- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Justin Bog; 3 edition (June 23, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0985475137
- ISBN-13: 978-0985475130
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,976,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sandcastle and Other Stories Paperback – June 23, 2016
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Bog gives us vignettes that open our eyes as they entertain us. THe perspective is deep and colorful in the prose used. It’s like a Dali or Picasso painting the brush paints a complex chaos that turns into something deep and meaningful with a beauty that blows the mind.
Bog writes from inside the head of a woman or a man, young or old person, with equal proficiency. He excels at delivering the mundane minutia of life in a style that draws you in, then pops you with the horror of a few words or a tiny gesture and the consequences of either. These are stories and characters that linger, leaving you feeling subtle discomfort or outright terror that a human being could act in such a manner. Of the many stories in the collection, "Sandcastle" and sad, vicious Brenda have stuck with me the longest. The most agonizing part of the story? That we could do the same.
I've always loved anthologies, because of a short story's ability to tell a whole tale in a few words; it is a craft some master well and others seem to struggle with. I think Justin is one of the former...he knows what he wants to tell and it is about human nature at its most ordinary and about the twists of the mind in stressful situations.
I didn't find this collection as horrifying as other reviewers have said it hit them, but that's because of my many years as a reader of the strange, weird and macabre and my own tendency to write in a similar fashion. I liked that Justin would find that moment he could make the story jiggle a chuckle from me, when it might as well as had me crying for the sad things that had occurred.
He wrote his stories with powerful characters and sometimes it seemed it was more about the characters than the plot. But when developing psychological vignettes, how better able to convey what was most important for without strong development of characterization he would have lost touch and so i think he knew best what to do for where he was aiming for.
The Virtue of Minding one's business, had what i think was the best outlined plot of all the stories and i can understand how it would have placed runner up in the E. Hemingway contest. i enjoy that one best, and it was well placed as first in the set.
Sandcastle is a disposition of Jealousy's directional intent at striking as low a blow with no care at how evil that blow was and yet i would not be surprised if this happens at least one time a summer out there in the world on some heavy laden beach; human nature can be selfish and careless if they see that red flame of envy choking their thoughts.
Under the third story window...The story of the girl in the bed who sees someone out her window and is so sure it is a killer coming up the kitchen stairs to do them all in...the build-up of the suspense is mounting to a crescendo...you know and feel everything she does; well done.
Typecast...the actor and how people had come to see him as the roles he played...this one i found sad; i really found an affinity with him and his misery and not seeming to know how to change it or even if he wanted to change it; and finally his girlfriend has grown tired of him never listening...and he is left to tend a battle scarred cat who could well be the personification of himself.
And then the bonus Wake me Up...that grabbed my interest because the man is in a coma but knows what is going on and sees beyond what he could if he was awake...left me, by that sample, wondering what a whole book of this would involve and i'd like to read it.
Overall, I enjoyed the collection and find Justin's style developing stories that will linger in the mind and that's a sign of good work; thanks too; i was able to get my copy in your recent free giveaway. Much appreciated.