Monday, June 15, 2015

More positive commentary recommending Insanity By Increments

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Full Text: An interesting take on the Gothic form, with some eerie tales, some tales of life on the downside of things and some tales of tragedy, which leave you feeling either down or disturbed, but none of which fail to stir emotions in the reader.
My favourites were "The Illusion of Progress", about a single parent father who lives for his young son, "Winter's Eden" about two students going to stay with their uncle and disabled aunt and "Hope Leaves" about a man whose wife is in a coma following an accident, all of which are imbued with heart break and tragedy.
On the more macabre side, the strange "Frailty" about a grave-robbing photographer working on a very strange assignment for a necrophiliac was decidedly attention-grabbing.
The writing style often belies the setting of the stories - I often felt that they were set in Victorian times due to the language and tone, only to discover they were far more contemporary, which added to the general sense of otherworldness.
The tales are subtle and eloquent - if you're looking for shocks and gore, then this isn't the collection for you. However if you want some wonderfully written tales from the darker side of life, then you should definitely investigate this further.

Reviewed by Helen Marquis, Netgalley

Monday, June 8, 2015

Read the latest review of Insanity By Increments

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Full Text: Insanity by Increments is an interesting read. Made up of nine short stories/ novellas, the book resembles snapshots of life or of the human condition. The snapshots are of the darker side of humanity and each story will make you think. Bleak landscapes and bleaker outlooks set the tone of the book.
What I liked: While I enjoyed all of the stories in this book, there were two that stood out for me.
Frailty was my absolute favorite out of the collection. It's the story of a photographer whose talent lies in photographing the macabre, the grotesque, and he has just been commissioned for something far outside the norm. It is, however, his specialty to document the decay of flesh and bone and his latest job is to photograph the work of a serial killer. As with most of the stories, Frailty is filled with sexual tension but this story is tempered with horror. The narrator tells us, " Frailty is mankind's incurable weakness. All of life is fragile to the core. ... My own frailty works twofold: first, I suffer from a starvation for life, a libido with an insatiable appetite. ... Secondly, I suffer a fascination for the beauty of death. ..."
Dulcinea is the story of Edward, a well renowned author who spends his nights drinking in a neighborhood bar. Affluent and handsome, he is bored and disdainful of his own success. One night a beautiful woman comes in a changes everything for him. That is, if she was ever really there at all.
What I didn't like: I love reading dark fiction, the darker the better. However, this book was more than dark. It bordered on depressing and at times I had a hard time reading it. That said, this is still a great read and a good collection of stories that will definitely make you think.

Link Text: Insanity by Increments


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Another glowing review of Insanity By Increments!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text: I don’t often read short stories as I prefer more character and plot development than short stories can offer. But sometimes a short story collection will catch my eye, like this one did. Who could resist that title?

There are a total of nine short stories in this collection. The whole book was only about 120 pages on my e-reader so each of the stories was quite short. However, this author uses every word to wonderful effect, with no fillers whatsoever. To me, these were more mood pieces rather than stories with a beginning and ending. Things aren’t always spelled out in black or white but rather are hinted at. The author expertly sets up a dark atmosphere for each story, with subtle psychological suspense running through them. I see that the author’s first book “Darkest Day” is a book of poetry and I can certainly see the heart of a poet in this short story collection.

The next time I see a short story book, I won’t be so quick to pass it by as I very much enjoyed reading these short bursts of literary prose. I read the book almost straight through but did have to stop after each story to contemplate it a bit before moving onto the next one. Highly recommended.

Link Text: Marjorie's World of Books