Author: Aseem Rastogi
Fear is the background of this collection of short stories. Dread explores the dark emotions that arise out of unexpected encounters and circumstances.
This collection explores fear and dread in a range of situations. A jungle safari for a tourist couple turns a nightmare because they are adventurous enough to venture into unsafe territory.
A flight across continents becomes an air disaster and turns the life of the lone survivor upside down.
Modern corporate offices are not the safe and secure places they are nade out to be.
The fear of the night, dark places and being in secluded buildings is a very real one for many. And so are nightmares.
Lives can change in the blink of an eye. The author looks at how tragedies like an airplane crash or a bomb blast in a train can affect an ordinary person. The fear of being thrown in jail or being mistaken for a terrorist are all fears that we have had a brush with at sometime or the other.
It’s a short book but packed with punch. The thing that leapt out of the pages was the original viewpoint which made it a good read.
The stories explore many scenarios of fear. The narration and pacing of the stories is good.
The characters are well developed in 3 of the stories. The Night That Was has the snapshot of an entire family. The flashbacks of memorable moments interspersed with the protagonist’s dark reality makes a very good contrast. It reads like the memory roll of a person about to die.
Dark Places and Into the Night are similar in tone and concept. However the modern reader can connect the story sequence and circumstances with his own life. Without using too much description, the author manages to induce fear. Empty office buildings at night are never going to feel the same again.
The Dark Secret of the Grasslands conveys the spirit of adventure adequately. The author has sketched the couple well, presenting the typical scenario in third world countries of a first world couple. This story has the potential to be developed further. Clues, action and what-happened-next can be extrapolated.
Flight or Fright shows how life can change in the blink of an eye.
What works well
The characters and backdrop are well etched in the stories. The reader can connect with the characters well. The language is good and the treatment of the subject feels very original.
The point of view of the characters is clear and the stories do not meander developing other threads or possible happenings.
What could be better
Some of the stories could be longer and the situations be better explored. The Dark Secret of the Grasslands can have more detail of the crime and the subsequent chase to get the criminals for a well rounded story. Into the Night and The Dark Places can also be developed further.
A well written collection that chills without being macabre or overly fearsome.
The book is published for Blogchatter Ebook Carnival and is available for free download for a limited time. Read it here.