In this second story collection by the author of The Grip of It, the mundane becomes sinister as forces—some supernatural, some of this earth, some real and some not—work their ways into everyday life.
... 20 stylish and psychologically tense stories ... leading the reader into realms full of dread and suspense, weirdness and wonder, paranoia and pain ... Although ghosts occasionally populate her tales, Jemc is less M.R. James and more Robert Aickman. Rarely relying on obvious chills or violence, her stories — as surreal as they are scary — dwell magnificently in the realm of the upsetting yet pleasingly confounding. Ultimately, it’s the details of reality — the things that can and do happen all the time — that make the stories shine, for Jemc knows how to use mundanity to throw the truly bizarre into sharp relief ... Jemc’s erudite, offbeat sense of humor contributes brilliantly to the collection’s pervasive unease as often as does anything overtly supernatural ... A highly literary writer who takes delight in the smallest elements of language, Jemc masterfully uses personification in apt but jittery ways ... Twenty stories might sound like a lot, but the book flies by, because Jemc knows how to deploy both brevity and irresolution. Story after story exhibits the understanding that it’s usually creepier to wonder than to know. Yet she never makes the reader feel like she’s simply messing around or doesn’t know what’s going on herself ... Jemc feels like the friend you listen to with nervous anticipation.
In her second story collection, False Bingo, Jac Jemc delivers 20 compact, disquieting stories that are starkly realistic yet tinged with a sense of otherworldly menace ... Jemc's ability to build an undercurrent of threat in mundane situations is reminiscent of Shirley Jackson ... In all her writing, Jemc displays dexterity with characters and precision with words and sentences, creating small worlds that satisfy even as they disturb. Fans of Daisy Johnson and Helen Oyeyemi will relish these stories of mistrust, danger and regrets.
Jemc returns with 20 electrifying short stories, some no longer than a few pages, but every one odd and memorable for wildly different reasons ... Jemc populates her stories with characters who may seem familiar, but whose actions often veer feverishly off-script ... A writer compared to Shirley Jackson and Henry James, Jemc continues to solidify her standing as a talented writer of the uncanny, the horrifying, and the hilarious.