Where You Live by Gary McMahon

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Most of these stories are narrated by male characters, most involve bickering couples with relationship issues, and many of them involve characters seeing things that disappear.

“Just Another Horror Story” is a bit meta, as you’d expect from the title. It has a nice, unsettling atmosphere and is left unresolved at the end in a good way.

“The Chair” is perhaps my favorite story in the collection. A child who never leaves the house sees a chair appear outside. He stops taking his medication and his mother disappears. It contains the fantastic line: “The baked beans were like angels’ eggs bursting against his teeth.” It’s also left unresolved at the end, which I like. It has a sequel called “The Table” in which a table suddenly appears, another great story.

Another contender for my favorite story is “Alice, Hanging Out at the Skate Park” in which the body of a murder victim keeps reappearing in the park no matter how often they take her away. I love surreal setups like this.

“The Sheep” is another highlight featuring a couple on a hike who witness a sheep kill itself by rubbing against a barbed wire fence. It’s very disturbing. In the afterword, the author says most of this story really happened, which makes it even more creepy, and also confirms my suspicion that his marriage wasn’t a happy one.

Other stories I liked include “The Row” in which a man is haunted by not just one house, but a whole row of houses, “When One Door Closes” in which doors keep closing on a man both literally and metaphorically leaving him unable to leave rooms unless someone else lets him out, “Small Things” in which a woman is followed home by a creepy man when she is driving home, and the title story “It Knows Where You Live” in which a man watches a mysterious video.

“Barcode” about the recession and “Truth Hurts” in which lies physically injure people felt too preachy to me. Other stories just weren’t to my taste, but overall, I really liked about half of the stories in this collection. Great stuff sure to send a chill down your spine.

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