Author: Charles Dickens
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
“The Signal-Man” is a horror story by Charles Dickens, first published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of All the Year Round. The railway signal-man of the title tells the narrator of an apparition that has been haunting him. Each spectral appearance precedes a tragic event on the railway on which the signalman works. The signalman’s work is at a signal-box in a deep cutting near a tunnel entrance on a lonely stretch of the railway line, and he controls the movements of passing trains. When there is danger, his fellow signalmen alert him by telegraph and alarms. Three times, he receives phantom warnings of danger when his bell rings in a fashion that only he can hear. Each warning is followed by the appearance of the spectre, and then by a terrible accident.
Ivan took me to London and of course I had to visit several bookstores while there. We went to Hatchards, the oldest bookstore in London. Founded in 1797, and with several floors filled with books, I geeked out. It was pretty funny to watch Ivan, he might have geeked out a little more than I did. I’m used to bookstores so my passion is little more subtle but he was gaping with his mouth hanging open! He could not get over the multiple floors and he just stared up the spiral staircase with eyes filled with wonder!
All that said, I bought a cute little booklet edition of The Signalman by Charles Dickens. I had already seen his burial place in Westminster, so it just felt right! The Signalman is a simple, straightforward read. It’s creepy without being scary. In the same style as A Christmas Carol, Dickens conjured up a spectre that chills the reader and imagined railway accidents that convey true tragedy (my gosh, who the heck is writing this review???? lol). I really liked it! The story was spooky and the characters engaging. It took me all of half an hour to read it so pretty much anyone can read it. I actually think this is a good classic to give to younger readers. It won’t overload their brains and they’ll find a ghost story appealing. An excellent little story!!
Short Story Sunday is back! This is where I review a short story/novella. I love short stories (as long as they are well written) but I don’t think they get enough attention. The reviews for short stories can be difficult to write because of the ‘shortness’ and not wanting to give anything away!
Today’s short story is The Scientist by Andrés Cruciani:
Author: Andrés Cruciani
Published: January 1, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: March 7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Short Story Description:
The Scientist is the tale of a woman who believes one must suffer to achieve greatness.
If you want a dark and disturbing short story that is under 10 pages, then The Scientist is for you. From the beginning Cruciani pulls us into the scientist’s life. She is determined at all costs to become a great scientist and for that to happen she must be miserable, as all scientists need great misery in their lives. She goes to the utmost extremes to become miserable.
The descriptions are crystal clear. I could picture our scientist as she was doing what she did throughout the story. You will wonder how far our scientist will go to become miserable so she can therefore become great… Then you read it!
Special thanks to the author Andrés Cruciani for sending me a copy to read and review.
About the Author:
After graduating from Cornell, Andrés Cruciani earned a Master’s in Education from Brooklyn College and an MFA from The New School. He has been a teacher for 15 years and has taught writing at FIT and the Hispanic Center for Excellence at Albert Einstein College among other places. Andrés has had numerous pieces nominated for awards and published in The Westchester Review, Pamplemousse, Green Mountains Review, and Welter among other magazines. He served as editor for LIT magazine and is the current senior editor of Brooklyn Aikikai Journal. He recently founded Toho Publishing. When not writing, Andrés trains in Aikido. You can learn more about him at andrescruciani.com.[Top]
Author: E.J. Bennett
Published: December 1, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: November 19, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Short Story Description:
Bella, an old grumpy woman, finds herself in the past. To a time she was happy and loved. Bella must race against time and her mind to change a devastating event if she wishes to save her future.
A white Christmas wedding and the love of her life. Will Bella be distracted?
Can Bella keep her mind set on the task at hand? Or will she fall back into her old life and old ways?
I am quickly becoming a fan of E.J. Bennett’s short stories. I like that I am able to read these short stories read during my lunch break! Bennett is a talented writer: She is so descriptive in her writing that I feel I am there and can see everything happening as I read the story.
Bella is a grumpy old woman, but rightfully so. She lost the one thing that was important to her. Mysteriously she goes back in time and has an opportunity to change things. Will she accomplish this or not? We see the transformation Bella makes over the course of this short story as she went from the grumpy old woman to a young lady I was rooting for that I was wanting to succeed! This is a short story of 5155 words, so I can’t really say more. Just go get this short story!
Special thanks to E.J. Bennett for sending an arc copy to read and review. I really enjoyed it!
Back to December is available worldwide on all platforms. (Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Apple Store, etc). The Amazon links are below:[Top]