Yet another free download from the Kindle store!
This is an absolutely bite-sized read. There are 8 stories in total, all of which are verging on the flash fiction length or slightly longer. It took me under half an hour to read them all — maybe even less.
Since I haven’t seen a table of contents anywhere, the stories are:
Three old ladies aren’t quite what they seem.
2. The Stork of Midnight
A young boy asks his grandfather why he has no eyes and gets much more than he bargained for.
3. The Lord Will Be Back in 5′
A farmer is ordered by God to kill his son.
A mother, concerned by her son’s unusual habits, hires an investigator to discover where her son is spending all his time.
5. Porcelain Bones
A man is haunted by memories of his loved one.
6. The Second Mother
A man meets a mysterious woman in the desert. Is she an angel come to forgive him for his crimes?
7. The Gondolas of Athens
A slice-of-life of a boy living in Athens.
8. Love Planet
Two bitter ex-lovers are stranded on an abandoned planet.
Despite its brevity, I enjoyed this book. The stories are fairly well written and descriptive, and Hajiyorgi does a good job of delivering an unexpected twist right smack at the end. “The Stork” is a prime example of this; it starts getting creepy and you think you know where it’s going, but a little twist doubles the horror content.
I enjoyed both “Mothers” and “Love Planet” for their creepy concept and science fiction elements. “Porcelain Bones” was weaker in terms of plot, but had some evocative imagery.
“The Second Mother” and “The Gondalas of Athens” were the two duds in the collection for me. The writing is solid, but compared to the other stories’ surprise endings, these two fell flat.
Despite the original concepts behind many of the stories, one gripe I would have is that each story is so short that you barely have the time to explore a concept before it’s over. The book’s blurb mentions that Dino Hajiyorgi has “a skilful economy with words” — which is true — but the fact that the stories are so short means that you’ve just sunken into them and then they’re over. Given that none of the stories are related, this makes it a fairly jerky read.
Maybe I’d complain less had there been more than 8 stories. Who knows!
Overall, an interesting and creepy read, but personally given how short the book is, I’m not sure I’d have been happy to pay for it.