to find excuses to avoid going to school, is often sick or has other excuses

•Hurts themselves like with cutting, burning or eating restrictions

•Loses interest in friends or participating in extra curricular activities

•Acts afraid of going to school or school activities

•Appears moody, anxious, depressed or withdrawn

•Feels helpless Exhibits low self-esteem


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