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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A subtle, gothic horror story.
As a horror fan, I like to immerse myself in horror of all forms. However, as I was growing up, the horror that always spooked me the most was Hammer Horror. Gothic tales of the terrible including mummies, vampires, ghosts, monsters and Peter Cushing...amongst other famous English Thespians. The key to the Hammer Horror films is one thing: Subtlety. The gore is sometimes...
Published 10 months ago by Stuart Keane

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
The format and presentation on the Kindle was totally acceptable.

I presume this is some strange noir / steam / horror amalgam. I really did not care for it one little bit.
Published 22 months ago by Account Closed


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A subtle, gothic horror story., 4 July 2014
By 
Stuart Keane "SK" (Ipswich, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dr Blessing's Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar (Kindle Edition)
As a horror fan, I like to immerse myself in horror of all forms. However, as I was growing up, the horror that always spooked me the most was Hammer Horror. Gothic tales of the terrible including mummies, vampires, ghosts, monsters and Peter Cushing...amongst other famous English Thespians. The key to the Hammer Horror films is one thing: Subtlety. The gore is sometimes minimal, the chills dripping with tension, the acting hammy but sincere, and the story-telling top notch. Which is why, when reading Dr. Blessing's Curse, I felt like I was reliving the golden age of Hammer.

A simple tale, a novella if you will, about Dr. Blessing, a practitioner in the 1800's. One murky night on the cobblestones of London - think Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes and you're halfway there - he attends an emergency call on behalf of an acquaintance. When he arrives, he discovers something terrible, ghastly. Three years later, during a dinner party with some friends, he relives the moment. At that point, he decides to show off the monstrosity, one he's kept for all of these years...

The story is compelling. Set in the 1800's, you might expect the story to be droll and boring, possibly straightforward. You'd be wrong to assume this. Rollins has created a tense, strangely enigmatic tale of dread and insanity. Taking all that was horrific in the 1800's (basic medicine, religion, poverty, unprotected sex), he crafts an excellent horror story that's rich in detail, realistic in craftsmanship - the language, dialogue and conversations are very British - and graphic in detail. By the end of it, I was like 'what the hell just happened?' When it sunk in, I was amazed. The ending packs a solid punch but it only makes you want to read the next chapters in the story.

5* - For reliving my youth and remembering what was great about Gothic horror. Rollins creates a world that only confirms that the real danger in society is society itself. Monsters, serial killers and goblins: step aside. Dr Blessing is a unique character, one that develops in such a short span of time (it only took half an hour to read) and has already convinced me to buy the next chapter. On this evidence, you'd be hard pressed to find a better short story involving good ol' Blighty...especially one so blood soaked. Great horror tale!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grippingly Gruesome, 16 Nov. 2011
By 
BennyFitfrawd (Northumberland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dr Blessing's Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar (Kindle Edition)
I was directed to this sterling short tale via Twitter by a trusted source. This isn't a genre I would usually seek out but I found the writing style to have a certain verve and panache that drew me in before the plot even began to unfold.
I enjoyed the Victorian setting and the excellent way in which plot built up tension and intrigue. So much so, I was quite literally unable to put it down until I had finished it.
I'd highly recommend this grippingly gruesome tale of Dr. Blessing and company, and seriously hope that there's more to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended piece., 30 April 2012
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This review is from: Dr Blessing's Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar (Kindle Edition)
I was told about this by a friend who thoroughly enjoyed this tale. After downloading it, I set about reading it. I was gripped from start to finish. The way Rollins sets the scene really draws you in, making each page more exciting than the last! I've read this book about a dozen times now, and each time I do, it grips me again, just like the first time.
I'll be looking forward to more work by Jack Rollins in the future, and I hope that Dr. Blessing will have a few more tales to tell.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curse Or Cure?, 23 April 2013
By 
Warren Stalley (Bradford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dr Blessing's Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar (Kindle Edition)
This is a great little horror story set in Victorian times. It follows Doctor Blessing and his hidden secrets as the story of the curse slowly unfolds. The sheer level of creative writing transported me right into the heart of the story. I feel Arthur Conan Doyle would have loved this tale. Well done Mr Rollins I look forward to reading more of your work. To summarise if you fancy some gothic Victorian horror then look no further. Enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little short Victorian story..., 19 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Dr Blessing's Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar (Kindle Edition)
This was a very short read, finished in less than an hour but it held my interest from the start and I admit I did wonder at the beginning what the priest's role was... I won't spoil it by giving anything away! I love period novels and this one really gave the reader the feeling of times back in the 19th Century with the methods of travel and attire, as well as the lack of heating and electricity. Impressive writing style and left the possibility open for a 2nd one... will look out for more from this author, highly recommended novella.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping stuff!, 30 April 2012
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This review is from: Dr Blessing's Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed this short story. I particularly liked the way the reader was drawn into the story and left with enough intrigue to ensure they would continue reading to find out just exactly what Dr Blessing's Curse was.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taps into your base fears, 1 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Dr Blessing's Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar (Kindle Edition)
Although well rounded and structured as a story in its own right, 'Dr Blessing's Curse, Or The Baby In The Bell-Jar' also acts as a great introduction to an intriguing character. I hope Jack Rollins shares more stories soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old style gothic horror, a must read., 8 July 2014
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This review is from: Dr Blessing's Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar (Kindle Edition)
On reading this short you can easily picture the poverty and struggles in Victorian England, which is a kind of horror on it's own. Add to that an emergency with a horrific outcome and the subsequent events that follow, and you have yourself a nice little horror short.

I enjoyed this one, it took me back to watching old black and white gothic horror as a kid, it also reminded me of the kind of stories you would find on Beyond Belief or Tales From The Crypt.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I hate bell jars..., 26 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Dr Blessing's Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar (Kindle Edition)
Don't buy too many short stories, but may just change my mind after reading this. To start off - it isn't that short, probably somewhere just short of 10k words.

The atmosphere builds as Dr Blessing reveals to his priest why his marriage and life is slipping out of his grasp (It was a house call that he really wishes he had not taken).

I really dislike giving out 5 stars, but this surpassed my expectations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eerie!, 16 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Dr Blessing's Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar (Kindle Edition)
A traditional gothic story. Well written and riveting, a great read for lovers of creepy `fireside` tales. Spine-tingling and interesting.
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