Sunday, December 2, 2018

Dead, Afraid and Alone

When Jerry leaves his old life in London behind and travels to Beijing to take up a teaching position, at first he is enchanted by the brave new world he finds waiting for him. However, things soon take a turn for the worse. Upon his arrival he learns of the mysterious disappearance of his predecessor, and after he moves into his new apartment he is plagued by strange dreams in which he shares the dwelling, and his bed, with a ghostly entity. Then things start going bump in the night, and Jerry soon finds himself embroiled in the kind of supernatural drama that had previously been unthinkable to him. 

An encounter with a fortune teller with a difference proves the catalyst for a new wave of terror and eventually, he is forced into the accepting the realisation that something else was waiting for him on the other side of the world, and perhaps even in the next world. What's more, his time is quickly running out. 

This is a new edition, revised version by the author. 

Bonus content: 

Inside Apartment 14F (essay)
Little Dead Girl (short story)

Apartment 14F by C.M. Saunders is one of the best ghost stories I've ever read in my entire life, particularly because of the shocking ending. I wanted to know more about the history of the ghost and her agenda, but I'm just as happy to be left wanting more. I love the way the author built up the suspense by revealing the paranormal occurrences taking place in the apartment as Jerry waits in line to see a fortune teller.

The short story, Little Dead Girl, has a major discrepancy, which disrupted the flow of the story. One minute the main character, Jeff, mentions waking up to the ghost being in his apartment, the next minute he is stating she can't follow him into his apartment. (Which is it, Saunders?) The ending is bizarre, yet somehow predictable.

There is also an essay by the author between the two short stories, explaining how Apartment 14F came into existence. I didn't read all of it...after just a few paragraphs, the essay began sucking away the enjoyment the story gave me. The essay seemed better suited for the author's website, not an addition to the content. Not sure why Saunders felt the need to discuss the history of writing a short story, in any case.

If you're a fan of Asian horror, you definitely need to read Apartment 14F.

As always,

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