You need another shelf.

You’re running out of room for your collection, and you need more places to put things. The silly truth is that you never really wanted to start this but somebody gave you one item, which begets another and another – and there you go.

Your sister likes angels. Dad collected tools. Your niece wants a souvenir bell from your next trip. Little Jackie collects trees, and she has a map to keep track of them. But in the new novel “One Bloody Thing After Another” by Joey Comeau, Jackie isn’t the only collector in the neighborhood.

Jackie never meant to throw rocks through Mrs. Hubert’s car window, but it wasn’t exactly an accident, either. When Jackie saw that the first-kiss tree was missing, well, she just lost her mind. She was sure that she should care about a first kiss, but she didn’t really like boys so the tree wasn’t as important as, say, the broken-arm tree or some of the others. But cutting it down like that?

Not good at all.

After she was arrested, Jackie asked to go to the bathroom, where she said the magic word and became invisible. Her dead mother’s ghost came, just like she usually did, to throw up in the toilet. Invisible Jackie patted the mother-ghost’s back while the policeman said bad words.

Across town, Jackie’s best friend, Ann, had her own problems. It started when her mother took to the basement and howled all night. Ann and her sister, Margaret, had to find meat to keep their mother fed, and it wasn’t easy. Rats and mice weren’t enough, so they captured other animals. And then, Mother bit Margaret.

Over at the retirement home, Charlie had a routine. Each day, he’d walk Mitchie, the World’s Stupidest Dog. Then they would follow the headless ghost up to Mrs. Richards’ apartment. The ghost seems to want to tell the woman something, but Charlie couldn’t read its lips. His eyesight just wasn’t what it used to be.

When Jackie can’t find the dead-mother tree, Ann can’t find enough to feed her family, and Charlie can’t find Mitchie, everybody finds a happy ending.

More or less.

“One Bloody Thing After Another” has a lot going for it. At fewer than 200 pages, it’s a quick read. Author Joey Comeau’s characters are quirky enough to keep your interest and his plot moves fast. There are a few chuckles scattered about, hidden and surprising. And there’s a creepy undertone of malevolence that makes you want to squirm.

On the other hand, it was just beyond weird. Weird as in – did I miss something here? At times, I thought maybe I’d accidentally skipped a page, but no. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, but one thing’s for sure: This isn’t a book for everyone.

If you need a story that makes total sense, pass on this one. If your literary tastes run to the oddly macabre, though, move your other novels aside. “One Bloody Thing After Another” is a book you’ll want on your shelf.

“One Bloody Thing After Another” by Joey Comeau c. 2010, ECW Press, $14.95 US & Canada, 167 pages