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Broken Nightlights by [Napier, Barry]
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Broken Nightlights Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 129 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 344 KB
  • Print Length: 129 pages
  • Publication Date: January 19, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004U7F68A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,861,130 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Overall: 3 1/2 stars

After reading the first story, Firmament, (3 1/4 Stars) I had somewhat lowered expectations for how well this anthology would work for me. It dealt with a family, consisting of a mother and son, who'd just lost the man of the house. For largely subjective reasons, it didn't quite scratch my story itch. The main character and her son were in mourning, but I couldn't seem to care about her. Stories of grief often don't work for me because it seems to be that there are moments in mourning when we all do some pretty standard things, and those are touchstones in stories, but I think that if anything brings out the sense of individuality, the quirks in someone's nature, it's loss. Too often writers relate the universal stuff, hoping the reader will have experienced that same moment, when what rings truest for me are the unusual choices. This was why the mother didn't work for me. The character of the son was better drawn and his grief, alone in his understanding of what death means, was so much more effective. The general skill shown by the author and worthwhile ending didn't fully redeem the story for me.

However, every single issue I had with Firmament, every perceived weakness, was reversed later on in the anthology. I felt that, based on Firmament, Mr. Napier probably wasn't going to be able to present a portrait of loss that would move me, and then be proceeded to prove me wrong in multiple stories. I didn't think his words would sing for me, only to find that Mi Casa Es Su Casa (4 Stars) read like a poem and All The Little Secrets was a gem of a story (4 3/4 Stars). "Secrets" was a character piece that worked for me much like some of the better, more personal episodes of X-Files, such as Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose. (Yes, I just went full on geek.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Short story collections are a great way to get to know an author, and 13 Broken Nightlights provides a glimpse at Barry Napier's varied approaches to writing dark fiction.

Barry's bibliography is evidence of his range as a writer. With publishing credits that cover fiction, poetry and comic books, 13 Broken Nightlights offers that same variety, providing something for everyone.

Mi Casa Es Su Casa reads like melodic prose, and in an interview with Macabre Republic, Napier shared that the story first started out as a lengthy poem titled "A Heart with Picket Fences."

The story finds an operating room full of doctors exploring the treasures revealed within a patient, and causes each one to wonder about the magic and mystery held within themselves.

The closing line is as powerful as the wonderfully imagery throughout, and sums up the melancholy tone perfectly.

End Credits had me intrigued from the very beginning. It tells the tale of Jason, whose film director father Val DeSade (now passed) left a series of clues in the end credits of his films for his son to discover and decipher.

My only complaint - I felt as though the story left me hanging. Just as we are allowed a peek into the clues and what happens when Jason begins to collect them, the story ends, only hinting at what is to come. I would like to have seen exactly where Barry intended to take the remainder of the tale.

Lunatic Mile is a creepy little story that is not for the squeamish. This story follows Rosetta, a 75-year grandmother and her task to keep a deal with a dark visitor in exchange for him mending her pains and keeping her family safe.

It offers a similar tone as another story in the collection called Grave Seasons.
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