"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Try Kindle Countdown Deals
Explore limited-time discounted eBooks. Learn more.
"A heady mix of folk horror and the psychological, of religious yearning and the uncannily atavistic, this compelling novella carries us through the darkest occult secrets to a cosmic revelation that may haunt your dreams." - Ramsey Campbell
"Gothic Horror with a twist of Interdimensional Terror, Quiet Places will do for a walk in the woods that sharks did for a sum at the beach." - Nikki Nelson-Hicks, author of Jake Istenhegyi, The Accidental Detective
"Jasper Bark is a trickster of a writer, a performer on the page. A clown that's not slipping on a banana skin, but on a pool of freshly-spilled blood." - Stephen Volk
"An evocative mystery that sheds its layers with escalating dread. Barks conjures a visionary blend of folklore and cosmic revelation that shines Gnostic themes through a twisted Lovecraftian prism." - Douglas Wynne, author of The SPECTRA Files Trilogy
File Size: 4575 KB
Print Length: 123 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing (September 29, 2017)
Quiet Places is a beautifully dark and touching novella that takes the reader into the frightening depths of the occult, passing Earthly boundaries into realms uncharted by man. Bark created a distinct backdrop of horror and fantasy, hope and darkness, and monsters of Earthbound emotion and the outer reaches of imagination and existence. Quiet Places is vivid in its downtrodden despair, enthralling in its false feelings of security, and touching in its sense of anguish and eternal sorrow. At the core of it I think there is a moral: Don’t go seeking more than what you have when you already have everything you need. This is the kind of story you take home in your heart. Jasper has done it again: created something tragic and beautiful all at once.
Quiet Places is a stunning work of cosmic horror, a sub-genre I don't often check out. But as I have argued many a time, if the writer is right, the story will be good. If you connect with the words, the story sings, regardless of the shape.
Bark masterfully spins a tale of a small town that has seemingly come under the power of some kind of curse, leaving behind but one person, the protagonist of the story. Unveiling her story as well as what happened to the people of the town make for some great atmosphere of dread and mystery throughout.
The structure of the story is totally bonkers and in my opinion, in the hands of many authors would fail completely. Bark employs flashbacks within flashbacks within flashbacks, to the point that at times it feels like he is telling the story backwards. It's the kind of narrative device that works better for film, such as titles like Memento, but without the ability to provide visual cues, it's much harder to pull it off effectively in a book. Despite the challenges, Bark has managed to weave together a story that unfolds in a logical fashion and is paced just right to keep my interest.
I loved the suspense of the story as well as the history and mythology of the town. Bark manages to provide a lot of information without making it feel heavy handed, on the back of some beautiful and frightening imagery. I liked the themes I saw of obligation and sacrifice, in turning the whole of yourself over in exchange for someone or something you care about more than yourself.
This is a short book but I have the sense that I could have read it several more times before it started to feel repetitive. Every time I read Jasper Bark he shows me something a little different, something I think is indicative of a master storyteller.
Dunballan is a place that has its share of dark secrets, along with a beast that stalks the woods around it. There is a long history associated with this small town and David McCavendish’s family is part of it. David has been living in London and now has to return to the place of his ancestors in order to inherit the family home. He now has to adjust to country living and in order to help him, he brought along his girlfriend Sally.
Sally quickly realizes that something is a little off about Dunballan. The only person who seems to talk to her gives her a history of the town that includes some stories of odd spirits that lurk in the woods, one being Hettie Of The Hedgegrow. Another problem is that every time the beast in the woods appears, David goes into a depressed catatonic state that lasts for days. Sally realizes that the town is cursed and will do anything to keep David from suffering through it. The problem is she may not be able to help him without making everything worse.
Quiet Places by Jasper Bark is not your average horror novella. It feels like Jasper Bark was thinking to himself: “What are the things that scare people the most?” As he was pondering that question he sat down and wrote a terrifying piece of work that relies on mood and emotions rather than gore or a hideous monster. The beast in this story isn’t all that scary, but what it represents is and the history surrounding it is even worse. I felt the scariest part of this book was in the very beginning which I don’t want to give away but Jasper pretty much nailed my worst fear and he wasn’t even that descriptive. It was all psychological, Jasper makes you imagine it instead of showing it.
After the gut wrenching start, you as the reader are left to wonder how we got there and then you get the history leading up to the event. This book gets into mythology, the occult and a history of David’s relatives. I loved all the attention to detail in this book but most of all I loved the character of Sally. We see Sally deal with a lot of different issues in this story but she stays strong even when things are at their worst. Sally seems like she doesn’t fit in anywhere and she isn’t sure she even cares about fitting in. She does know who’s important to her though and will do anything to save him.
Quiet Places is heavily inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and could be considered cosmic horror but it’s a highly original novella. This is a psychological horror story that gives you a lot to think about. Some of the questions it raises are who do you trust in a town of strangers? How far would you go to save a loved one? And What would you do when all hope is lost? Quiet Places shows us that a story doesn’t have to be bloody to be scary and there are far scarier things than death.