I picked this book to read on my Kindle because I am a great fan of the paranormal genre. Most of my readers and blogger comrades know by now that I just can’t get enough of the horror/paranormal genre. ‘Long Stories Short’ by Karen Black is a fine example of this genre. I read the book in one sitting yesterday, the day we celebrated the festival of Holi, which is the festival of colors here in India.
‘Long Stories Short’ are short stories about the paranormal. It includes props like Ouija boards, flickering candles, haunted motels, Bigfoot, the unquiet dead, possessed animals, et al., to enhance suspense and the narrative in question. All these add to the thrill of the book making each story noteworthy.
I loved all the short stories in this book by Karen Black. If I still had to pick a few favorites, then they would be ‘Unintended Consequences’, ‘A Candle in The Darkness’ and ‘You Summoned Me’. Those stories really gave me the shivers.
Karen Black’s paranormal stories in this collection center mainly around couples either married or not, caught in a paranormal situation which they have to experience. There are several ‘twists in the tale’ moments in all the stories so it is a really ‘edge of the seat’ book. Once you are into the stories, you can’t put the book down. The stories are character centric, written in a simple but meticulous prose style. If you like animals in your paranormal stories then there are plenty of them here like braveheart dogs, faithful cats, warrior horses, etc., who seem to be the initial connection with the paranormal. In most of the stories in this series splendidly penned by Karen Black, the animal kingdom plays heroic roles which are a treat to read. But some can be evil if they are coming from another place in the ethers.
Relationships and emotions also are keys to unlock the secrets of ‘Long Stories Short’. Most of the characters action is based on their emotions and gut instincts. This is especially true in ‘Unintended Consequences’ which I loved very much and which touched my heart. Emotions like betrayal, loyalty, love, revenge, faithfulness, friendship, etc., come out very beautifully through the writing of Karen Black. We can really feel for the characters in this book. They are relatable especially the helpless victims in some of the stories.
To analyze the title ‘Long Stories Short’, I guess the writer Karen Black wanted to emphasize that these stories are a bit longer that the good old O. Henry (Saki) short stories are, but that they will:
- Last longer and linger in your mind
- They are still short stories in reality
To be honest, I would really like to recommend to the writer Karen Black to make a novel or novella of some of these tales. After you read the book, you will feel the same way too. So, Karen Black, if you are reading this, please do try at your leisure to develop these ‘shorts’ into larger masterpieces of paranormal fiction. I would have loved to see ‘Forever’ as a novella or novel. Just a humble suggestion from an avid reader.
The book is a spine chiller with a lot of insights which can make very good gifts for Halloween for your near and dear ones. It’s a book meant for teenagers and adults. The book is just about 123 Kindle pages and you will never know how the time just flies away. The book is that thrilling.
I recommend this book for Halloween gifting. If you like paranormal stories or ghost stories then this is a collection worth reading. For hardcore horror lovers, the book is light on the ‘gore-blood-terror’ part. Its light reading but nice to dip into as a weekend read with coffee mug in hand on a stormy night. ‘Long Stories Short’ is good for story telling sessions at library clubs, book clubs and schools, not to mention great for camping night reads by the fireside.
Do support Karen Black and purchase her book ‘Long Stories Short’. Happy reading to you all!
Copyright ©2019 Fiza Pathan
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