Reviews > Published on April 19th, 2017

Bookshots: 'Entropy in Bloom' by Jeremy Robert Johnson

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review


Entropy in Bloom

Who wrote it?

Jeremy Robert Johnson, author of Skullcrack City and other mind-melting nightmares, former publisher of said nightmares at the now defunct Swallowdown press.

Plot in a box:

["Entropy in Bloom"] will leave you pondering the deeper meaning of random acts of violence for days to come.

This is a collection of short stories, and I do not possess enough boxes to contain their many plots. And even if I did, I doubt any of them would fit. I'd have to have some boxes custom ordered, in a variety of impractical shapes and sizes. Hello good sir, do you carry any twelve-sided boxes? I thought not.

Invent a new title for this book:

Listen to the Cowboy

Read this if you like(d):

These stories the first time you read them, Skullcrack City, bizarro fiction, Lazy Fascist Press

Meet the book’s lead(s):

A group of mostly unfortunate souls who would never believe these things could happen to them. The reader won't, either.

Said lead(s) would be portrayed in a movie by:

The prettiest of the pretty, and the most uncharacteristic of character actors. I want Michael St. Michaels in at least one role.

Setting: Would you want to live there?

These stories exist in a little place I'd like to call, Fucknopelandia. I don't want to be near anything or anyone involved.

What was your favorite sentence?

This funny bit of dialog between a cop and the victim of a break-in:

"You think the robber was a male?"

"Most of 'em are. And in this case, actually, you're dealing with a burglar. A robber steals from people using force. A burglar steals from properties. Easy way to remember it is to think of the Hamburglar. He was sneaky. Creeping around, stealing burgers. Already dressed in jail duds, which was dumb now that I think about it. But you didn't see him pistol-whipping Ronald and jacking his fries. He did that, he'd be the Hamrobber."

The Verdict:

This collection of (mostly) previously published stories showcases the best of the worst of Jeremy Robert Johnson. And by worst, I mean most gut-churning and nightmare inducing. Everything from roided-out he-beasts to mind-altering meat sprouts. *Shudder.

But for me, the highlight of Entropy has to be "The Sleep of Judges," a never-before published novella that closes out the set like an encore by your favorite band, the proverbial cherry on top, sending you buzzing into the night. If there was ever a perfect articulation of how violating it is to have your home broken into*, this is it. Perfectly paced and extremely creepy, this story, as well as the collection as a whole, will leave you pondering the deeper meaning of random acts of violence for days to come. Enjoy?

*Come to think of it, this isn't the only story in this collection that deals with this issue. The armchair psychologist in me says, "Hm..."

Get Entropy in Bloom at Bookshop or Amazon

About the author

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor. He is the author of The Paradox Twins (CLASH Books), the story collection Whispers in the Ear of A Dreaming Ape, and the parody Kanye West—Reanimator. His short fiction has been published by Vice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Severed Press, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Broken River Books, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @jaceycockrobin. More info at and

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