Old Jack's Tale

Rated 3.57/5 based on 7 reviews
Fred the Bartender has heard many wild tales in his time, but the one Jack Matthews is about to tell him will challenge both his credulity and his sanity.
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About Walter Lazo

“Our free short stories are intended as a doorway to our more mature premium works. Their purpose is to showcase the author’s writing style and use of evocative imagery. Although these are his earlier works—he has gotten much better since—they serve as a nice introduction to his thematic concerns as well as to his belief that a story has to be believed in to be effective. Therefore, what he presents in these stories are situations and the reactions of characters within those situations.”

Walter Lazo was born in Cambridge, MA, and now lives in North Carolina. As a child he discovered his love of Weird Fiction and large, epic, heroic stories, as well as German and Greek mythology, devouring the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King, the Grimm brothers, Bram Stoker, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Walter grew up reading the short stories of Richard Matheson, and later discovered the works of the great science fiction writers of the 20th century; namely, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov.

He enjoys writing horror and science fiction stories with an occasional martial arts story thrown in for good measure. He is currently obsessed with the short story form and hopes that it will make a comeback in popularity. As an adult he has tried to create his own mythos, writing about the Demon World and other creatures that torment men’s dreams.

He is a longtime fan of Stephen King and of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

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Review by: Victoria Zigler on March 31, 2015 :
A story with great potential, but an unsatisfying ending.
(review of free book)
Review by: Jonathan Antony Strickland on July 13, 2013 :
After reading one or two of the reviews I was expecting this to be one of Walter's weaker stories. However, I found it to be a really thrilling and exiting read.

It is one of those stories that's screaming out for a second part, with the character of Jack deserving some more unwanted horror in his life. But as a short tale goes it was told well, with some good titbits of humour thrown in (the description of the barmans hair, and the fact that the creature goes "OUCH" as it's shot, and the slightly thick law enforcement team, spring to mind).

My one criticism (minor gripe) is I would have liked a bit more information on Jack, and why the police rate him so highly.

This story is also another really good slice of the werewolf series that the author is building up and deyploying here on smashwords.

Well worth a read.
(review of free book)
Review by: Chris The Story Reading Ape on March 6, 2013 :
I'm really sorry to say that this story is a quick read with an unsatisfying end, Walter Lazo has written better than this.
(review of free book)
Review by: Michael Carter on March 2, 2013 :
This was okay, but was nothing really new in the werewolf genre. Fairly well written, and a good idea, but I would have liked just a bit more originality to distinguish it from the hundreds of other werewolf stories out there. Not bad, but there are better examples of Walter Lazo's enjoyable work.
(review of free book)
Review by: Selena Faith on Oct. 27, 2012 :
Absolutely loved it!
(review of free book)
Review by: David Blake on Oct. 16, 2012 :
The title to this story seems to be a little misleading. Yes, the story concerns an old man named Jack who relates an incident to a barman - but the actual narrative of the incident switches between the viewpoints of numerous characters, so I never really felt it was 'Jack's tale' as such. It really needed to be told from his viewpoint alone, I thought. Not a huge problem, but... y'know.

There's some attempt to establish Jack as something of an expert in his field, but this is achieved by making the other characters stupid - would professionals really all miss a wedding ring on a body which is spotted straight away by the 'expert'?
Sheriff is misspelt as "Sherriff" throughout.
Overall the storytelling seemed a little basic (descriptions are sparse, particularly where locations are concerned) and the plot goes nowhere really, lacking any kind of twist or imaginative new 'take' on the genre.
(review of free book)
Review by: Melody Hewson on June 10, 2012 :
I REALLY liked this short story. I'm not familiar with the narrating character but he sounds like someone I would enjoy reading about and I plan to look into the author's other works.
Very traditional werewolf tale brought into a CSI world. Also very detailed. Great job on this one.
(review of free book)

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