- File Size: 798 KB
- Print Length: 176 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1936457040
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Nightscape Press; Second edition (December 11, 2013)
- Publication Date: December 11, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00H91NEZQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,430,541 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top customer reviews
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The synopsis of this novella is what drove me to purchase the book. My mind was so filled with questions that I simply had to know how everything took place and how it all worked out. The background and layers of this novella are divulged and included in such a way that it just seems to bloom. Ms. Mannetti (smartly) did not add chapter after chapter of explanation for things that can be revealed through conversation or other, shorter means. The reader is given everything that they need without a bunch of chopped up bits between –and with very little “fluff.”
As others have mentioned, there are “graphic” scenes in this novella. The medical scenes are just as one might expect –graphic and matter-of-fact, for the most part. To me, the scenes with sexual content are much the same; they are done quite well –on the “cleaner” side of graphic, and not in so much detail that it ever felt anywhere close to erotica. This whole novella felt very “no nonsense” to me and these scenes are no different. You are given what the author feels you need to read/see to understand. These are just bursts of sudden gore, horror, terror, and/or weight that are needed for the whole. (It's not television. A scene cannot just end for a commercial break and everything is understood.)
I will say that I was a tad disappointed with the ending. I really wanted more of a resolution. (More on that later...)
THE SHEILA NA GIG
I had not even looked at the synopsis for this story before reading it so I was completely open for anything when I started. This novella definitely stirred more emotions for me as characters' motives were more clearly and quickly defined than in the first tale. I did feel a bit lost, however, at the beginning whilst trying to place my mind in time. When I read the first two paragraphs, I was in a much different mindset than after the third –I mention this because I think it's a wonderful display of Ms. Mannetti's talent. (I was hooked by the hook!)
This is another multi-layer story, but handled much differently than the first. It reads more like some odd variation of “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers –It is so very different, but my mental image while reading called the song to mind. The changing of pace throughout the novella is well-done, but definitely a big change from Dissolution. Clearly, these are not meant as to parts of a whole.
The plot for this one had more turns and twists than I really expected (when judging by the number of pages left). I was truly amazed how much the author fit into the book –and I was satisfied by the ending.
SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE TO END. STOP READING HERE IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK.
For several minutes after finishing this book, I truly just sat and let my brain make connections. I was genuinely surprised by the tying together of ends and all of the connections. I will say, though, that I'm still trying to figure out if Regina was Jack's daughter or if there were a few generations. If she was Jack's daughter, why wouldn't Tom run as soon as he heard the last name? (I explain this to myself in the next paragraph.)
Both of these stories have a strong current that I think some reviewers may have missed. In 'Dissolution', there is acceptance of accountability, blame, responsibility, and shame. In 'The Sheila Na Gig' those same things only exist on the sides of victims. The common current is manipulation. Human-to-human, spirit-to-human, even mind-to-body: This book explores so many angles of how being manipulated can change a person –and how manipulating others can change a person, too. Maybe that's just my interpretation of the reading, but I thought it was very real and wonderful. No sugar-coating, no down pillows for a soft landing: This is manipulation and how it works.
To conclude my opinions/thoughts about Dissolution's ending, 'The Sheila Na Gig' added more depth to the ending, but I still want to know what happens next –because this whole twisted tale may have done a figure-eight (or several), but it is not finished.
In the first selection, Stuart Granville, a young medical student who has been tossed out of school for drinking, is hired by a reclusive doctor, supposedly as a tutor for his two young daughters. Once he arrives at his destination in Hyde Park, however, he discovers the truth about the girls, their father, their late mother, and their disturbing history that has brought them to their present situation. The doctor's plan for the girls, who happen to be conjoined twins, will have some unexpected and horrifying consequences.
The second excellent novella in this collection introduces us to Tom Smith, a young Irishman escaping his life in the old country and sailing to New York. As he and his fellow traveler in steerage swap tales, we learn the disturbing story of Tom's early life in Ireland. He's spent his years dealing with a cruel and abusive father, and a grandmother whose occult practices cause him no end of trouble and grief. Into the mix, he's also been trying his best to protect his simple-minded younger sister from the threats posed by both these unsavory family members. When his plan goes awry, the story culminates with a devastating and startling climax.