Sunday, May 10, 2020

Five Chilling Tales(Vol-2) - H. J. Cronin

Book was read between May 5th 2020 and  May 10th 2020

Edition Details:
Format - E-book
Page Count: 46
ASIN: B015229J1G

Five Chilling Tales by H J Cronin
Five Chilling Tales by H J Cronin


Five Chilling tales (Volume 2 ) is a collection of 5 stories by H J Cronin. The stories collected in this collection are:

1.The Witches in the forest(2/5)

First Sentence:
The forest sits quietly in the North of England.

The forest was supposed to be haunted. There were stories about it that had enthralled a generation of people and most the people had believed them. They used to visit the forest during the day time but at night they left it alone. They believed it was haunted by three witches in the night.

Joe, Carl and Nick were twenty three year olds and like all young people they thought it would be exciting to live in such a forest. Joe was always interested in the paranormal and so he had goaded his friend to spend some nights in the haunted forest.

Did they find what they were looking for? Was the forest really haunted?

The witches in the forest has been written around a idea which has been used a lot of times in the horror stories. A bunch of boys, teenagers or young people decide to stay in the haunted place thinking it would be cool. But then they find out that they have bitten more than they can chew.

It was predictable but a fun read.



2. The Gory Story(2/5)
First Sentence:
Kris, Carol and Logan had driven the whole of the next day following Andrew's disappearance.

It's said a family that eats together stays together. This saying holds true for Kris,Carol and Logan.
They had  had some problems in their old place and so they had to sell it and move.
Now they are in their new place and want to start fresh. And they know what they have to do for it. 

Who are Kris Carol and Logan? Why did they have to leave their old place? What have they planned to do now?

Do we really know who our neighbours are? We just see them, wave to them, have occasional chit-chat with them and go on with our own lives. If a new family moves in then we try to be friendly to them without knowing why they have moved in or what their real nature is. But sometimes we need to be wary.

After reading this story you would think twice before befriending your neighbour.

This was an okay story. I liked the thought behind it but there were few editing issues with it that marred my experience of reading it.

The names of members of two families were interchanged which caused confusion while reading it. There were grammatical error too. Also, the story moves in a straight line.It could had been made much more interesting. It could have had more fight from the victims, it could have had twists and turns but right now it lacks them.

It's an okay read now.  A good premise which could have been executed in a better way.


3. The Professor Obsessed with Torture (2/5)

First Sentence:
Professor Adams is a renowned history professor at Oxford University.

Professor Adams teaches history at Oxford. He loves history especially the methods that were used in the past to torture people. He studies these methods and their effect on people. This is his story.

I liked the premise of the story. Right now it's very directly written. You get to see who the professor is, what he likes and how he started. The tension that should have been there is not present.

I think this story had a lot more promise. It could have been written in a form of mystery. It would have been more enjoyable then. Right now it's only gory. Also, i think the ending was rushed. It doesn't fits with the character of Professor. It could have been done in a different way.


4. The Lone Vampire (3/5)
First Sentence:
Life is cold and lonely for me.

Connor is vampire and is lonely. He has been living alone for the past 500 years. He has been through a lot. And then he sees her and everything changes.

This is a sad story. We are afraid of the unknown and that fear sometimes make us do irrational things. This story is about that tendency of ours.

This story reminded me of Frankenstein which i had read in my college. I remember feeling sad for the Frankenstein monster. All he wanted was to be accepted and all he got was disdain. Connor's story is along the same lines. Whose's the monster here? You have to decide.

I also liked Connor's character. We are given  a short history of him but i would have loved to read about his past years in detail. A novel length work featuring him would be an interesting read.

There was one thing though that i found a little bit off. It was little difficult for me to believe that in the past 500 years he had never been in love before The ending too felt rushed. The author has crammed a lot of stuff in few lines. The war between humans and vampires and humans had captured all those vampires could be a novel in itself. I would also love to read that novel.

This story is my favourite one in the collection.

5.The Alternative History(3/5)
First Sentence:
Aaron is a secondary school history teacher.

Aaron is a history teacher in a secondary school. His both grandfathers had fought in a war and so he's had special interest in World war 2. It was due to this interest that he decided to a take his students on a trip from England to Germany. He wants his student to see the old Nazi Bunkers. He believes it would rouse there interest in the subject too.

But little does he know there is something waiting for him there.

I enjoyed reading this story. I liked a premise but it too seemed to end soon. I would have loved if the author could have spent a little more time in the new world. He should expand it to a full length novella.


In the end i would say, Five Chilling Tales is  decent collection of stories.The author does have some interesting ideas but they needed to be executed in a better way. Right now they are just told. A palpable tension which should be main ingredient of a horror story is missing in most of these stories.  They also lack suspense and mystery and are mostly predictable. If these  elements (suspense, mystery,tension,unpredictability )would have been present in the stories then they could have become mind blowing.

Rating: 2.5/5

You can get the book on following link:
Kindle

I have read other horror. You can read my views about them by clicking on the link below:
Horror

My views on other short story collections that i have read:
Short Story Collection

© विकास नैनवाल 'अंजान'

2 comments:

  1. Great Review. I love horror short Stories.

    I know it's off topic but here is my Short Story collection, which I wrote for Pratilipi Horror fest:
    "हॉरर फेस्टिवल 2020 की मेरी कहानियाँ":
    https://hindi.pratilipi.com/series/s9ovib3dsfcx?utm_source=android&utm_campaign=content_series_share

    I'm still an ameteur though.

    Please read them when you have time.

    And the horror fest is still ongoing, so you should try too.

    ReplyDelete

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