Review: “We Are All Completely Fine” by Daryl Gregory

We Are All Completely FineWe Are All Completely Fine
Daryl Gregory
★★★★★
Tachyon Publications, 2014.

I wish I would have read this sooner.

Because had it been in contention two weeks ago We Are All Completely Fine would have hit my Top Ten easily.

Alas, I must content myself with telling everyone to read Daryl Gregory’s brilliant, creepy novella. And nominating and hopefully voting for it in next year’s Hugo Awards.

 We Are All Completely Fine  focuses on a therapy group comprised of five survivors of horrific trauma.

Really, really horrific trauma.

Stan had his extremities eaten by cannibals. Barbara’s bones were scrimshawed by a serial killer. Harrison Harrison is the child survivor of a town beset by supernatural phenomena, whose life was the basis for a successful children’s novel. Matthew won’t remove his virtual reality glasses. And Greta, the final member, is covered head to toe in scars and refuses to talk about her ordeal. The five are brought together by a psychologist who may be hiding secrets of her own.

In what feels like an accurate portrayal of group therapy (Gregory’s wife is a psychologist herself) the members reveal their secrets slowly, feeling out each other to determine how much they can expose their horror to the light. We see just how damaged these survivors are, and, as the story progresses, how much more growth may be necessary.

As each member tells their story, Gregory slowly reveals their experiences are interrelated. Each hold a piece of the puzzle to unlock terrors that have trapped them in a sort-of supernatural PTSD — and how their nemeses are still lurking on the fringes of reality.

harrison squared

Daryl Gregory returns to the main character of “We Are All Completely Fine” in 2015’s “Harrison Squared.”

There are elements of Lovecraftian horror, as these five come face-to-face with unspeakable horror and are unable to return to normalcy. Gregory’s characters exist on the border between ordinary reality and eldritch madness — and they are attempting to preserve humanity while saving their own sanity.

And while the novel built to a stunning ending, it left me wanting more. Thankfully Gregory is returning in 2015 with Harrison Squared, a YA novel which will focus on Harrison’s events.

I can’t wait.

—Michael Senft

Buy We Are All Completely Fine


About Michael Senft

I am a freelance writer and critic from Phoenix Arizona. I spent 10 years covering music, the arts and pop culture for the “Arizona Republic” before life circumstances took me away from newspaper. But I never lost my joy at writing. Or reading.
This entry was posted in Five Stars, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Review: “We Are All Completely Fine” by Daryl Gregory

  1. Pingback: SFWA Announces Nebula Award Nominees | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  2. Pingback: March Sci-Fi and Fantasy Releases | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  3. Pingback: Review: “Harrison Squared” by Daryl Gregory | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  4. Pingback: Sick of all those Puppies? We Hunted the Mammoth is looking for Serious Kittens | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  5. Pingback: Locus Finalists Announced | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  6. Pingback: Shirley Jackson Awards Announced | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  7. Pingback: Campbell Memorial and Sturgeon Nominees announced | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  8. Pingback: 2015 World Fantasy Award Nominees announced | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  9. Pingback: Shirley Jackson Award Winners announced | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s