The Tragedy Man by Staci Lane Wilson Book Cover
Book Reviews

The Tragedy Man by Staci Layne Wilson Review

When his boss was murdered, Cary Bouchard’s life began. 

For years, timid Cary toiled away in a cold cubicle. He had dreams, but not the courage to pursue them. That is, until he lost his job and found his fortune in a most unexpected way. 

Nothing could have prepared Cary for how his life changes: love, money, and fame come to him all too easily. Soon he’s on TV, signing autographs for legions of fans, in love with a beautiful woman, and buying a Manhattan penthouse. Cary’s newfound confidence and cachet elevates him higher and higher. 

But what goes up, must come down. Someone is out for blood. When unspeakable horrors and death start to befall everyone around Cary, everything slips from his grasp. His girlfriend, his fame, and finally… his sanity. All gone. A broken man, Cary has nothing to lose as he faces complete oblivion head-on. He does everything he must do in order to uncover the truth about the murder that led to his great fortune. But even if he does, will anyone believe him? And can he even trust himself? 

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Horror After Dark Review

Cary works at a dreary art gallery and he does not like his boss. He may even wish ill upon him, if only in his thoughts. As he sinks further into his own little world of misery, he daydreams about creative deaths for the jerk in charge of his work life. It’s all quite amusing until the boss turns up dead!

It’s then that Cary decides he’s going to become an Important Literary Writer of Important and Smart Literary Things. Cary is a bit of snob, you see, but instead of the great literary novel, he sells a pulp horror novel and despises himself for writing such drivel. He manages to becomes very successful in spite of himself but his success has a steep price. Cary really should’ve read the contract before signing it . . .

The rest of the book follows the insufferable and always morose Cary as he falls further and further into a fever dream of sex, violence, madness and poor-me-ism.

I liked some of the story even though it’s quite easy to guess at what’s going on here and the terrible images in the latter half had me laughing at Cary’s expense. Unfortunately (for me) I did not like a single thing about Cary. He’s a depressing, pompous sad-sack, lacking charm and self-awareness and he is also weak and insecure and has a mommy issue or two. He’s a bit hateful and hard to stomach, if you want the truth. I guess I wasn’t supposed to like him but his terrible snobbery and constant jabs at horror fiction made this story a not-so-fun time for me. He and his lover denigrated the genre I love most in the world, as well as its fans, and I found it all very unpleasant and wished painful death upon him a million times over. The ending was spectacular so I am torn about a rating. I suspect I’ll go with a three after stewing on it for a bit.

I listened to this story as an unabridged audio (and, YES, that counts as reading – fight me) and the narrator does a terrific job of bringing Cary’s arrogant and bitter tone to life. Give it a listen if you’re a fan of audiobooks.

*I received a copy of this audio courtesy of the author.

About The Author

Author Photo Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is a noted Hollywood and film historian. 

NEW BOOKS in 2017 and 2018: So L.A. – A Hollywood Memoir (non-fiction), City of Devils (horror anthology), and The Tragedy Man (horror audiobook & kindle).

Visit Staci Layne Wilson’s website here:


Scary books make everything so much better! I've been reading them since I was a wee, weird little thing and grew up with a steady diet of King, Koontz, Barker, and Brite and will read and watch just about anything with a hint of darkness.


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