The Sleep Corporation by Douglas Thompson. Book review

THE SLEEP CORPORATION by Douglas Thompson, Exaggerated Press 2015
Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Having occasionally met with Douglas Thompson’s stories in a few anthologies, I had not realized the wonderful, eclectic talent of that author of speculative fiction. The present ,hefty collection assembles thirty-one stories by Thompson, showcasing the work of a truly excellent writer whose
fiction defies labels except that of excellence.
The volume collects a lot of superb material, the type that the reader will not easily forget even when the last page if the book is finally turned.
If themes and atmospheres vary a lot, quality remains consistently very high. Among so many splendid stories, it’s hard to pinpoint the more accomplished.
“Fallen Woman” is an offbeat piece full of mystery and lyricism; “Moving Vehicle” an atypical on the road story; “Raymond and Arlene” an insightful, melancholy tale portraying an urban love relationship; “Eleanor” a fascinating story about a lonely woman haunted by a peculiar book bought
in a strange bookshop; “Alva’s Island” a vibrant, perceptive piece set in Sweden; “My Lost Sister” a disturbing tale of abuse and madness where reality and fantasy dangerously blend in a little girl’s mind.
In “Sunday Relatives” travelling by train becomes a metaphor of life, with images from the past still lingering on the compartment seats, while in the modern gothic “Elspeth” the theme of the haunted house is effectively revisited in a subtle ,original fashion.
A group of stories “The Sleep Corporation”, “Hypnostra” and “Fugitive Dreams of the Enslaved” report the bizarre doings of a mysterious corporation where hypnostism becomes the key to try live odd experiences.
My personal favourites are “The Bycicle”, a beautiful, nightmarish story á la Twilight Zone, and especially “Central Station”, an outstanding, insightful story depicting, quite effectively, life’s myseries and hopes by describing the characters hanging around a train station.
Thompson is a real master of the short story, able to spellbind any reader with his enticing narrative style, original plots and superior characterization of the peole involved.
Highly recommended.

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. News | Douglas Thompson's Blog

Comments are closed.