31 January, 2014

#BookReview :: The Other Side by Faraaz Kazi & Vivek Banerjee

'The Other Side' is a collection of thirteen tales of the paranormal; a world that our eyes refuse to see, our ears deny hearing and our senses ignore the feel of. This is a book for someone who is brave enough to take up this invitation to journey through uncharted waters along with the authors, who were inspired by some bizarre experiences to pen down this work where the lines of reality have been blurred by the footsteps of imagination.

Each story takes you on a tour de force of unadulterated horror and draws upon the deepest fear in the human mind- the fear of the UNKNOWN! 

In general, I do not read much horror stories because I have realised that a book has to be written exceptionally well to give the chills or goosebumps and if it doesn’t then it fails the idea of ‘horror’. Besides, once you have read Stephen King, it is difficult to like other horror stories. I picked up this book basically out of curiosity because Faraaz Kazi’s debut novel was a romance and I wanted to know if a young author like him can successfully write stories in such different genre. Can the same author make a reader go ‘Aww!!’ while reading his romance novel to ‘Oh Shit!’ while reading his horror stories…? Well, I am glad that my curiosity made me pick this book up because the answer is ‘YES’.

This book also presents unique perspectives in its ‘Prelude’ where the authors battle it out about their personal experiences and thoughts and end up deciding to write down their experiences leading to the creation of this anthology. I was in love with this book even before starting with the first story and had made a hasty decision that the ‘Prelude’ was going to be the best part of this book. And don’t you love it when the authors prove you wrong by coming up with something that you are going to enjoy even more?

There are ‘13’ stories in this book. [Wait a minute… was that intentional – writing ‘13’ stories? I bet it was!] Each story is different from the other and most of them don’t even take the conventional road to horror. As the rhythm builds up with each story, I stopped ‘expecting’ things to happen and instead let the flow of the stories take me ‘wherever’. My favourites turned out to be ‘The Muse Comes Calling’ and ‘The Lady in the Pub’, but then ‘Dreamgirl’ and ‘Red Bangles’ comes close behind. I did not agree with a couple of endings that left me feeling ‘What?!!’ But then again, I guess that was the authors’ intention – to leave you craving for more. 

I would have rated this book a solid 5 out of 5 stars had it not been for the ‘sexual content’ of this book. Granted that in some cases the stories called for it, I just feel that they could be handed out in a more subtle way rather than in the ‘out in your face’ manner. But then, that’s just me and my notion that such content should be graphic only in the erotic genre.

Overall, this was a spine tingling experience! Go read it for yourself!

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