Monday 30 May 2016

REVIEW: Thomas S Flowers - The Incredible Zilch Von Whitstein

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Shadow Work Publishing
Publication Date: 13th May 2016
Pages: 44


A copy of The Incredible Zilch Von Whitstein was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Thomas S Flowers in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Shadow Work Publishing.

Last year I read the first two books in the Subdue Series by Thomas S Flowers. In my opinion, they are two of the finest books I have read in years. It is a series that is exceptional in so many different ways. In case you missed them, there are links to the reviews at the bottom of this one.

The Incredible Zilch Von Whitstein intrigued me purely because it looked totally different to that series so I was very interested to pick it up and give it a go.

This is what I thought.

Zilch is boring. He would be the first to admit that. He leads a boring existence in a boring world with a boring job and a boring house and even a boring car. Zilch likes boring however. It suits him just fine.

His boring life is about to be completely turned upside down after a visit to the doctor’s office. He wasn’t expecting this change to his normal mundane existence.

Discovering a new lease of life, Zilch starts to try things he wouldn’t normally. Why does that clown speak to him though? Why does he think nasty thoughts now? This is incredible.

In terms of a character, Zilch Von Whitstein is one of those people you would avoid because he is so, well, boring. Mundane and humdrum are two words I could use to describe his life. You know what though? I defy you to not like him in this story. He grows and grows on you and you will find yourself liking him more and more and really rooting for him the further into the story you go.

There are a few others in the story but telling you about them takes me into the spoiler direction and I am not going there. Other than to mention the fat burger bar manager, Zilch’s asshole boss and a string of others that annoy him more than he thinks.

The plot? Zilch’s life is boring, he gets sick and things have to change. That is all you are getting. You really need to read this as it unfurls to get the true feeling and effect of the story.

How does this stand up in comparison to the Subdue series? Well quite simply there is no way you could compare the two. This is a completely different style of story. It certainly was not what I was expecting from Mr Flowers. I am, however, absolutely delighted that this is the case.

This is a short story, comes in at around forty-five pages so you will have it read in a short space of time. I predict you will do it in one sitting because you will not want to put it down. Mr Flowers has a knack of totally drawing you into his stories. It feels like you are a very small fish on a very big hook. Each time you come to the end of a chapter it is left perfectly poised to force you to turn the page to see what happens next and thus you are into another chapter and so on and so on.

As with everything else in Thomas Flowers writing, there is an additional underlying topic in this story. Not telling you what it is, but, he has a habit of taking a made up in his head story and putting it into real words on a page and including a subject that a lot of authors may not want to touch but even if they do, cannot do it as effectively as Mr Flowers. I have read his stories before where he dealt with racism and PTSD and they truly brought me to tears. The topic in this one is an underlying health issue that I am sure nearly all of you reading this have been touched by in one form or another.

Let’s face it; this book is a form of entertainment. You are reading it to have some fun or to escape from your own mundane existence to get away from everything. Keeping a level of entertainment, whilst dealing with these taboo subjects can be very cringe worthy, and in very bad taste at times. Thomas Flowers has a distinct ability to handle these subjects with the grace and respect that they deserve while scaring the pants off you and giving you every bit of entertainment you wanted. And more. 

Everything this man writes totally blows me away whether it be a series of novels, all interconnected to give you a story of epic proportions, or a short story like this that will make you laugh, touch your heart and scare the hair off your head. Tension and fear is the name of the game Thomas S Flowers plays.

To summarise: a short horror story that is worth every penny you will spend on it. Just buy it.

General rating:

★★★★★ fantastic!

Horror rating:

★★★★★ in so many different ways!

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy The Incredible Zilch Von Whitstein or any other books from Thomas. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Whit had done everything right, but when the world seems against you, can good boys stay good? Whit never drank in excess, never said a bad word to anyone, did his taxes, even called his mom on Sundays, never even had a tattoo...until one night, the night a malicious clown turned everything upside down.

You can read my review of Dwelling (Subdue #1) here.

You can read my review of Emerging (Subdue #2) here.

Thomas S Flowers was born in Walter Reed Medical Center, Maryland to a military family. He grew up in RAF Chicksands, England and then later Fort Meade, and finally Roanoke, Virginia. Thomas graduated high school in 2000 and on September 11, 2001, joined the U.S. Army. From 2001-2008, Thomas served in the military police corps, with one tour in South Korea and three tours serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. While stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, between deployments, Thomas met his wife and following his third and final tour to Iraq, decided to re-join the civilian ranks. Thomas was discharged honorably in February 2008 and moved to Houston, Texas where he found employment and attended night school. In 2014, Thomas graduated with a Bachelor in Arts in History from University of Houston-Clear Lake. Thomas blogs at, commenting and reviewing movies, books, shows, and historical content.

Thomas is living a rather simple and quite life with his beautiful wife and amazing daughter, just south of Houston, Texas.

And for more about Thomas, visit his site or find him on social media:

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