Book review - Ekleipsis: The Abyss by Tamel Wino
An October Quick Bite Book Tour port of call
Ekleipsis: The Abyss by Tamel Wino
Ékleipsis is a debut short story collection written by Canadian author Tamel Wino, with hints of Chuck Palahniuk’s and Cormac McCarthy’s stripped, vivid writing styles. This gripping book explores the havoc wreaked when ordinary people abandon their humanity to pursue their darkest desires, and questions just how far people will go to follow their baser instincts. Each story takes a version of a person we’ve known in our own lives and transforms them into something completely unnerving—yet all too familiar. These dark, complex characters and twisted tales of the once ordinary will change your perception of humanity forever.
I decided to stretch my wings this month and read this collection of short horror stories. It’s been a couple of years since I ventured into the darker side of storytelling. Mainly, because I’m a bit of a wuss (scaredy-cat). For good reason, I might add. Sometimes my nightmares are the stuff of horror! And that’s without adding fuel to the fire.
This collection, of course, is no exception. Read dark fiction. Dream dark dreams. These well-written stories delve into the depths of depravity and despair. They explore the lengths that insanity can take people and the human detritus it leaves in its wake. And the horror creeps up on you, reaching into the more hidden corners of the imagination.
I’ve read a few of the short stories from Ekleipsis, but today I’m concentrating on just one. Marlene is the first in the collection (at time of reading), and as such the first taste of what is to come. A good place to start.
Tamel Wino has his characters, Marlene and Damien, playing off each other’s strong personalities. They’re clever, edgy, in control type of people, inclined to the dark side. Damien has contracted Marlene to write his biography. Her job as a ghost-writer requires her to probe deeply into his background, explore his psyche so that readers will connect with him. Damien is attracted to Marlene’s intelligence and physical appeal. The feelings are mutual, and they embark on a passionate affair that flares brightly. Yet all is not as it seems. One of them is hiding a darker side of their personality…
The reader is led into this story (okay, maybe it was just me) with the sense that this is not going to be too bad. They (I) can handle this. But here’s the trick, as you’re pulled further into the story, the layers are removed and without realising it you’re peering into a darkness that, in turn, repels and lures you onward.
I went on to read the next story, and the next, and each is that bit darker. Each flirts a little more with violence, damaged psyches, and the darkest of imaginings. Each reveals characters unravelling, degenerating into horror: standing at the edge of an abyss from which there is no escape.
This “unconcluded work” starts with a quote from Edgar Allan Poe. It’s very fitting so I’m going to share it here as well.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
Needless to say, I switched from reading this collection in the evenings to reading in the bright daylight where sleep is hours away. I’m not sure my ploy will work. Can you trick your own imagination into not exploring horror stories while you’re not paying attention? Can you pull your imaginary self away from the abyss?
I hope so.
Tamel Wino is a Canadian fiction writer from the resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on degeneration of sanity and morality. He studied Health Sciences and Psychology, which only furthered his interest in human nature.
With inspirations including Alice Munro, Chuck Palahniuk, Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.
When he’s not reading or scribbling away on his laptop, Tamel loves listening to jazz, rewatching good ol’ classic shows and traveling.
I received this collection of short stories with a request for an honest review. My review is based on an unconcluded text. This review will also appear on Amazon (Australia) and Goodreads.