Review of Macabre Tales: Anthology of Uncanny Short Stories by Multiple Authors
Updated: Feb 7, 2022
Macabre Tales is the very first book published by Chrysanthemum Chronicles as a publishing house. It was initially visualized to take shape of a Dystopian Novel by the Founder and Director of Chrysanthemum Chronicles, Monalisa Joshi but turned out to be an anthology of uncanny tales with vivid stories from some incredible writers.
Edited by Nandita De nee Chatterjee, the book is a collection of uncanny tales by multiple authors. The seventeen stories from seventeen writers from different walks of life take us on an eerie ride with varied emotions, drama, mystery, and suspense.
Talking about the cover of the book. The ashen face. The placid eyes. The cold look. The spooky cover of the book leaves one appalled.
I opened the book with much trepidation and read through the very first story, And the Fireplace Roared on by Dr. Santosh Bakaya. I found myself smiling. How’s it possible? An uncanny story that brings a smile to your face. Well, if it is coming from Dr. Bakaya’s pen, the story can leave the readers with a chill and a smile simultaneously. Isn’t that unique!
The Patient by Harshali Singh, is a gripping tale that takes us into the world of medicines and hospitals and brings out some dark and unheard stories in the medical fraternity.
The story moves forward with more dialogues which makes it unique in its approach.
Antra Banerjee’s Last of the Pench Tigers is a tale of an adventurous ride where the brave hearts abused by society, refuse to give up and stand on their feet to take revenge on their molesters. The vivid descriptions make the readers land right in the middle of the scenes the story is set.
Larceny of Identity by Purba Chakraborty brings about the uncanny tale of rivalry where the protagonist is faced with the problems social media can bring. A gripping story of revenge and suspense keeps the readers glued to every word written.
Each year, on the full moon night, just after the onset of spring, Kurchi would step out of their cottage, wayward, gathering her tattered self. Kurchi: The Wild Flower’s Tale by Lopa Banerjee transports us to a mystical world as Kurchi, the Adivasi girl wanders for quenching her quest for her love. The author has beautifully brought out the longing emotions of the protagonist for her lover.
Monalisa Joshi’s The Last Train to Earth, is set up in a refugee camp. The protagonist's deep love for her lover makes her travel between different worlds and the agony she goes through is heartfelt. A sweet love story that turns into trauma for the soul of the protagonist delivers some deep spiritual message to the readers.
Sreeparna Sen’s The Elixir and the Nemesis is another hair-raising story of a psychopath who finds pleasure in killing. The story is fast-paced, with finger-biting suspense. It keeps the readers on edge as it progresses. A tale one can visualize simultaneously while reading.
Alipi Das’s The Connoisseur has a very different tale to tell. An uncanny tale that comes up moving to new terrains by the main character. It is filled with warmth, love, and a shocking element that leaves the protagonist flummoxed.
Delusion by Muskan Sharma is a story that gives chills to the readers. A story of disturbed childhood, where the protagonist fights to come out of his self-created fears. A story told through the pages of the diary of a schizophrenic personality who ends up in loneliness and regret. The writer is successful in stirring up emotions of pity and sympathy for her character.
Dr. Paromita Mukherjee Ojha’s Love with Fire is a dramatic story of love and revenge set up in the contemporary environment. The story takes us on a roller coaster ride where there is passion, competition, and vengeance.
Ratha Katteri by Varadarajan Ramesh is another unique one that talks about mythical creatures and legends. It is a story that takes us to the bygone era of kings and queens and a blood-sucking vampire. A story of a chivalrous king who could do anything for his compatriot.
Preeti S.Manaktala’s Being Immortal gives us a sneak peek into how a hallucination can be a curse. A sweet tale of a small loving family, Preeti has beautifully kept the readers engaged with the plot. A gripping tale filled with vacillating emotions Being Immortal lives up to its title.
In Your Bloody Eyes by Rashmi Agrawal is another eerie story of love and betrayal set up in the world of gizmos and gadgets. The author has done a brilliant job with the theme and the settings in the story. Reading the story one is transported to modern times where technology is dominating.
Preethi Warrier Fly With Me Love, is a spellbinding story in the collection that leaves the readers with a feeling of sadness and sympathy. The author creates pathos in the hearts of the readers with the events that come up in the tale successfully.
Moushmi Bhattacharjee’s A Complot on the Foothills, brings out the nitty-gritty of the administration and politics. A contemporary tale that brings about the happenings in today’s social environment.
The Fulcher House Mystery by Zainab M.M is another short story that leads us into mysterious terrains. The plot and the language of the author keep the reader hooked till the end as the mystery is solved.
Forbidden written by Nandita De nee Chatterjee, who has also diligently edited the anthology. Her story talks about a brave heart who lived to protect others. Her simple narratives with profound descriptions simply talk about her mastery over the words.
The stories from Macabre Tales are not just the fear caused by ghosts or apparitions but the stories play through the readers' heads and hearts letting trepidations set in. The book is full of drama, romance, suspense, adventure, heartbreaks, and love loaded with uncanny elements.
The beauty of each story is that all the stories are relatable. The writing style of each writer is unique. The authors have conscientiously made effort not to exaggerate the fear factor but have brought it out in a very profound and subtle manner with the delicate use of words.
Last but not least as the blurb says “Horror is not the thing this year, macabre tales are!”
Review by Associate Editor Shristee Singh from Cc.