Brain Damaged is a collection of twenty stories. With Halloween only days away, this is the book that will chill you. It may even send you screaming for mercy; you may lock yourself in a room and find yourself shivering with abject fear. Writing with a hardcore, pulp influenced style but set to an extreme tempo, Hughes explores the human condition with a critical eye, delving into the psyche of some nasty characters. There is a supernatural slant to many of the tales, but what really matters here is the author’s handling of the human condition. He pulls no punches and offers us characters that are all too human; greed and desire, anger and selfishness are all on display. Without reading too much into it, I often think such splatterpunk tales are a type of social criticism. This is the world we live in, like it or not. David Owain Hughes himself is a Welshman and he demonstrates a storytelling command that will leave readers mesmerized. He’s also willing to take chances with his stories, pushing the boundaries of a three-point tale (with its traditional beginning, middle and end) and explore alternate formats. I think he has fun with writing, and you can’t ask for a better selection of tales than found in Brain Damaged. Published by Hellbound Books out of England, Brain Damaged is available on Amazon. Not for the squeamish, I recommend this one for a midnight reading. Guaranteed to send a chill down your spine and make you look over your shoulder.