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Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Review: The Other Side by Faraaz Kaazi & Vivek Banerjee



 
 
 
Book: The Other Side

Author: Faraaz Kaazi & Vivek Banerjee

No. of Pages: 320

Genre: Horror Short Stories

Publisher: Mahaveer Publishers 

 

This is the first time I am participating in a Book Tour so the book comes directly from the Author via the Book Tour run by the Readdicts duo (Janhvi and Sarika).

Last month I reviewed a collection of short stories which I liked and this month this one came up and it has been an equally delightful read.

One thing before I move on, you will read about this book and they will tell you that it is collection of 13 short stories … they almost lie. There is actually more. The foreword is an essay on Fear while the prelude chapter has a couple of horror stories dropped in simply as a warm up exercise before you begin the workout with the 13 horror stories.

The book is a mix of ordinary and extra-ordinary, spooky as well as entertaining, expected as well as unexpected stories. There were times when I felt that a particular story had nothing new (it was simply a horror story we have read and seen a hundred times) while there were times when the climax was near brilliant ... or more specifically unexpected. Overall, if you have even the faintest interest in Horror genre, this will be a good book to read. If you are a horror fan, then this book is a good one with pretty good short stories. There is a nice bit of romance mixed with horror in some stories while some are plain simple horror.

I did not do it last month while reviewing the horror story collection so was in two minds about doing a story by story review but then decided to do it. So her I go … a one liner about each story with my spook rating – higher the spookiness, higher the rating; greater the surprise / shock that I received while reading, greater the rating. Similarly, ordinary predictable stories get a low rating. One thing though, even the ordinary stories get a 2/5 rating simply because they are well-written. If not the story, the writing style made the reading worthwhile.

Foreword: It is actually an essay on Fear. This was quite a decent read. 3/5

Prelude: A couple of horror stories wrapped in the context of a larger one. Don't miss this. 4/5

S1 - The Fateful Night: A doctor saves an old woman's life in a Haveli having been stopped by her old husband on a deserted road. His next visit to check up on them is a shock for him. This one was very ordinary and very predictable. 2/5

S2 – The Long Weekend: A couple goes for a long weekend after the wife attends a séance. All that she was told becomes true in an unexpected manner. 4/5

S3 – The Man Who Did Not Fear: A brave young fellow spends a night in a haunted mansion (need I say more – predictable story – written well). 3/5

S4 – Strangers in the Night: A man picks up a lonely girl at night outside a cemetery and thinks it will be his lucky night - Real shocker at the end. 5/5

S5 – The Muse Comes Calling: The author of a best-selling horror stories collection is seeking inspiration for his next book. What comes though is another matter altogether as he faces the horrors of his own creation. The thought-process is shocking. 4/5

S6 – The Lady in the Pub: A young man meets an interesting girl in a new pub after a long period of abstinence. He drops her home and the next morning he received surprises and shocks. Once again, there is a real shocker at the end of the story. 4/5

S7 – A Mother's Love: A couple moves to the quant surroundings of a tea estate with some murmurs of the house being haunted with a strange history. The couple wants a child … but not the one the haunted house is providing. Ordinary - not really horror. 2/5 

S8 – Red Bangles: A boy's crush for a girl grows with time and transforms into morbid passion when she starts going out with a 'boy-friend' to whom she is eventually also getting married. The protagonist decides to take the ultimate step to 'own' her which doesn't really go as planned. Nice horror. 4/5

S9 – The Mark of the Beast: A young newly married couple goes out to the mountains for a different kind of honeymoon. Local guides warn them about the 12-foot large beast (half bear, half man) but they ignore. A chance encounter with the beast turns out to be quite unexpected. Not horror but interesting. 4/5

S10 – The Mystery Lake: A man dreams of a lake and its surroundings. Locates the lake using google search and decides to visit it. En route he dreams of another journey taken in another era. The end is unexpected but ordinary. 2/5 

S11 – Possession: A couple with 2 kids moves to a new place and starts staying in a house haunted by the ghosts of a murdered child. The murdered child becomes a companion to the daughter of the family and then when her school begins, things go crazy. Full horror. 4/5

S12 – Unfulfilled Desires: A young doctor gets transferred to a village with a deserted health center where localites warn him about the ghost of a girl. He not only encounters the girl but also digs deeper (not literally though) to find out the real string of events. 3/5

S13 – Dream Girl: A deformed man, snubbed by people and especially girls, wants to 'create' his dream girl. This is the most disgusting of all stories – not really horror at first but mostly 'sick'. I would still give it a 4/5

Epilogue: A night in a haunted place spent with lots of scientific instruments – do they keep the paranormal away or attract their attention? 4/5

So there you go - a story by story review. I enjoyed reading the horror stories and before I forget, the simple illustrations in each story added to the spook factor. Sadly, I could not locate the name of the illustrator in the book. Hope he is reading this post.

Overall Rating of the book is definitely on the higher side … 4/5

 

Here is some additional info about the book and the authors …

USEFUL LINKS:


GIVEAWAY LINKS:


5 comments:

  1. Thanks for reading and for reviewing the book. We are very encouraged by the response to the book.

    Vivek Banerjee

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  2. @Ben The book was definitely an enjoyable read. please pass my comments to your illustrator too. It was strange not to find a mention of his name anywhere in the book. Or did i miss it??

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  3. hi i waish to connect with you for review program i conduct . can you please email me at thereaderscosmos @gmail.com

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  4. Ah, the prelude was so scary, I had goosebumps there itself. I agree with all your individual ratings for the stories. My opinions on each are almost the same. Anyway, I am glad you enjoyed the book overall, Hemantkumar. Great review and thank you so much for being part of the Blog Tour. I appreciate you taking the time out to have the post up on time. Thank you and I hope we stay in touch.

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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  5. @Sarika .. .Thanks to you two for the opportunity to review TOS. I enjoyed it.

    Looking forward to more such interesting Book Tours :)

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