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Out of the Deep: Stories of the Supernatural Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
The stories in Hamley’s collection "Out of the Deep" are supernatural tales just as I like them: subtle, light on out-and-out horror, but full of psychological insight. These stories have a variety of settings, from a monastery to a football pitch, and a variety of characters, from a vulnerable schoolgirl to a bare-knuckle prizefighter; what they all share is an insight into human behaviour and common human situations.
The story "Hear my Voice" has a mediaeval flavour, as both a monk in the Middle Ages and a modern schoolboy are attacked by the same malign entity. Naturally, their interpretations of this entity differ: to the monk it is of the Devil, while the schoolboy interprets it in altogether more worldly terms. "Hear my Voice" is about the power of music and the joy, and perhaps the dangers, of creativity; both monk and schoolboy are artists who unwittingly become channels for something altogether more dangerous:
"He remembered the great ones of the past: Mozart and Schubert, dead in their prime; Beethoven so deaf he never heard his greatest work. And what about John Keats? ... Yes, he knew what had happened to Colin Chiltern. And perhaps it had to."
From this despair, however, comes a new surge of hope:
"Inside his mind the noise changed. The old harmonies did not return. But out of the cacophony there came, dimly at first but steadily stronger, a deeper, stranger music than he had ever heard before. He did not understand it; was not sure if he could handle it.Read more ›
If one is trying to understand (or teach) the genre they are invaluable -- similarly if one if trying to improve one's own writing. I have a tiny reservation, however. The first time I read this book I followed the pattern story + explanation, story + explanation and it was ideal for what I then wanted which was greater understanding of the process. HOWEVER the second time I simply read the stories without the explanations and found them noticeably more powerful and evocative. Reader, the choice is yours.
The reason for this dream was probably because I went to sleep after reading this collection of superb supernatural short stories. It was like a trip down memory lane back to traditional tales of the unexpected - and the unexpected certainly was delivered.
I still feel haunted by the brilliantly evocative "Hear My Voice" - I was nearly late in getting back to work after lunch yesterday because I HAD to find out what happened to Colin. That story is still resonating.
As well as rewarding reading, the inclusion of the author's rationale for the stories coming into existence is an added bonus that must be welcomed by anyone with an interest in writing - doubling the already amazing value of this book.
This is one of those rare books that will appeal to all genders and all ages - anyone who has the slightest interest in the supernatural and enjoys a subtly spooky read as opposed to out-and-out spine-chilling horror.
(My sole quibble is the large number of proofing errors which detract from such high quality writing - hopefully these will be addressed in future editions.)
Most recent customer reviews
In this book, the author gathers together ghost stories that he has written and published over the last thirty years. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2014 by David Jago
For me these stories were superb; addictive,inventive and hard to forget. The author is a true craftsman of the ghost story; it left me very impressed and wanting more. Read morePublished on 28 Aug. 2013 by MissScarlett