Ghosts of The Silent Hills: Stories based on true hauntings By Anita Krishan | Book Cover
Usually, we avoid talking about books (or for that matter any media) that fall in the horror genre, especially when we find too much adultery and other abusive content is included in it. So, our regular readers may find this book a little unexpected.
Today we are going to talk about Ghosts of The Silent Hills, a book that contains “
|Book Title||:||Ghosts of The Silent Hills
Stories based on true hauntings
|Publisher||:||Fingerprint! Publishing (1 December 2019)|
|# of Pages||:||
1520 KB 312 (Kindle EBook)
|# of Chapters||:||10|
Let us take a look at the cover page of this book.
We strongly believe that a book should not be judged by its cover page (only). At the same time, we acknowledge the influence a cover page can make on purchase and/or read decision(s). An interesting cover page attracts a reader towards exploring the same.
As you can see, the cover page of Ghosts of The Silent Hills remains true to its genre. Most of the stories are set up in the hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh. The cover page reflects it interestingly. The cover designer has done a nice job by choosing non-black-and-white theme for the cover page. Cloudy sky creates the eerie effect expected from the same.
It is a moderately good cover page.
The book contains 10 stories arranged in two segments (5 stories in each of them).
- An Uncanny Attachment
- Shadow In The Dark
- The Unfinished Party
- The Hospital Room
- Lonely In Death
- The Third Housemate
- Horror In a Dormitory
- A Little Girl’s Mission
- The Black Walls
- The Lodge
As with any short story collection, in this book also, each story has its own attributes. One thing, however, remains common (obviously, in addition to the genre); that is the simplistic execution of the story. Adultery and cusswords are absent n the book, and, I consider it one of the most positive aspects of this book.
The simple stories are based on incidents Anita (the author) has heard or came to know about at various points of time. I think stories should be rearranged in this book. If the second story is made the first in the book, it will have a better impact. It will definitely glue the reader from the beginning and make him/her curious to complete the book. The first story is not that gripping and exploring much of ghost stuff.
I like the way, the beauty of the mountains and hamlets there is explored in the book. If you are a nature lover, you will surely enjoy various descriptions in this book. The way the lifestyle of the people living in hills explored in this book reminded me of some old Hindi films. These days, such exploration is rare.
There no Tantriks or Aghoris or Priest to capture or shoo away spirits/ghosts in a typical manner, and, that makes the book better.
Most of the stories have people from middle-class families as main characters. Some of them have some superstitions, but they are courageous and living their lives with compassion. That is what we miss in the fast life where almost everyone is participating in a rat-race. More importantly, their human attributes are explored in this book quite interestingly. For example, it is tough to find a vehicle in the hilly area (especially during the time span represented in the story), you can find people who walk four Kilometers to fetch a jeep with driver for the needy ones.
The author herself is a well-read person and you can find references to various books (eg. The Maneaters Of Kumaon by Jim Corbett). You will also find references to various movies and other stuff (most of them from the late 20th Century).
Actually, I want to write in detail about each of the stories, but, then it will lead to spoilers that I want to avoid as far as possible. Let me try to elaborate on some aspects of the book by quoting some of its writing.
Here is the first paragraph from the book (from Author’s notes):
An immaculate white blanket of snow on the rippling expanse of mountains and vales, a silent evening hush, flickering candlelight and lament logs in a hearth throwing strange quivering shapes on the walls, and mesmerizing tales…
See, how beautifully the first paragraph of the book is written. It definitely raises your expectations from the book, right?
Do ghosts really exist?
This is a centuries-old question and there is no unanimously accepted answer. People believing in science and logic bluntly refuse the existence of any such entities, while many of the others believe in such entities. The author tries to reason her point of view with Albert Einstein’s theory that “energy cannot be created or destroyed”, it can be converted from one form to the other. The author says:
Perhaps Albert Einstein proposed a scientific basis for the existence of ghosts. His first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed but only changes form. Then what happens to our body’s energy when we die? Could that somehow manifest itself into wandering spirits that many people claim to have encountered?
She also says:
Sometimes even I wonder -are the supernatural reports really based on true happenings which are beyond scientific explanation? Or are they fabulous imagination of over-fertile minds?
Knowing the logical persona of the author is important to understand that the stories are not written with an orthodox or regressive vision.
The book has some interesting lines like:
He was now wounding like an engine. Sweat was pouring down his forehead and seeping into his eyes, burning them…
Here is another example of a nicely explored scene from the book:
By now, darkness has begun to creep in as softly as a prowling predator,…
The story set up at a specific room of a hospital requires a special mention. The author also proves that you can interestingly explore very small villages (if you can call so) and even rooms and huts, it doesn’t require a grand locale or a metro-city or a sophisticated monument or a rich home to explore it nicely.
The village was a hidden hamlet of ten houses. Only a handful of men were visible, working in their terraced fiends…
As you can see, the book is good at various linguistic attributes.
If you are looking for a typical horror story collection you will be disappointed. But if you like to read simple stories with the presence of ghosts exploring the social canvas at the grass-root level, you will like reading it.
Overall, a simple book that remains true to its genre. Not much of melodrama. Some stories are interesting and others are moderate. Read it without high expectations and you will enjoy reading it.
Around 7 out of 10.
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