- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 193 KB
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005GQ84CE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #595,877 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Dark Steps Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This is Martin Pond's debut book. It contains eight short stories, the last one of which is an extract from a forthcoming novel. There is also a very nice introduction at the beginning of the book.
These are chilling stories with twisted endings. They reminded me of 'Tales of the Unexpected', a TV series that I used to love watching. The first five stories in particular are very short, but that's good if you just want to have a quick read. I also found a couple of them predictable, but then these were Martin's early works. Some of the other stories were thought provoking. I felt that with 'Egg', there is a moral to the story. No matter how much plotting and planning you do, for instance if you want to get your revenge on someone, chances are that it will backfire on you.
I thought that the descriptions were really good. I can't help wishing that there had been more stories in this collection though, at least fifteen, as you just want to carry on reading. However, I do know that Martin Pond has written another book and has more on the way.
All in all this is a very impressive first book and I'm really looking forward to reading more.
The author has a good eye for details; the `flowers of rust' around the wheel of a car, the injured child's trainer's red LED flashing as she lies in the road, the `sibilant hiss of the baby monitor' and the `wheezing, arrhythmic parody of a laugh that again descended into a cough' - brilliant observations all, and part of the charm of this powerful collection.
Although there are moments where it feels like the reader is being led to a foreseeable resolution (particularly in The Inheritance) this is a minor plot issue, and the writing within the stories, the actual narration, is almost uniformly striking and very memorable. I come back to these stories again and again to remind myself of the gratifying arc of tension, suspense, and relief demonstrated in Dark Steps, as well as the intelligence in the writing, the observant eye in the narration and the terrible moment of realization that something is not quite right, something...something is off.
Pond's debut collection is surprising. For a little-known author, he deals with the tricky medium of the short story in a clever and engaging way. I picked up the book on a whim, but was instantly hooked, digesting the collection within a couple of days.
I won't list the stories or discuss their content; most readers are intelligent enough that anything I say could be a spoiler. Just read the book and enjoy it on its own merits.
I am often put off by books purporting to be "dark", as they normally only appeal to angst-ridden teenagers or gore-gasm seeking adolescents. These stories, however, struck a real nerve in me, I think mostly because the characters have depth and are easy to identify with, and hence when they find themsleves in disturbing situations, the reader has developed a genuine empathy, a resonance with them. There is a very real darkness hovering over us, not the stuff of the supernatural or horror movies, but the harsh reality of the choices we have made, the faults we have inherited, and the lives we find ourselves living. Pond captures these and spins them into engaging, thought-provoking stories that may stick in the back of the readers' minds for a long time to come.
Of course, there are faults among the stories. One might have a plot which seems a little predictable, while another bears some hallmarks of an early, inexperienced author. But it's obvious that Pond realises this, and includes these stories for completeness.Read more ›
Dream Feed will surely raise hairs on the necks of new parents everywhere as a spooky voice is heard over the baby monitor by a sleep-deprived father.
Near-Death Experience reminds me of M. Knight Shyamalan's Unbreakable - and there's no finer comparison in this genre.
The longest story here is The Inheritance, a clever piece of writing in which a son visits his dying police man father in hospital only to face some shocking revelations. The twist is obvious to the reader long before it hits the protagonist, but there's much worse to come. In his foreword, the author claims it's his least favourite story in the collection, yet it lingered in my mind long after I set the book aside.
Three other stories and an extract from Martin's work-in-progress novel, Drawn To The Deep End, complete the anthology. It's an excellent collection of unexpected tales told in everyday surroundings with a vein of dark humour running just below the surface.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Described in the author's own words as his "dark steps back into writing", the seven stories (and one novel sample) of Dark Steps show a skilled wordsmith at work; one whose cool,... Read morePublished on 3 Dec. 2012 by Mark Kilner
Do not read this if you are a nervy parent. Pond's characters inhabit a cruel world where childen are poisoned, put to sleep (probably), disappeared and run over while powerless... Read morePublished on 15 April 2012 by lastoftheholdouts
A gem of a collection from writer Martin Pond, who reveals a real talent for the twist in the tale.
I really enjoyed these short stories, from the haunting `Dream Feed'... Read more
I was unsure whether I really wanted to read this book but wanted to support a colleague, but by the end of each story I had been truly sucked in and wanted more! Read morePublished on 13 Feb. 2012 by Charlie