The Devil on The Staircase by Joe Hill
I’ve been diving in and out of the Joe Hill short story anthology Full Throttle recently. And I’m near the end of the collection and I’ve been somewhat disappointed to be honest. The stories for the most part are a little rougher and feel like possibly Hill’s earliest works. But I’m in this far and am still reviewing each story. Correction most stories. There are two or three that have been very forgettable and I actually forgot I read them entirely, therefore I forgot to write review. (By the time I remember I actually read them, the details were so vague it was impossible to write a review. ) But enough rambling and onto the review of the next tale in the anthology, The Devil on the Staircase.
It follows a young man who lives in a mountain side town with the job of carrying rocks up and down miles of stairs. He has an abusive father and a mean spirited outlook on life. But after his father dies, he tries to make a better living but things are still tough. When a girl he has a crush on and his mean employer are found together, he snaps. He kills his employer and then runs from the police. He escapes to a staircase that takes him to Hell. There he meets Satan’s son, who give him a chirping bird that allows anyone to believe this murderer’s lies. The lead protagonist takes it.
The good? It’s interesting and the story is original. It also has some tense moments.
The bad? The world is hard to picture, because the detail is so lacking. There also seems to be no real story progression or character ac. Things just kinda happen. This kid is awful at the beginning and is the same as at the end. There are no real twist or turns. And the small supernatural element, seems to not spice up the story any.
Overall, this story is very meh. It’s very short. It’s not good or bad. It’s just okay and very forgettable. If you stumble upon it, you can read it, if this sounds like your thing. But I really do not recommend this.
Overall Rating: A Story Concerning Murder and a Stairway to Hell Should be More Exciting Than This.
2 out of Five Smoothies