Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Anthology I: The Other Side by Hamidah Gul

Title: Anthology I: The Other Side
Author: Hamidah Gul
Publication Date: April 20, 2012
Length: 122 pages

Note: I didn't finish this book, so this review covers only the first few stories.

Anthology I is a collection of short stories that are meant to be horror, but on the light and funny side.

The first story (in my copy; it seems to vary, judging by other reviews) was Come Home With Me. This story was really short, just a few pages. There seemed to be a ghost involved, who killed people. That's about all I could gather, because it was one of those short stories that has no explanation, just things happening, and then it's over, leaving me saying "uh, what?".

The next story was The Other Side. It's about a guy who has a near-death experience in which he travels to other planets and discovers that the Earth is going to be destroyed. Right at the beginning I got annoyed when he said two things: 1) He kept referring to Pluto as a planet. I mean, it's been years. I'm sorry, but Pluto is not a planet! 2) He says that we've visited all the planets but Pluto, which I'm fairly certain is not true, even if you count unmanned probes. After that, the story was fairly interesting, but seemed a bit stretched out.

What made me put this one down was not so much that the stories weren't interesting (at least the ideas seemed to have potential). The writing was just too hard to read. Hamidah Gul is writing in a language that is not her first, and that's made pretty clear. The phrasing is often awkward. Also, often people are speaking, but there are no quotation marks. I don't know if that's a mistake, or if she's doing it stylistically (which some authors definitely do), but either way, I hate it. I like to know when people are talking! If this book had gone through an editing process, that would have made a huge difference.

Full disclosure: Free ebook copy received from the author.

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