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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
11

on 20 March 2013
I have just finished reading Pond Life, it didn't take me very long - I couldn't stop turning the pages.

Each story has it's own authentic twist, and I continually found myself wrong guessing the outcome of every yarn.

Sam has a great appreciation for environment, the scenes portrayed in the book jumped into my minds eye with ease, and his character writing is wonderful.

All are well fleshed, believable and engaging.

The prologue to 'Village of Lost Souls' has already invited me through it's door - Guess what I'll be reading tomorrow evening.
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on 9 March 2014
This was an enjoyable collection of short stories. I liked every one of them. They all had a bit of something dark going on and built up nicely to the titular Pond Life which I liked the best.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 January 2013
This is a little gem. It's a book of varied short stories but each is perfect - not something you always feel about collections. There's nothing here you would say was a make-weight. There are ten stories (and an excerpt from the author's book - I haven't looked at this because I don't want to spoil it for myself) and each is beautifully written. There are a couple of stories about obsession, one about World War 2, a girl who says she can fly, a way of dealing with noisy neighbours - all human life is here!

Sam Kates' style is easy to read, deceptively so, I think, as the language is used imaginatively and rather evocatively. The stories here range from horror to humour and sometimes one story contains both. Many have been previously published and it's evident that he is an experienced story teller. Sam Kates has form! I am very keen to read his horror novel too. I feel he's an author to watch. This collection is really excellent.
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on 24 August 2012
I reallly enjoyed reading these short stories and had forgotten what an easy and pleasurable read they can be. I could certainly identify with some of the stories and I look forward to the next ten.
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on 13 January 2013
Short bursts of escapism, all nicely unrelated. Was given a kindle for Christmas and this was one of my first purchases and read it over a weekend.
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on 17 May 2013
Most of the stories are in narrative form,and they remind me of the TWILIGHT ZONE series,in that they have a "dark" quality to them which i found compelling.This book has a certain style to it which i have rarely found before.
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on 8 March 2015
The first thing to notice about this collection is the high standard of the writing. With this sort of story, the ultimate test must be whether the author sustains internal verisimilitude. I can report that Sam Kates scores highly on this measure.
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on 12 February 2013
An interesting anthology of 10 short stories of mixed genres. There is something for every taste here -- from the very creepy to the absurdly funny.

Most of the stories are very good, athough I failed to connect with a couple of them that left me cold and uninterested. The ones I particularly enjoyed were:

* Pond life -- the title tale that defintiely has a Stephen King feel to it.

* The Obsessives Club -- a very unique and original vision of the after-life.

* The Ruby Slippers - a Wizard of Oz quality about it.

* Mere Survival -- a chilling tale about three escapees from a Soviet Gulag.

* The Barton Method -- Many of us have experienced neighbours like this. Provides a good laugh.

The writing is sharp with lean prose, good descriptive passages. It is a quick read. I polished it off in two nights.

There is also an extract from Sam Kates's new novel The Village of Lost Souls which definitely shows potential and hooks the reader.

Overall I was very impressed with this collection of stories and found them an enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
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on 3 November 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling collection, good writing style, November 2, 2012
By Joanne Mazzotta (West Warwick, Rhode Island, USA) -

This review is from: Pond Life (Kindle Edition)

After reading the first page of Sam Kate's short story Celesta, I knew I would have to read his entire collection. As he has a bizarre conversation with himself and his psychiatrist, the beat outwits the reader and prevents us from stopping to take a breath. While he describes Celesta, you forget it is fiction for long spells and you're not sure Sam Kates is the starry-eyed author or the main character as he describes insanity. That is good writing!

Within the next short story Kate measures the readers imagination with another page-turner that reads like certainty. Though I am not one to indulge in books that border on science fiction, Kates manages to keep my attention with The Third Coming, while telling the tale of a possible alien who wants to bring Jake, a 19 year old boy, to his world by asking him to give him his mind for a moment. He captures the reader with sentences like "In the moment before his overloaded brain burst, he would suffer an instant of such complete insanity that he would not know oblivion when it engulfed him within its infinite grasp. He screamed." I had to read on.

In Sam Kate's next short story I learned the Barton method and laughed to the end.
Pond Life is a mixture and variety of shorts, and each one of them is nothing like the one before it. An amazing book filled with an unusual blend of fine writing. Do not let the title fool you. It is more than Pond Life.
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on 20 August 2012
A great selection of short stories from this up and coming author. Each story is very different and is well worth a read. :-)
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