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The Gate 2: 13 Tales of Isolation and Despair

The Gate 2: 13 Tales of Isolation and Despair [Kindle Edition]

Robert J. Duperre , K. Allen Wood , D.P. Prior , J.L. Bryan , David Dalglish , Mercedes M. Yardley , Michael Crane , Steven Pirie , Daniel Pyle , Dawn McCullough-White
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

…a young man tries to build a better life while trapped in a mall after a plague has killed off most of humanity…

…zombies overrun a world gone mad, leaving a boy with no choice but to rely on possibly mystical means of escape…

…Halloween night brings out a darkness so threatening that a young couple’s only hope of survival may be a procession of strange, ghostly children…

…when the world is given a brief glimpse of divinity, a formerly disabled man must come to grips with the fact that not everything is as good as it seems…

These tales and many more await in The Gate 2: 13 Tales of Isolation and Despair, the new collection edited by Robert J. Duperre. Thirteen talented authors have been assembled, bringing with them the best they have to offer in a wide range of horror, be it slice-of-life or paranormal in nature. Also included are two bonus stories by the editor.


Plastic by J.L. Bryan
The Indian Rope Trick by D.P. Prior
Night Night by Daniel Pyle
Dead Things by Michael Crane
Does Laura Like Elephants? by Steven Pirie
39 Days by Robert J. Duperre
The Candle Eaters by K. Allen Wood
Black Mary by Mercedes M. Yardley
Exhibit C by David McAfee
The Canoe by Joel Arnold
Destination by Benjamin X. Wretlind
The Ghastly Bath by Dawn McCullough-White
Worldwide Event by David Dalglish
2 Bonus stories by Robert J. Duperre
Traipsing Through the Dark: The Stories Behind the Stories

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1226 KB
  • Print Length: 201 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615580513
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007DZERE0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #295,746 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 13 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The stories were interesting enough. I loved seeing the different interpretation of the one theme. Obviously, some stories were better than others, but I did enjoy thrm and would recommend the book if you are into apocalyptic end of the world themes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Odd but good 25 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some of the stories did make me wonder what it would be like if I was totally alone, the psychological effects being alone are quite terrifying.
Good book to dip in and out of on breaks and lunchtime.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling! Spine Tingling! Howling for more! 17 Mar 2012
By Greta - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
15 short stories that focus on themes of ISOLATION and DESPAIR. 13 authors gather together to tell the tales of what they believe best suits this theme. Each tale is also accompanied by a illustration which I felt was very unique.

If you love short stories with a mix of tragedy, sci-fi, paranormal, apocalyptic, and contemporary then this book is for you. There is something for everyone!

My favorites include:

"Black Mary" By: Mercedes M. Yardley
This story was most awesome. A glimpse into the life of an abducted child that in a way reminded me of "Living Dead Girl" but with an even more awesome twist.

"CANOE" by: Joel Arnold
I really liked this story. It reminded me of one of those old ougia board ghost stories I used to hear when I was kid. Extremely clever it never lost my interest and this would (in my opinion) make a fantastic movie.

"THE ONE THAT MATTERS" By: Robert J. Duperre
This story is excellent! I think it now has become my favorite in this whole book. This is the story that is the cover of the book. And it's brilliant! Even though it reminded me a bit of "THE ROAD" in some ways, it was so super awesome because it was like following a different family. Totally an awesome story of isolation and horror. I loved every word.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The invention of Solitude 27 July 2012
By Max Zaoui - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The first volume of The Gate was a great collection of short stories written by five creative and talented authors. All of them are back, along with eight new members, for a second volume that is even greater than the first. I think this is mostly due to the choice of a common theme to all the stories, giving the anthology a better sense of direction and cohesion. "Isolation and Despair" may not sound really inviting at first sight, but that's the paradox inherent to such universal ideas: every story takes you in, trapping you and freeing you at the same time.
Like so many shelters... A shelter, whether it's big like the mall in "Plastic" or small like the attic in "The Indian Rope Trick", is also a claustrophobic closed space where characters are imprisoned like Jonah in his whale. Sometimes, said shelter progressively vanishes as in "39 days". It's even possible to be trapped within the prison of one's own disabled body, as in "Does Laura like elephants?". In "Black Mary", the kidnapped feel(s) isolated in their closed space, but it's the kidnapper who's lonely and insane in Exhibit C, not only his victim. Trapped as he is in the prison of his mind.
Whatever the case, imprisonment triggers the imagination. All the characters create or recreate a semblance of real life, even if it's fake and pathetic ("Plastic"). This roleplaying, telling oneself stories, looks like a return to chilhood, even to the mother's womb at times, where they think they'll find a protection: "Guido held the girl, wishing he had a womb into which he could stuff her for protection." ("The One That Matters"). Here again, there's a tug of war between something negative like the powerlessness to change things in reality, and something positive: surviving through imagination. In "The Candle Eaters", the main character has reached the age when childhood and its make-believe come to an end, and she senses that it "changes everything". Even if she plays the part on Halloween, it's only a mask... If dreams and thoughts can take one very far, like Laura the disabled woman, they can also lead to a complete loss of bearings, meaning and sense, which is lethal for sanity.
Death is omnipresent, surrounding narrators and main characters. Being left alone is a form of death in itself. "Night Night" is a brilliant metaphor of absence leading to a loss of meaning: Life is like the clothes line which is no longer there because there's only one useless pole left in the yard. When two becomes one - in the wrong sense of the expression - Life stops (the title is awesome in that regard, as a single "Night" points to something negative and lonely, whereas the double "Night Night" is warm and full of promise). Death can become a liberation when the situation seems inextricable, as in "39 Days". It can also become multiple, and therefore all the more common, in "Destination" (a reenactement of Charon ferrying the dead) or "The Ghastly Bath". But all these deaths gave birth and life to this anthology...
At times, solace is found in the unlikeliest circumstances, as in "The Candle Eaters" or "Chorus". At other times, there is no solace but a slow descent into madness and depression ("Plastic", "Dead Things"). There's a link to be found between the ideas that these short stories convey (solitude, isolation, despair) and literature itself. Solitude is both a blessing and a curse, as the introduction by Robert J. Duperre states. If it's creative and liberating, it is also alienating and sterile, because everything we do has to be measured with others, nothing makes sense in itself. Estrangement leads to drama ("The World Event", "The Canoe"). Even a blessing seems intangible when received alone. That's the paradox of literature, contained in one way or another in each of these stories: it is a sort of generous sharing of an act of selfish loneliness.
"Every book is an image of solitude. It is a tangible object that one can pick up, put down, open, and close, and its words represent many months if not many years, of one man's solitude, so that with each word one reads in a book one might say to himself that he is confronting a particle of that solitude" (Paul Auster in The Invention of Solitude).
P.S.: I always forget to mention the art by Jesse David Young. It's awesome, as always. Even inspiring one of the short stories (Chorus).
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection! 17 April 2012
By Jaidis Shaw - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The Gate 2 is a compilation of 15 short stories that share the theme of isolation and despair. I was interested in reading this anthology because I have read stories from some of the authors included and others I have on my to-read list. The authors included in this anthology include J.L. Bryan, D.P. Prior, Daniel Pyle, Michael Crane, Steven Pirie, Robert J. Duperre, K. Allen Wood, Mercedes M. Yardley, David McAfee, Joel Arnold, Benjamin X. Wretlind, Dawn McCullough-White, and David Dalglish. I enjoyed each of the stories for various reasons but here are some of my favorites.

This anthology opens with a story titled Plastic and is written by J.L. Bryan. I really enjoyed this story because in my opinion, it gives an accurate look at how our mental state would react to being isolated and alone for extended periods of time. I'd imagine that being alone in the world would make even the sanest person do and say things that they normally wouldn't. The main character Jeremy travels around after everyone else has been claimed by The Cough. We get to see how lonely he is and the lengths he is willing to go to in order to have some sort of companionship.

Another story that I enjoyed was Night Night by Daniel Pyle. The story opens with the main character Henry stabbing his victim. I was intrigued because I was looking for clues as to what drove him to the point of killing. There are various scene breaks that give us a look at Henry's past and his relationship with the person he just killed. I started to dislike Henry until the surprise ending and then I had to ask myself how far would I go to survive if I had been in Henry's position?

39 Days by Robert J. Duperre was another favorite of mine. The story opens with two people, Angela and Tommy, who are stranded on a rooftop due to the city flooding. Divided into days, we get to see how alone Angela and Tommy are while they are waiting to be rescued. With each passing day helicopters come and go, slowly making their way from building to building and rescuing the survivors. With no more supplies, they are forced to brace the rising water and head inside the building to find food while they wait. Are they rescued? You'll have to read it to find out.

The Ghastly Bath by Dawn McCullough-White features a character, Jules, that I first became familiarized with while reading her Trilogy of Shadows series. Jules is an assassin and in this action-packed story, a seemingly simple hit doesn't go quite as planned after he is spotted with the body and his attempt to escape is further hindered by a flash flood.

This anthology stayed true to its title and all of the stories are great examples of isolation and despair. If you like reading darker themed stories, definitely pick this one up.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 20 Mar 2012
By Crystal R. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Seriously, one of the best anthologies I've read in a long time. A haunting collection built around the themes of isolation and despair, with many stories focusing on ideas like the end of the world. My personal favorite is "Exhibit C" by David McAfee, but that's not taking away from any of the other absolutely wonderful tales in this book! Strongly recommended for anyone who is a fan of the horror genre, including themes like zombies, serial killers, Doomsday, etc. The stories in this anthology will stay with you for a long time to come (assuming the end of days doesn't come first)!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid anthology 6 April 2012
By K. Worthington - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent group of stories on a common theme, though the reasons for the theme are never the same. Some stories squicked me, some I wanted to keep reading even after the tale ended, but all of them were good. I'd read the cover story in another anthology, but I liked it enough that I didn't mind re-reading it at all.

I'd hesitated getting the book, because the last thing I need is to feel despair, but honestly, in most of the stories there was a small thread of hope. Or perhaps I'm just being optimistic, since most of them didn't have a stereotypical "happy" ending.

Get it, if you like skiffy/horror/paranormal, and don't require fluffy unicorns and carebears, you'll like it.
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