The Wine-Dark Sea

Author: Robert Aickman

Published: January 1, 1988

Uhh, this was NOT a slam dunk, or anything close to it. 🤦🏾‍♀️ When it’s this bad, I typically try to go back and figure out why or how it happened. Like, why was this book even on my radar?

The How: To be fair, Aickman has won tons of awards for his short stories and they’ve been reprinted continuously since the 50’s. I imagine him an early, British version of Joe Hill. He described his own work as strange & was quoted pondering why folks printed it. #Agreed. 🙋🏾‍♀️ Reviews on GoodReads are good however, saying it’s a classic thriller even. Dutifully, I added it to my tbr list.

The Why: Aickman is British. <—Complete sentence. 🤦🏾‍♀️ And, I should add, this one is quite old. Alas, I’m gonna have to read this twice more to ‘get it’. The shift in societal norms, subtle humor and wordy prose read alongside American mainstream ‘candy’ like Koontz & Clines, is like forcing my brain through boot camp after a 20oz steak dinner with a vodka spritzer. I just wasn’t ready.

The short stories are odd tales centered around ghosts and death. The good thing (because I like to find something positive), the stories are short, and include I’m sure what was considered racy language at the time of first print. I kept reading because the beginning and middle of each story captured my attention. The endings though, left me wanting more each time. They all just missed the mark for me. Overall, not horrible, just not at all scary or thrilling. Book 5 of 36. #KeepReading 😘😘

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