Monday, July 7, 2014

Dying Embers ~ M R Cosby

This is the first time that I have waited in anticipation for the release of a book by a home grown author. Knowing that the style was inspired by one of my favourite writers, Robert Aickman, I was very keen to read it.

Aickman has the ability to unsettle your nerves when writing about everyday events that at first appear normal then go slightly off kilter.  I can honestly say that I wasn’t disappointed. These short stories are very well constructed, and the unsettling nature of each varies in degrees as does the strangeness. 

Abraham’s Bosom was one of my favourite stories as it brought to mind how I felt on my recent visit to Rangitoto Island.  My partner and I had walked off the beaten track looking for lava caves and I became increasingly alarmed when I couldn't hear any of the other trekkers and was unable to orient myself to where we should be on our map.  This story of a jogger becoming separated from his running mate and experiencing a supernatural event reminded me not only of Robert Aickman but also of Alfred Noyes’ Midnight Express by the last passage.

Building Bridges I found to be a nice cloying story about a father wanting to reconnect with his family however forces move against him during a visit to a museum exhibit. 

The Next Terrace is the perfect opening story and lays the foundation to what can be expected within the following pages and Playing Tag I thought was a beautifully written story which really evoked the grounds of an English stately home.

La Tarasque was probably my least favourite of the collection but mainly because I couldn't identify with any part of it, and I’m still trying to work out the title of the last story (Fingerprinting) although I did really enjoy the story itself.  I’m staying in some obscure small towns at the end of the year on my first ever Aussie road trip, so I shall bear this story in mind!

This whole collection has been put together very nicely; Some of the stories are very subtle whilst others grab at you, but what I liked most about these stories is that they are very identifiable as being Australian (although you can’t take the P.O.M.E. out of the collection either – just like me!)