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on Feb. 08, 2013 :
A collection of three very decent short stories which won't fail to disturb your peace of mind. Each is very different and delivers a very unique mood.
On the downside one might point out certain factual errors that spoil some of the immersion, especially in the flagship Chernobyl story. Nothing that the author writes about life in the USSR or present-day Ukraine would pass a reality check (MACK trucks, listening to BBC World Service, Bible classes in Soviet orphanages). A more serious flaw however is that the author adds XVII century Western European (Mason) lore into the mouth of an old man in rural Ukraine of the Seventies which for me was rather brow-raising to read. In the third and last novelette, the author writes about a gun given as a "hunting present" to the protagonist a decade before that weapon had become available in the USA. I know these are little goofs, but still. A little more homework, and text editing because there's plenty of typos too unfortunately, and the book could have been brilliant. Still a great and enjoyable read as far as mood and story-telling are concerned. Definitely worth its price.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on July 20, 2011 :
I pretty much rotate back and forth between classic literature and horror. I am often bored by the lack of "an edge" at times in the classics, but am also just as often dismayed by horror writers failure to provide something deeper than the slash of a knife or a splatter of blood. These stories are exactly the type that show that good horror can have depth, or conversely that literature can have an edge. "The Dancing Water" was other-worldly in atmosphere but it describes an actual place on earth. The story itself was totally original and very artistic, as well as chilling. It fascinated me. "Awake, Ghost Song" was one of the most disturbing stories I have read but was so realistic and well written I felt deep compassion for the protagonist and fell completely into the story. I felt real dread as it proceeded. That story packs quite an emotional punch. I will be reading more by this author.
(review of free book)