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Samurai and Other Stories Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
As alluded to by the name, this book is a collection of the author’s work and touches on many of the genres that the author chooses to delve into. Meikle has a real talent for storytelling and within this collection alone, the reader will find: the walking dead, gladiators, ghosts, holy quests, haunting, malevolent spirits and so much more.
Proceedings kick off with the titular tale ‘Samurai’, which sees a shipwrecked crew happen upon an ancient temple complete with riches beyond their wildest dreams that may cost them dearly.
For me, there are a number of real stand out tales within this collection, those being:
Inquisitor is an excerpt from Meikle’s Lovecraft inspired ‘The Creeping Kelp’ and takes the reader back to the 1500s and the examination of “the abomination” by a devout member of the infamous Spanish Inquisition.
In the swords-and-sandals story The Toughest Mile, a gladiator battles against feral women, near-insurmountable odds, an unpredictable crowd and his sorceress slave-mistress in a bid to win his freedom.
The Havenhome is an extract from ‘Night of the Wendigo’ and is set in the early 1600s and sees a Scottish ship’s crew encountering a malevolent and chilling force beyond any of their experience.
Dancers is a particularly striking and memorable tale set during World War II that hasn’t yet left me.Read more ›
The tales contained within are enough to appeal to any fan of the niches within the genres.
Samurai-and-other-stories-FB-sizeThere are no weak tales, but here I’ll mention a few of my particular favourites. One of those is the title – and opening – story in which we meet the Scottish survivors of a shipwreck on Japanese shores. They find an ancient temple, deserted yet strangely hospitable, and are tempted by the treasure it holds despite the suspicious lack of security. I was immediately drawn into this period piece by the action and witty dialogue – delivered as it is by strong characters – and it all kicks off before long, the action cemented by themes of honour and deft clashes of culture. I particularly like how the author introduces sudden violence with such elegance that it made me do a double take, matching the confusion of the protagonists. Stylishly written and building to a double-twist finale, this is a muscular start to the collection.
“Rickman’s Plasma” is a wild but self-aware B-movie about a man’s disastrous attempt to create music using his own dreams. And by disastrous, I mean carnage of international armageddon proportions. I liked the repetitious style of the escalating threat, and despite the casual gore, it still has a light tone and a pay-off that inspires a grin.
I especially enjoyed “The Toughest Mile”, a breathless fantasy in the style of “The Running Man”.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
All sixteen of the tales in Samurai snd Other Stories have appeared elsewhere over the last several years, but are offered as a collected work for the first time and represent a fine sampling of short stories from Scottish born writer William Meikle.
If you're not yet familiar with Meikle's work you are missing out. With twenty novels and more than 300 short stories published to date, his impressive body of work continues to grow and Samurai and Other Stories offers an excellent introduction.
This collection starts with the title story of the surviving members of a shipwrecked crew discovering a temple with riches that would more than make up for their lost cargo. One problem, it's guarded by A powerful, unearthly Samurai. "Samurai" is a strong start and offers up a nice twist as do many of the tales in this collection.
Some of my favorites include "Rickman's Plasma", sort of a 21st century take on the horror classic The Blob. "Home Is the Sailor" features a walking dead scenario. There's "Inquistor", a Lovecraftian tale from the time of the inquisition. "The Havenhome" is a very well told story set in the early 1600s with appropriate language and a frightening adversary. But, my most favorite of all is, "The Haunting of Esther Cox," set in 1878 and told through a series of diary entries. From one such entry, "You may not believe any good of me. But if you believe nothing else, believe this. I ain't a bad girl."
There were a few stories that I didn't particularly enjoy, but they were very few and It's very rare that every story in a collection will knock it out of the park. Overall, Samurai and Other Stories is certainly worth your time and is available both as a paperback and ebook from Crystal Lake Publishers and Amazon.com.
This is a really solid collection of stories running the gamut from Conan-like fantasy to ghost stories, Lovecraftian/weird fiction and swashbuckling adventure. There really is no modern equivalent of Robert E. Howard, but that's definitely the vibe you get reading Meikle's work. Highly recommend this, and the five hundred other short stories he's probably managed to write and sell in the last five minutes...
Now, I will admit that I, even though being transported across the pond, have a fair amount of Scot in my blood. This enables me to recapture some of the tales my mentor, my Paternal grandfather, a man of the sea for many years, relayed to me as only he could. William is able to combine the same sardonic wit my grandfather had with the more hilarious aspects of Scottish humor.
But we are not merely talking humor. We are privy to sit front and center as visions of dark fantasy, the macabre, sword fights, and so much more are displayed before our eyes and tear deep into our souls. There are no dull moments dancing about on un-seen strings attached to a puppeteers hands. These stories are arranged in such a way that there is undeniable harmony between every blessed treat assembled for us.
Ah, my friends, I can see my grandfather sitting beside me enjoying these tales as much as me. That is the sign of noble acceptance of the skills of a skilled story teller. For indeed, that is what William Meikle is. May we all be so blessed.
This is probably the highest praise I can give here: normally, when I pick up a single-author collection, I'll read a few stories, then put it aside for a while, then pick it up again later (a few days, weeks, sometimes months) to enjoy a few more until eventually I finish the collection (which doesn't always happen). With SAMURAI AND OTHER STORIES, I read the collection straight through. I will definitely be reading more William Meikle.
In several stories we discover that it isn't at all a good idea to rob temples, mess with religious relics or invade lands belonging to people with magical powers. For those who like a good zombie adventure; this book will more than satisfy you. Add to this an end-of-the-world story, a thoroughly spooky Christmas, spirit possession and a look into the terrifying mind of a crazed stalker and you have an anthology where each story is a refreshing adventure.
My favorite stories are an extremely suspenseful tale of a hero and his perseverance, and a slightly twisted rescue by what may just have been an angel. Fortunately several of the stories have a satisfying and sometimes, even positive, outcome. These satisfying and positive endings do not detract from the general suspenseful and often thoroughly horrifying nature of the book.
The author takes a look at the devastating and very literal result of binding deals and how obsession and guilt can turn into a nightmare.
For a read that will thrill, horrify, amaze, elate and sometimes even make you laugh out loud, I highly recommend this brilliant collection of short stories by William Meikle. (Ellen Fritz)