Title: Oddities and Entities
Author: Roland Allnach
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press
Pages: Ebook; 266
Release Date: March 2012
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy intelligently written horror stories
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
"There's more to this world than flesh and bone." Set in the mysterious space between the everyday world and an existence just beyond reach, "Oddities & Entities" traces a path through the supernatural, the paranormal, and the speculative. With moments of horror, dark humor, and philosphical transcendence, these tales explore a definition of life beyond the fragile vessel of the human body. An anthology of six stories, "Oddities & Entities" is the recipient of four national book awards from the 2012 Readers Favorite Book of the Year Awards and 2012 USA Book News Best Book Awards.
I have to say that I'm generally a fan of short story collections. There's something about enjoying a bite-sized piece of fiction that is thoroughly satisfying. I was excited to immerse myself in the world of Oddities & Entities, and curious what Roland Allnach had to offer me.
This collection is a bit different than most that I've read. Unlike most horror collections, which feel have a distinctly "campfire story" element to them, Oddities and Entities is much more structured. Each story feels like an entire novel. I was fully introduced to characters, felt their depth, and was given a legitimate resolution. It was refreshing, to be honest. A different approach to be sure, but it works.
Truthfully, the content of these stories was what threw me for a loop. Some I loved, some I was confused by. If I had to choose a favorite, "Boneview" definitely fits the bill. Dark, intriguing, and with a surprising amount of descriptive language that draws you into its depths. On the flip side, "Me Other Me" lost me a bit. There was a point during the story when I was confused enough that I felt the need to start it over. Still, I can't deny that they are all compulsively readable.
Despite any small qualms I may have had, the fact remains that this is still a very strong collection of stories. There is plenty of imagination between these pages, mixed with the perfect balance between intelligent writing and a horror-like feel. I would definitely recommend this set of short stories to readers who enjoy a good shiver or two. You might find a new favorite tale to share.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.