Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stay Awake: Stories

Author:  Dan Chaon
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Pages: 254

Goodreads Description:
In these haunting, suspenseful stories, lost, fragile, searching characters wander between ordinary life and a psychological shadowland. They have experienced intense love or loss, grief or loneliness, displacement or disconnection—and find themselves in unexpected, dire, and sometimes unfathomable situations.
A father’s life is upended by his son’s night terrors—and disturbing memories of the first wife and child he abandoned; a foster child receives a call from the past and begins to remember his birth mother, whose actions were unthinkable; a divorced woman experiences her own dark version of “empty-nest syndrome”; a young widower is unnerved by the sudden, inexplicable appearances of messages and notes—on dollar bills, inside a magazine, stapled to the side of a tree; and a college dropout begins to suspect that there’s something off, something sinister, in his late parents’ house.
Dan Chaon’s stories feature scattered families, unfulfilled dreamers, anxious souls. They exist in a twilight realm—in a place by the window late at night when the streets are empty and the world appears to be quiet. But you are up, unable to sleep. So you stay awake.

This was a truly wonderful collection of short stories. I was impressed with Dan Chaon's ability to use simple language to tell mesmerizing stories. It was also a pretty varied collection of stories. Some of them were downright scary and others were haunting while others played with my mind. What I really appreciated was a true collection of horror stories of different degrees. I had been looking for something like this and felt that most books that were billed as scary or horror fell short of the mark. 


Post a Comment