BOOK REVIEW: Little Visible Delight

Little Visible Delight is an intricate, gloomy set of stories exploring obsession.

Little Visible Delight

In essence: Little Visible Delight

Well-thought-out dark tales abound in this anthology from the small and obsessively good publisher Omnium Gatherum. Creepy, dark, and several with unforgettable characters and stories, there may be something for everyone in Little Visible Delight. The brief described in the introduction was for the authors to pursue their own ‘writerly obsessions’, and from that they created more than just new worlds. More than one dealt with their work through a different perspective from what the reader might normally expect; one story from the second person perspective, directly addressing the protagonist, and more than one where the lines between reality and madness are deliberately blurred.

What particularly stands out is the emphasis on the writers. Each author has a short – or not so short – explanation of the thinking behind their story, followed up at the end with their biographies. Happily, the explanations are mainly interesting and enlightening, as well as effectively introducing the authors. The level of intellectual thinking behind Little Visible Delight is more than what you might expect for a collection of creepy tales, and it’s good to understand the processes that go into creating even the shortest stories. .

Why read an anthology?

Anthologies are a great way to see if you like a particular genre or style. You can get a short dose of several authors, like a taster session prior to buying new books, but you don’t have to commit to buying their novels on top. They’re also a superb way to kickstart the imagination, because you’re left with the impression of many new ways to think.

Anthologies are tricky beasts; if all the stories are from the same writer, much effort has to be put in to ensure no two are similar. If they’re from a collection of writers, the quality can vary considerably. Not true here. The quality of the writing showed off polished styles throughout. Little Visible Delight posed only one typo – a missing space after a full stop. A pleasant change from many published books.

Will you like it?

Little Visible Delight is psychological horror in the main. Even if horror isn’t normally your thing, the twists and subtle creep can’t fail to appeal to a fairly wide audience; it isn’t hardcore. If you’re looking for short bursts of time-killing-ness, for the train ride or daily commute, Little Visible Delight is a great and entertaining way to get your mind working first thing in the morning. With short enough stories to read between stops, and plenty of them, who cares if the roadworks make the journey twice as long?

Oh! And it’s DRM-free!

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