Aseem Rastogi’s Dread is a collection of short stories. As the blurb mentions, the stories aim to recreate the feeling of dread when we are stuck in an unforgiving situation.
There are five stories in the book. Their lead characters are from various countries across the globe – New Zealand, UK, India. All the stories feature men who have normal lives. Each of them has a family to care and look after. Sometimes, these men have their fanilies with them in the story. Each of the men, either by dint of his own mistakes or fate, is stuck in a situation of actual horror. All the stories focus on the sense of desperation and ungodly terror that these men face, sometimes alongwith their families.
I enjoyed the way the author built up situations of horror from everyday happenings. The sense of injustice (“why me?”) and terror is real, and the characters relatable.
I think the stories could have benefitted with a focus on the whole arc of the characters, in some cases, and with the resolution of the goings-on in others. For while we do relate with what the narrator is going through in each of the stories, things sometimes take turns and jumps that don’t really appeal. It could be that the author tried to have slice-of-life stories rather than a full arc for the narrator, but the jumps (in some) and the abrupt endings (in others) left me high and dry.
All said, the narration style of the author has potential, and I would be very interested to see where his journey goes from here. Hopefully, he’ll have a much warmer time than his characters in this book. 🙂
Genre: Mystery, Horror.
Have you read Dread? What are your thoughts on the book and this review?
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About The Author:
Aseem Rastogi spent his formative years in the Middle East and India. He is a passionate blogger, avid traveler and pens a variety of short fiction, from six word stories to hundred word stories.
He is a published author with stories and essays published in anthologies like Down the Road, Memoirs of Dreamers and Minds @ Work.
Thanks for reading.