Book Review: The Other Side
I am the type of girl who would do her best to avoid horror stories/ movies unless my curiosity gets the better of my senses. My initial foray into this genre started with Goosebumps and similar R. L. Stein novels and somehow stopped there. I did delve on to some serious horror novels like The Shining and Carrie by Stephen King, but this genre never held a strong interest for me to venture further into this genre. So what made me pick this book?
After a taxing long list of IIT/IIM love stories and few mild adventure thriller authors, I was pleased to see someone write in this genre.
And after the early reviews it received on GoodReads and an article in The Hindu, I was curious enough to block off my mind that kept saying No. And yet again, I find myself regretting my choice in this genre. But unlike the other cases, where I was left scared because they were convincingly good, in this case I was simply let down by the disappointing plots.
This book is a collection of 13 stories of the paranormal. As far as the plots are concerned, they are not much different from the usual horror stories. A honeymoon gone wrong, a one night stand turns wild, a happy family turns forlorn after renting a haunted house, an expecting couple have a bizarre surprise, a psychotic youngster and his obsession and so on. Each plot is familiar, but what makes the stories different are the twists in the plot. While a few of them take you by surprise, the rest are the same old stories the Indian Horror genre viewers are accustomed to. Most of the stories are pretty straightforward with the usual expected twists making the book nothing but a nondescript read.
Not all stories are true horror but rather mystic or creepy that leaves you thinking even after they end.
Certain facts stay etched in your mind though like the fate of the men who have answered the calls of the name-calling demons or the child who keeps swinging under the Banyan tree!
Horror story writers need to go an extra mile when it comes to describing the fear invoking scenes and events because it is them that make a horror story a success. For that , the authors deserve a pat on their back for vividly portraying the scary sequences. They have a flair of frictionless writing, which looks promising. But their framing of the plot and ideas used seem tacky at certain points and makes you cringe at certain lines. I also found a few grammatical errors but given their narration, one doesn’t mind overlooking it. The breezy writing makes the book a quick read with just 320 pages.
For people looking for a mild horror induced reading session, this book would be apt.
However, I doubt if Horror fanatics would find this book interesting enough. Being one of the early entrants in the Indian Horror genre, the authors still have a long, long way to go to reach Stephen King like writing.
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