Read Falling Over by James Everington Online


Sometimes when you fall over you don’t get up again. And sometimes, you get up to find everything has changed:An ordinary man who sees his face in a tabloid newspaper. A soldier haunted by the images of those he has killed from afar. Two petty criminals on the run from a punishment more implacable than either of them can imagine. Doppelgängers both real and imaginary. A trSometimes when you fall over you don’t get up again. And sometimes, you get up to find everything has changed:An ordinary man who sees his face in a tabloid newspaper. A soldier haunted by the images of those he has killed from afar. Two petty criminals on the run from a punishment more implacable than either of them can imagine. Doppelgängers both real and imaginary. A tranquil English village where those who don’t fit in really aren't welcome, and a strange hotel where second chances are allowed… at a price.Ten stories of unease, fear and the weird from James Everington."Good writing gives off fumes, the sort that induce dark visions, and Everington’s elegant, sophisticated prose is a potent brew. Imbibe at your own risk." - Robert Dunbar, author of The Pines and Martyrs & Monsters."The horror angle in the stories is almost always a metaphor for other things – loneliness, fear, isolation, regret. The word “haunting” really does double duty here... Beautifully written, evocative, masterful...what shines through these stories is the author’s love of language." Red Adept Reviews, 2011 Indie Awards Short Story category."Everington is excellent at evoking a mounting sense of unease, turning to dread, that close, oppressive feeling when everything is still and ordinary, but the whole world is filled with the sense that something huge and terrible is just about to happen." Iain Rowan, author of One Of Us and Nowhere To Go....

Title : Falling Over
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18187936
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 206 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Falling Over Reviews

  • Char
    2019-03-07 01:18

    4.5 stars!I've been a fan of James Everington for a couple of years now. I very much enjoyed his other short story collection,The Other Room (I still think about one story-A Writer's Words often),as well as his work with the Abominable Gentlemen on the Penny Dreadnoughts. I was excited to read this new collection. Once again, Mr. Everington sucked me in with his intriguing and intelligent stories. There were a few stories within that worked exceptionally well for me and here they are:"The Time Of Their Lives"-If you had a chance to turn back time, would you? Even if that meant regaining the petty jealousies of the young? I thought this story was extremely well written and I have entire paragraphs highlighted on my Kindle. 5*"Haunted"-This was a flash fiction story (100 words) that I thought was very cool.4*"The Man Dogs Hated"-I think this story is the definition of weird fiction. There is some commentary within about small town communities and prejudices... and just plain weirdness. I liked it! 4*"Sick Leave"-My favorite story of this collection. A teacher returns to school after a long illness. It was weird, foggy and creepy- complete with schoolchildren acting strangely. Seriously, I shuddered more than a few times reading this one. 5*"Drones"-This story came in a close second to Sick Leave. Have you ever wondered about the actual people behind the drone? This story will suck you right in if you have. If you haven't you probably WILL think about them after reading this story. 5*At the end of this collection, Mr. Everington includes some tidbits about how the stories came about. I always enjoy reading how a story was created and I especially like that the explanation comes at the end, rather than the beginning. There were a few typos in this collection, not enough for me to stop enjoying it, but enough to reduce my rating by .5. I eagerly await anything else Mr. Everington wants to put out there! His fiction is hard to categorize-there are no set parameters, and that's the way I like it. If this collection sounds intriguing to you, I think you will enjoy it. Give it a shot!

  • Martin Cosby
    2019-03-08 04:24

    Entering Mr Everington's world is akin to discovering an alternative reality which, while superficially familiar, has some subtle but significant differences. That these differences exist just below the surface; hiding at the edge of things, nagging at you from the back of your mind, only adds to the power they wield. While reading Falling Over, I became aware of the cumulative effect of this paranoia by stealth. This meant that by the time I finished Public Interest Story, the final tale here, I found myself distrusting not only the media and any form of government, but also my own take on the world.The reader's journey begins with the titular story, which takes hold with its opening sentence and does not let go. Set in a university's halls of residence during a summer break, the protagonist perceives of an identity crisis. He has convinced himself that Michelle, a fellow student who has returned from hospital after a fall, is not who she seems. Is it his imagination running wild, affected by the echoing, almost-deserted university buildings, or do others harbour their own suspicions too? Is there some kind of conspiracy, or is the reader persuaded to give too much credence to insignificant events? The substance of the story repeatedly falls away, just out of reach, but then strikes back at the end. This story has a dream-like atmosphere, helped by the ghostly location; the unnerving halls of residence remind me somewhat of the museum in that classic tale The Nightingale Floors by James Wade.Next up is Fate, Destiny and a Fat Man from Arkansas, and the dream-like atmosphere is continued. The reader accompanies Tom and Sean on their rush towards their own destinies; there is a sense of inevitability, of seeing the better turning but being unable to take it. As they rush headlong (towards what?) the question is raised; how much can we really influence the direction our own lives take? This roller-coaster ride is followed by Haunted, a piece of flash fiction which deftly conveys a subtle, well-wrought story in 100 words. I thought of The Haunting of Hill House as I read this; and not just because of Eleanor. In every good collection of stories, there must be a certain amount of autobiography: and I feel that New Boy may contain more than a hint about the author's own experiences. The manager is returning to work after some time off, and finds that things have changed in his absence. There is indeed a 'new boy', but why does he seem so familiar? The manager gradually loses all authority, and is forced to come to terms with both his past and his future. I feel this may be the pivotal tale of this collection, incorporating aspects of alienation, mistaken identity, mystery and, ultimately, enlightenment.The Time of Their Lives also hinges upon the uncertainty of both identity and the secrets of existence. Vince is a child on holiday with his grandparents at a dusty old hotel in an idyllic Cotswolds village. As the novelty of having his own room wears off, and he realises there may not be much to occupy his youthful mind, he is pleased to meet Alice, the only other child in the hotel. Between them they work out there is more to the situation than meets the eye; but true understanding is beyond Vince's ken. Could Alice's fate be determined by her keener mind? Such ambiguity is carried on to The Man Dogs Hated, where the protagonist is not a child but is perhaps just as naive. The dangers of the aspirational neighbourhood, and of what sacrifices are needed in order to 'fit in', are examined here, and how failure to toe the line is rewarded by rejection. Emma too has been rejected, in Sick Leave, up next. Upon her return to the classroom, she is unable to re-establish the close relationship she had enjoyed with her seven-year-olds before her absence. She becomes suspicious of the supply teacher's motives, and feels herself ostracised both by the children and Mr Hall, the head teacher. Illness and playground duty combine; but does the threat of ancient ritual hang over her? It may be too late to find out.Modern warfare enters the mix in the form of Drones. The effect upon an individual of playing God, and of his just (or otherwise) desserts in the long term, should send a shiver down anyone's spine. The remote operation of weaponry is brought sharply into focus: "This job is like that – trained reaction to stimulus. If I've fired I can normally remember the screen filling with light, but not the decision-points, not the reasoning that got me, and them, to that destination." 'Drone' is the nickname of the unfortunate protagonist, who begins to be affected in a worrying way by the essence of his duties. Drones is very much a cautionary tale of retribution! Public Interest Story tops off this collection, and looks at how modern society can be manipulated through the media. The mere fact that Joel's image is reproduced in a newspaper leads to rejection, alienation and violence. I was reminded of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery as I read this story; the sheer inevitability of it all, and the lynch-mob mindlessly 'going through the motions'. Scary stuff indeed.It's tempting to suggest the influences behind some of these tales, to say they may be 'Aickmanesque' or influenced by Kafka, Shirley Jackson and so on. However, having read James Everington's previous collection, The Other Room, what struck me most was that he has been busy developing his own style; it can be safely said that these are proudly James Everington stories, and all the better for it. Make no mistake, this is some of the very best strange fiction around.

  • Lauren
    2019-03-25 03:06

    Falling Over is ten short stories--or, more accurately, nine short stories and a dream. That sense of the dreamlike--the dream-logic that works in the stomach to produce an unnerving sense of vertigo, the rationality of the supposedly irrational, the blurring of lines--pervades the other nine stories, as well. Throughout the collection, people fall over, and they fall, repeatedly, out of and off the rigidly defined tracks their world had been running on.In some cases, the tracks that hurl the "ordinary" world forward are part of the problem. There's a theme running throughout several of the stories here that the faults are not in the characters but in their stars, or more precisely their constellations: it's the world itself that has fallen over, even if the characters don't "slip" until they realize it. In "Falling Over," which I reviewed when it appeared in the Penny Dreadnought: Omnibus! Volume 1, students fall over and are replaced by doppelgangers that the story suggests are less passionate (tan lines from a long-worn sentimental-value ring vanish) but more driven (vague ideals are replaced with more productive, but crueler, confidence). They'll fit right in, as the story's end suggests. In "The Man Dogs Hated," which I read as Everington's riff on "The Lottery," conformity in a neighborhood marked at is best by a relentless and slightly cheesy affability necessitates, always, the choosing of a scapegoat. And while it's tempting to believe that such scapegoats are chosen as obvious cases, utterly unlike you and me, the rug is eventually pulled out from underneath our narrator's feet."Drones" is the real-world example of this. Drone warfare is, after all, simply a part of how the world works now. But once a single misstep--these themes really do run elegantly throughout--forces one drone pilot to see the dead the working world is built on, there's no going back. The working world, after all, is built on more than the dead: it's built on repeated and conscious decisions made by the living. In this way, "Drones" is the harshest criticism of the world, and coming late in the collection as it does, it casts an unsettling look back at "Falling Over." Isn't it too tempting to believe that if we're the ones running the show, we must not really be ourselves?Other stories tackle other themes. In "New Boy," individual responsibility for a tragedy can't be avoided, however banally corporate culture (and corporate individuals) try: it's the inverse of the other stories, but makes a nice pairing with "Drones," in which everyone is responsible. In "Fate, Destiny, and a Fat Man from Arkansas," Lovecraftian horrors combine with the inevitable for a story that could have felt the least Everington-esque (most of these tend more towards Aickman and Ramsey Campbell--or, given Campbell's own influences, late Campbell rather than early Campbell) but is still distinctly of the same voice as the rest, permeated with, again, a sense of falling towards what can't be avoided. "The Time of Their Lives" looks at how the inevitable might be undone, or at least postponed, and what kinds of sacrifices would be necessary. It's tempting throughout to pair these stories off with their doppelgangers--fittingly enough, since doubles are another recurring theme--and I'll say that "The Time of Their Lives" fits nicely with "The Man Dogs Hated": what would people do to have their ideal lives? Of course, it also works well with "Sick Leave." That has another explicit evocation of the title, but it would be cheating to say it: its placement in a story about the way death eventually comes for all of us (prefaced, in this case, by an unsettled world and always-effective unsettling children) is the perfect "of course" moment."Haunted" and "A Dream About Robert Aickman" are effective fragments. "Haunted" has a sharper quality--at one hundred words, it's more of a dagger than a story--whereas the slightly longer "A Dream About Robert Aickman" is more like stepping into a tangle of thorns. It looks delicate, but you'll find it surprisingly hard to get out.I've saved my favorite till last. "Public Interest Story" is exactly the kind of horror that Everington writes and he's at his absolute best here, even in an excellent collection. The premise--a young man sees his picture (and just his picture) in a sleazy tabloid, which keeps running it for days, as his life starts to unravel from the attention--is chilling and just next-door to plausible. It's tempting, after reading it, to check and make sure your own picture isn't on the pages at the supermarket. As terrifying as it is, the sheer--and all-too-plausible--ridiculousness of the context-free photo that proceeds to ruin his life has a heightened black humor quality, as when, let go from his temporary employment and told at the agency there's nothing for him, he sees the photo now captioned: "Currently unemployed." Who needs actual news when you can have suggestion and pointless persecution? Who needs reason when you can have hysteria? It all works to a pitch-perfect conclusion.The world has definitely fallen over, but at least we have these stories because of it.

  • Timothy Jarvis
    2019-03-11 05:06

    These tales present the reader with a thoroughly convincing real setting, entirely believable except in one crucial aspect, an off-kilter something, a chink Everington can use, inserting his knife, giving it a twist, to crack the whole thing open, get at the meat.There is a sickening inexorability to these stories, but the creeping dread keeps the reader in thrall, and the protagonists' fates are still brutal, shocking, for all that they are anticipated.I particularly like the way these tales engage with important contemporary concerns, but are never tediously moralizing or strained. Instead they probe at an issue and allow readers to draw their own conclusions. The mob thinking and scapegoating of 'The Man Dogs Hated' and 'Public Interest Story' in particular seem prescient, cut close to the bone.Quiet and disquieting, these are stories of subtle, yet dread horrors. I'm looking forward to reading more of Everington's dark strange.

  • Gary Dalkin
    2019-03-25 04:30

    James Everington is a new name in fiction to me. He says on his website that his main influences are writers like Ramsey Campbell, Shirley Jackson, and Robert Aickman and that he enjoys ‘the unexplained, the psychological, and the ambiguous’. Following the self-published The Other Room (2011), Falling Over (published by the UK’s Infinity Plus and available as both a paperback and ebook on both sides of the Atlantic) is his second collection. He has also published a well-reviewed novella, The Shelter. With writers Alan Ryker, Aaron Polson and Iain Rowan, he is one quarter of The Abominable Gentlemen, who publish Penny Dreadnought, an ebook anthology series of weird fiction.The title page aptly describes Falling Over as weird fiction. It consists of 11 stories, or ten and an epilogue, which is a transcription of the events of ‘A Dream About Robert Aickman’. Falling Over is certainly weird fiction in the British tradition of Aickman, subtle, understated, enigmatic. The book also contains a section of author’s notes with a paragraph or two about each story. Interesting as these notes are, they are not the place to come for answers, though you will learn something about how the stories came to be written. Read the rest of this review at

  • Erin Cole
    2019-03-27 00:22

    I would describe James Everington’s stories like a walk through the cemetery alone, and you turn around to ground fog that has come seemingly from nowhere, and you don’t know what it means, if anything at all, but you still sense something wrong about it. The stuff of classic horror.The first story, “Falling Over,” which sets the tone of the book, is a fine example of the alien among us. The MC knows there is something different about a classmate, and pinpointing that difference may be even more frightening than not. The atmosphere in the story is incredibly convincing and the horror so subtle, it has already sank into you by the time you sense it.“The Man Dogs Hated,” just bizarre and equally satisfying. “Sick Leave” is as creepy as it gets with the children in one teacher’s class overtaken by something dark and unnatural. “Drone,” is thrilling as it is unsettling, and masterfully depicts how one soldier deals with guilt and the inevitable that may be coming. What each of these stories has in common, besides originality, literal goodness, and perfect endings, is how well they are executed. You never expect what is coming next, and the flow the stories, in all the fine details, are effortless to read, something all writers know is a true talent. I would recommend this collection to anyone and everyone.

  • Paul
    2019-03-17 22:13

    A few words on my favourites from this compilation - Falling Over – Michelle has been replaced by something that looks like her, acts like her, but it’s just not her. The story that lends its title to the entire collection starts things off with a homage to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The setting, an unnamed university/college during the holiday period, works well. There are only four characters and much of the action takes place within just a handful of rooms.Haunted – A very short story, only a hundred words long, that riffs on the classic haunted house theme. I think I would probably describe it as more of a suggestion of a story than an entire story in its own right. I really like the premise of this and I can appreciate that technically this is clever writing, but I think I would have preferred this expanded upon.New Boy – A middle manager in a large faceless company returns to work after a short absence. In the aftermath of a traumatic event, he finds he has some issues with a new employee. Anyone who has ever worked in an office will appreciate the elements that make up this tale.The Man Dogs Hated – In this instance, the title says it all. This entry definitely falls into the weird category. More than a little surreal, but also, more than a little thought provoking. This is a story that’s all about fitting in and what happens when someone just doesn’t.Sick Leave – A primary school teacher has been away from work due to illness. Things appear to have subtly changed while she has been away, but she can’t figure out for the life of her how or why. Any story involving spooky children and nursery rhymes regarding bubonic plague is always going to be creepy. Childhood is always a fertile breeding ground for horror as this story manages to perfectly illustrate.Drones – Every screen that a soldier looks at becomes a conduit for a mysterious force to wreak its revenge against him. The ending of this story has a wonderfully apocalyptic feel that kind of reminded me of the 2006 film Pulse. I think this was probably my favourite of the entire collection. I like the downbeat tone, the short fiction I connect with most always seems to have that quality. I always find at least one story in an anthology that I wish was a novel in its own right. Drones bears that particular distinction in this case.After the main collection there are a couple of pages of notes that offer some nice additional insight into the creation of each story. I always appreciate extra content like this.Overall I was impressed with this collection. I think there is something here for anyone who enjoys fiction in the short form. There are a couple of real gems that I enjoyed immensely. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from James in the future.

  • Tim
    2019-03-04 23:17

    The first story, Falling Over, was excellent. I saw it as a comment on how the adult world, in-particular the world of work, destroys a person's individuality and original aspirations, turning them into 'pod-people'. Here, University seems to represent the last stand of individuality before the characters are consumed by the corporate world. I may be completely wrong, but the author built this particular idea extremely well. The prose is unfussy and sharp. If all the stories in this book are as clever as this, I'm in for a treat here......Nothing in this collection quite matched the title story for me, but I also enjoyed Haunted, The Man Dogs Hated and Public Interest Story. Overall it was a very clever and enjoyably collection in which the author weaved in some modern day fears and anxieties rather than just writing run of the mill weird tales. I will look forward to reading more from this author.

  • Colin Barnes
    2019-03-17 01:23

    James Everington presents us with a cabal of off-kilter stories that linger with you long after reading. If you're a fan of weird fiction then you'll be well-served here. Everington has a canny ability to conjure very real, contemporary characters in situations that appear normal but have an undercurrent of wrongness about them. I won't go through each and every story in the collection suffice to say that there is no weak story here. One of the nice things about these stories and their inherent oddness is that they are fulfilling more than most on second and third readings.In fact, I would advice a reader to spend more time with this stories, re-read, analyse, and you'll be rewarded with a variety of meanings expertly layered but a one of the best young short stories writers around at the moment.

  • Maria
    2019-03-18 04:33

    A great collection of 'weird fiction'. I was looking forward to reading this book, having enjoyed James Everington's debut collection The Other Room. In this book, each of the stories is very different yet all seem to revolve around the idea that things are not always as they seem. All the stories are well written and absorbing. The author gets into the minds of the characters very well. The themes include, reality versus fantasy, dreams, paranoia, the power of the media, war. The tales are always unpredictable, and sometimes quite unexpected, but all will make you think and question the world around you.Well worth a read.

  • Deborah
    2019-02-27 05:29

    Iain Rowan referred to the sense of dread permeating the stories in this collection, and that is the perfect word. I also liked the ambiguity in several of the stories. Usually, I prefer horror stories to be more straightforward about the source of the horror. In this case, however, needing to think and puzzle over what was happening added to the pleasure. The story "New Boy" was one of my favorites because, even though I thought I knew where it was going, the "machinery," if you will, was half a step off from what I was expecting. Similarly, although I anticipated how the plague story was going to end, I was crushed by the betrayal which got the teacher there.A Literary Darkness discussion thread led me to this book, and I'll definitely be looking for more of Everington's work.

  • Gareth
    2019-02-25 22:17

    The here and nowI very much liked this collection with the stories set in a familiar place. The characters are people I could pass in the street, events could happen next door. That sense brings another layer of chilling to the tales. After reading the stories New Boy, Drones and Public Interest Story, I had to put the Kindle down and take breather. They had been so poignant there was a resonance with TV social media. Tales of horror to make make the reader pause and think.

  • Jim
    2019-03-19 06:15

    This is the first James Everington collection I've read, and from the first story I knew that I will read everything else of his that I can get my hands on. These stories are incredibly disconcerting, in the best possible sense. The stories stay with you longer after reading them. There are some editorial/typographical errors, but those are easy to overlook considering the stories themselves. I couldn't be more excited to have discovered this author and his wonderfully unsettling fiction.

  • Cate Gardner
    2019-03-12 04:11

    Review to come...

  • Neil
    2019-03-16 06:28

    Great horror short story collection!!

  • Eggp
    2019-03-12 02:07

    He's not a good fityou can trust a dog's instinctsthose are warning barks.

  • James Everington
    2019-03-24 22:20