Thank you Sriramana Muliya for sending me this book. It is presently hiding in my fridge, from where I am hoping it cannot scare me anymore (yes, it was Joey Tribbiani‘s idea to hide it there, but I am sure it works).
Frankly Spooking is a collection of thirty short stories. The flies on the front cover were enough to spook me out as they looked like they may fly out of the book and haunt me in my sleep!
Genre: Paranormal, gore, horror, suspense etc.
Description: While not all stories are truly scary (some like “Soul Stirring” are quite touching, in fact) most are the kind you do not want to read before sleeping. The author deals well with the paranormal kind, but less so with gore. The first story truly spooked me (won’t spoil it for you, so I won’t tell you why) but some stories, like “The Cable” would have been more scary if the author had described the scenario from the victim’s point of view, rather than explaining what was happening to him (show – don’t tell), as the author has done quite well in “Inked”. I found “Mannequins on the Move” and “The Real Thief” to be similar (a vague resemblance).
My favorite out of this collection is “The Team Player”. It was twisted in the most dark and brilliant way. However, (and I would say this about almost all the stories), the title could have been different. In fact, the book’s title itself, led me to believe at first it’s more of a comical take on the supernatural. A more serious title next time, Sriramana? (Yes, when there’s a next time, I would pick that book up too!)
Characters: Well, as this is a collection of short stories, there really isn’t much I can say about the different characters in the stories. A little more description of their behaviors and appearances would have helped though.
Language/Grammar: Some Indianism (off the top of my head – “cousin sister”). Otherwise, the book is simple and easy to follow. The layout and simple language would encourage more people to take up reading as a hobby again (hopefully!)
The stories could have been a bit longer. For example, the last story Blogosphere was really well written, especially because it is not too condensed or scrunched up. Short stories are tricky, but expanding them by a few paragraphs would have helped the buildup leading to the sudden and unexpected climaxes of the stories.
When I read Blogosphere, I was half hoping the author would add a more autobiographical touch to it, to spook his readers out even more! I was not entirely sure if that is what he had tried, but if yes, a bit of polishing would have convinced the reader and made him question if it is indeed true or not! (For example, consider what John Porter has done in Solitude’s Fine. It truly made me question how much of it was actually fiction)
Note: This book was sent to me by the author, but a review was not requested. I am reviewing it here as I review most of the other books that I read. This review is not influenced by the author or anyone else in any manner.