If you are like me and want to explore the horror genre for the first time.. this is a book that could lead you down that dark hole. I am definitely not a horror aficionado. But, when you are a dove among bats, you eventually turn into a vampire yourself. You get the drift.
My idea of a good horror story is one that has you cringing at each turn but has you turning the page nonetheless. It leaves a mark on you in the form of horrific images or an aura of haunting, that your brain throws up when you are alone or it is dark and you are alone. And then there are some stories that give you nightmares in broad daylight or have your mind running on overdrive that your dreams turn into wild adventures to combat unseen forces. This book has all these types of stories.
Also, I really enjoyed the little conversations between the authors that acts as a hook to draw the reader to the next story and makes it difficult to put the book down. The book also features a set of 26 mini tales, which proves that there are a host of writers with wild imaginations.
Each author in the book has their own unique voice, and I think their efforts warrants a few words about each of them.
1. The Purple Grave: The setting contributes towards the mood of this story and story sets up the sombre mood for rest of the anthology.
2. Welcome: A page-turner, a horrific thriller that you will gobble up as fast as you can read.
3. Pastel of the Past: Get ready to get your insides twisted in knots before you read this one.
4. Ill conceived: Loved the play on the title of the story. A horror that features one of India’s prevalent social evils, which is the real horror.
5. Killing Murakami: The title draws you in. You know a horror story had struck its mark when a week after reading it you can recall in intricate detail the moments that made you gag.
6. The Silver Beast: A horror story with an unexpected twist. Read to find out what beast this poet's mind has unleashed.
7. Old MacDonald Had A Farm: An original out-of-the-box story that will never let you view nursery rhymes the same way again. It will leave you will images that will haunt and screw with your dreams. Not for the faint-hearted.
8. Haveli - An Indian setting that we relate to horror stories. It felt like a horror drama series unfolding. Good storytelling.
9.The Artist- You know what is going to happen, but you still cannot stop reading it. Another one that haunts.
10. The Adventures of a Virgin: This plays out like scenes from a horror film with a possessed theme with the Devil, the virgin and a slew of morality lacking/wanting characters thrown into the mix.
11. Macabre Melody: A different take on the haunted bungalow which leaves the reader rooting for the protagonist's fate.
12. Memory of a Face - A story will both a psychological angle as well a social message. Expect the unexpected.
13. The Case of the Seance - This one is twisted with some dollops of gore stirred in. The characterisation of the protagonist was what made this story come to life and then stay with me.