- File Size: 2053 KB
- Print Length: 122 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1629270105
- Publisher: Smithcraft Press (May 12, 2014)
- Publication Date: May 12, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00KBBWD9E
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,257,495 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.95|
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Pond Life: Tales of the Wondrous and the Macabre Kindle Edition
|Length: 122 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, while most of the tales are your sort of garden-variety-kinda tale (a few of them should have remained in that obscure piece of furniture we Writers call the Fabled Writer's Trunk... where we leave our unfinished and unpromising stories to mold), I'll try to highlight the few ones that truly impressed me and makes me recommend this book:
a) The Obsessives Club; this one is a very wicked vision of the after-life... quite commendable.
b) Pond life; the tale that gives its name to the collection. Echoes of Mr. Stephen King's "Tommyknockers" reverberated in my mind while I was reading this one.
c) The Ruby Slippers; I really loved this one... it gave me a feeling of anticipation about the end... and its denouement, while expected, was quite satisfactory. It left a wide smile in my face.
d) Mere Survival; a very chilling tale about three escapees from a Gulag, who are travelling across a frozen thundra with absolutely no supplies. The feeling of uncertainty at the end will send a chill down your spine.
So, if you have the chance, grab yourself a copy of "Pond life"; I'm glad I picked up mine...
Such presupposition is frequently wrong and certainly so in this case. The tales range from quirky/odd to downright sinister. And sinister in an often understated and Lovecraftian or Blackwoodian manner. The writing is never clumsy nor is it florid, and (with a few exceptions) the horror tends toward an undercurrent. A creeping, niggling knowing that something in the frame doesn't compute or, more aptly, can only be resolved with maths the characters don't possess.
The title piece, 'Pond Life', is a wonderful example. A result unforeseen by the protagonist but alluded to by the denizens of an unheralded backwater seems inevitable. And even in the offing, all is not to be understood nor is it possible that it ever might be, such is the limited nature of man's understanding.
Many stories deal with the uncertainty of the afterlife, and these are never handled in ham-handed fashion, but creepily. Eerily. The only broad stroke horror here would be 'Celesta', and even here the shock never breaches the veil of gore or perversity. There are moments of whimsy both normal (The Barton Method) and paranormal (The Ruby Slippers), as well as straight, psychological horror (Mere Survival).
That last story is my favorite. Dealing with the ill-fated escape attempt from a Stalinist gulag, the centerpiece is simply two men fighting to stay awake to avoid becoming a meal for the other. And it is creepy as hell!
I would gladly recommend 'Pond Life' to all readers who love the type of deft, non-explosive and non-exploitative horror made popular by the likes of Weird Tales under the pen of Lovecraft and Derleth. A very enjoyable read! Thank you Mr. Kates.
Within the next short story Kate measures the readers imagination with another page-turner that reads like certainty. Though I am not one to indulge in books that border on science fiction, Kates manages to keep my attention with The Third Coming, while telling the tale of a possible alien who wants to bring Jake, a 19 year old boy, to his world by asking him to give him his mind for a moment. He captures the reader with sentences like "In the moment before his overloaded brain burst, he would suffer an instant of such complete insanity that he would not know oblivion when it engulfed him within its infinite grasp. He screamed." I had to read on.
In Sam Kate's next short story I learned the Barton method and laughed to the end.
Pond Life is a mixture and variety of shorts, and each one of them is nothing like the one before it. An amazing book filled with an unusual blend of fine writing. Do not let the title fool you. It is more than Pond Life.
I thought the story about the ghost in Room 8 of the empty hotel had a quirky little twist. My least favourite being the story about the Russian prisoners who had escaped from the Gulag, it was a little gory for my taste, involving cannabilism.
Overall a good and entertaining read, some stories more so then others. Well edited and well written.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read a book called Pond Life by Sam Kates; it's a collection of short horror stories--maybe horror isn't always the right...Read more