- File Size: 3103 KB
- Print Length: 324 pages
- Publication Date: May 31, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01GGCYJ1G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,665,388 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Dark Day Dreams: Stories by Kindle Edition
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This review is on Dark Day Dreams by James Hawthorne. This is the first book I have read by this author, which I found on BooksGoSocial.com. The author has other novels, but this one is a collection of short speculative fiction stories with some science fiction storylines thrown in for good measure.
The book is made up of fourteen short stories that vary from a young man who thinks he is being followed by demons during the shortest day of winter, to a man who decided to upload his mind into a robotic body, which would allow him to live a lot longer than normal human beings.
One of my favorites is A Holy Amputation, which is a story about Benjamin who lives near Seattle. Ben is an agnostic and was an American Jew. Another character named Ferran lives in Mecca who stopped going to his local mosque. Then there is Louise who lives in Tulsa and likes to go to her local church and pray. All these characters have a “dark shadow” hanging over their hearts. Why, you ask? Because several years earlier Earth made contact with an alien race called the Troon who gave humans many new things which helped the people on Earth. However, they did finally have one demand. Earth must rid itself of all the hatred found in one region of the world—eight countries found in the Middle East. These sudden twists appear in most stories. Many of the author’s stories spin you around on your ear.
Another story revolves around a person who is really a werewolf who leaves his mountain home and travels around the country telling jokes for a living. Then there is a story about a boy named Ted who loses his best friend named Jerry in a car accident. The years pass; suddenly out of the blue, Jerry talks to Ted via an inner voice wondering what’s happening in the world. One story is about overweight women who work in a coffee shop and meet a real life nymph that offers them a choice how to lose weight. I especially liked the story about a nurse working in an assisted living facility who befriends an old lady that dies and leaves her inheritance to the nurse. The storyline is really about climate change and what some people do to escape it.
All the stories are very eclectic and make you think about why things in the world are the way they are. Many stories are “dark” and some of the characters may be suffering through depression or feeling lonely or having difficulty adjusting to all the changes happening in the world. Real people are probably thinking or dreaming about these things too.
I give this book Four Stars because the stories are insightful, imaginative, entertaining and make you wonder about things on deeper levels. Even though some of the stories are dark or contain depressing concepts, they are all well written and have interesting plots and storylines. Some of the stories seemed to be too short and some end abruptly, but all are easy to read and understand with interesting characters. It makes me want to read more short stories written by interesting Sci-Fi authors.
What I appreciated most about this collection of stories is how it mixes references to current news events with religious images of good and evil. I took that to mean that if a person strives to live a religious life, it is necessary to live a kind life, and that was a great message to take away from reading this book. Each story deals with a hard choice between what somebody wants and what is the right thing to do.
"A Holy Amputation" reminds me of the part of the Bible in which Jesus teaches, "And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell." (Matthew 5:30)
"Beast in Show" was very sad. I felt bad for the main character because he wants so badly to fit in but has to wrestle with the beast inside himself.
"Hungry Women" makes me think of old stories of how people sell their souls. There is no devil in the story,but there was a seduction and a choice made by a group of women to make the sacrifice in exchange for something they want.
I enjoyed reading this collection of stories. I read the book very quickly, and I have thought about these three short stories in particular because I imagined what choices I would have made in those situations.
Top international reviews
The opening story was not the best, and had a feel of one you might tell a child (apart from the swearing of course!) He should perhaps take that one out and put one of the others in at the beginning, just a thought.
An eclectic mix of genres that has substance and an overall sense of morality, these stories are never predictable and will leave the reader pondering their content and meaning long after they have finished the collection.
A cut above the usual, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a story with substance and thoughtful story lines.
There’s clearly a vivid imagination on display here and kudos to the author for that. The stories unfold at a fast pace, which is something I like and they’re unpredictable and not in the least bit formulaic. My own particular favourite was probably Beast in Show, which features a werewolf trying to make it in the bright lights of Hollywood and he even tries his hand at stand up comedy. I could easily envision each of these tales in some kind of Twilight Show-esque television series. I for one, would watch.
I'd recommend this to those who like their fiction a wee bit left of centre. Or fiction that makes you stop and tilt your head. It's weird but in the best possible way. A most enjoyable read.