A Gift in the Dark

Rated 4.91/5 based on 11 reviews
A Gift in the Dark is a compilation of short works, predominantly written in the Paranormal, Fantasy and Horror genres. Many of the stories are based around old Westcountry myths and legends.

Other works include a story about hell’s own gameshow, a re-write of an old fairy tale, a drabble, death appearing as an unwelcome guest at a wedding, and stories of imps, trolls, sprites and a teddy bear More

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About Gavin Wilson

A reader of far too many books for his own good, Gavin has a sneaking suspicion that all the words his brain has been forced to ingest in the past are now leaking back out in the form of various works of fiction. This has resulted in a somewhat varied writing style as the author tends to write whatever pops into his head, regardless of genre.

Gavin tends to write short stories of a fantastical nature, often crossing genres and mixing fantasy, horror and science fiction. Having grown up (sort of) reading works by such noted authors as Sir Terry Pratchett, Arthur C Clarke, Larry Niven, Neil Gaiman, JRR Tolkein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Bernard Cornwell and many others, he is heavily influenced by stories that hover on the edge of reality or history.

Many of his tales are heavily influenced by growing up in rural south-west England where old tales whisper from the shadows and streetlights are rare.

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Review by: Demelza Carlton on May 17, 2013 :
Pratchett, Poe and the Apocalypse

From Death to the apocalypse to mining in Cornwall – Gavin Wilson can certainly spin a yarn. In the satirical style of Pratchett, with some of the horror elements I liked in Poe, he managed to keep me from reading anything else until I’d finished his book.

I picked this up on the train and didn’t want to put my Kindle away when I reached work.

I can’t even say which story I liked best, as it’s a close competition between Godmother and Blood Red Moon.

I think the worst bit of the whole book was my audible disappointment as I reached the end – the apocalypse, indeed! Given the price, it was worth every cent, but I admit I’d have liked to be reading for longer.

Any chance of a second Gift, Mr Wilson?
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
Review by: John Picha on March 20, 2013 :
Horror theater for the short-attention-span afflicted.

This bite-sized smattering of atmospheric horror stories is perfect for people on the go who want to be tantalized and teased with terror on the train, to be speckled by goosebumps between appointments, or to have their hair raised throughout the day. The 23 tales sealed within "A Gift in the Dark" make up a morgue of ghastly vignettes. If you are brave enough to creak open its cover you will encounter…

A haunted mine in Cornwall. A comicbook that conjures the real world. Lavatory mores breeched by a toilet terror. A day in the life of death. A spiritual sailor voyaging through the dreams of the living. Empathy becoming a weapon against domestic abuse. An eccentric artist's gruesome witching hour creations. An unanswered prayer. A mythographer in search of hokum who hikes into Celtic curse. A re-visitation of All Hallows' Eve. A clever collision of children's classic and modern world requiring two types of tolls. Monty Hall doing a double take as Dante rolls in his grave over a demonic gameshow. A working class hero going to extremes not to get demoted. A serosanguineous self portrait. Drunken mage on a reality bender. An ironic twist of a phrase at a wedding reception. A n-stage sprit waiting for a changing of the guard. A chilling poem from the grave. A ghostly parade. A panacea with Lovecraftian side effects. A date to haunted mansion interrupted by a possessive sister. A body swapped red riding hood. An Edgar Cayce-esk plagiarist poaching prose. A Columbo reference. And a strange pattern of unsettling dental descriptions.

If you're a follower of "Creepshow", "Tales from the Crypt" or "House of Mystery", if you are bewitched by Stephen King or Neil Gaiman, if you crave re-imagined folklore like "The Brothers Grimm" or ABCs "Once Upon a Time", there is something waiting for you inside this gift from the dark.

Maybe you'd better read it with the lights on.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
Review by: Eloise Tucker on Jan. 9, 2013 :
I've been trying for some time to come up with something to say that will do this collection of stories justice - they are THAT good. It is no surprise that Mr Wilson has been several times published; his ability to draw you in and hold your interest is second to none. This collection is a must read
(reviewed 59 days after purchase)
Review by: Rachel Oakes on Nov. 29, 2012 :
Gavin Wilson is a brilliant writer with a wicked imagination. I am always impressed by the work he churns out, and A Gift in the Dark is no exception. Even though I told myself I would take my time, enjoy each story one by one....I read them all in one sitting. He's that good. I suppose I'll just have to read them again to appreciate them all the better. With a tale to fit every mood, one can't go wrong with this collection. Read, and enjoy.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Review by: Monica Sanz on Nov. 9, 2012 :
This is a brilliant collection of short stories. Each one is so different, that I moved from one story to another excited to see what gem of a tale I’d find next. Never once could I have predicted the ending and I loved that! Some, like Another Chance, were humorous in Gavin's classic dark style, while others like Godmother made my heart hurt. Regardless of whether the story was humorous with a grim edge or simply twisted, the quality of work was solid throughout. I was left both satisfied and craving more with each story read. I highly recommend this collection and look forward to reading more from Mr. Wilson.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
Review by: Adz Bala on Nov. 6, 2012 :
The book has delightful plots which will make you chuckle on the way. Not your typical Fantasy, Horror and Paranormal short stories but Refreshing as expected of Gav. Once you are nicely seated on a comfortable couch, all wrapped up in woolens with a cup of Hot chocolate and instrumental background music on low volume,You're set to get absorbed in this collection for one must give his full attention to this beautiful piece of art one would treasure dearly.

It shows Gav has worked hard on it and has proven to feed my Soul with Satisfaction which many books recently have failed to do so.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
Review by: Airam Booksie on Nov. 3, 2012 :
If you are looking for something short, well written, interesting, dark with a Stephen King/Twilight Zone twist this is what you need. You read one story to see what it is like and think 'Haha that was wicked'. You read the next and get the same feeling. You go onto the next with enthusiasm and love the Dark twist of the story, even trying to guess what it be before the authors words tell you. This collection of short stories is like a yummy treat when you are suffering a book hangover and don't know what to read next, or just want something light to read as the last book took it out of you. They sate your hunger but leave you keen for more. An ideal companion for a coffee break. As a writer I loved switching off my imaginary world for 10-15 mins and indulging in one of Gav's. I sussed out pretty quickly that they were the pringles of short story collections, once you pop you can't stop. Well done Gav! Full five stars (a writer/reader high five)
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Strider Marcus Jones on Oct. 31, 2012 :
Congratulations Gavin! Having read many of your stories already on Wattpad, I am giving you 5 stars in advance. Your style and imagination are unique in any genre. The ideas, plots, twists, characters and language leap off the page and grip the reader with their originality. Poignant relevance to today, alive in the past, present and future and rich with macabre, mischievous wit. A modern classic from a master storyteller!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Angus Ecrivain on Oct. 29, 2012 :
Mr Wilson knows how to craft a tale, and this collection of short works is no exception.

A must read, for fans of Fantasy, Horror, and other weird stuff!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: J T Chapman on Oct. 29, 2012 :
A delightful collection of short stories to suit every mood.
Addictive reading, once you start you just can't help but read the next and the next.

Gavin Wilson is a very talented writer who knows how to tell an entertaining tale.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: David Mark Brown on Oct. 24, 2012 :
As a BETA reader for this collection of shorts I was honored to be one of the first to imbibe of Gavin Wilson's talents. Mr. Wilson has the rare ability to capture suspense, tension, mystery and emotion in an amazingly short amount of words. His settings are rich and mesmerizing without being overwrought or distracting. And his characters usually seem to appear on the page in front of the reader's eye as if reading through a peep hole. Fully formed, the characters carry out their deeds in tantalizing blips before disappearing again out of sight. The effect is addictive and thought provoking. And the collection is without a dud. Each story will find those who love it best.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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