I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that comes with a warning before, but that’s what we get with Buried With The Night from Syon Das – a warning that this book contains descriptions of violence that some may find disturbing, that explicit language is used freely and that reader discretion is advised.
It oddly reminded me of those music albums with parental advisory tags plastered on their covers (which if anything made me want to purchase them and dive into them even more) a forbidden fruit that I wasn’t allowed, a forewarning to the consumer or parents of the consumer of the horrors contained within.
I don’t know if it’s me, if I’m twisted all out of the usual parameters but this warning wasn’t in my opinion necessary, but having said that it’s my genre that’s my bag, and I write some crazy stuff myself – but I guess that warning is for those who don’t like this fiction and might pick this up and be shocked and appalled, and I guess with the warning, Das has told you that it might not be for you. Believe me when I say that there are some scenes of graphic violence and body horror / injury detail that are strong and bloody and oh so dark and twisty – which could make you weak at the knees!
Syon Das reached out and asked if I’d consider reading this short collection of stories for an honest review, and knowing that he is a big supporter of Indie Horror scene and that he’d read and loved my book Tethered, I thought what the hell, send it my way, and I’m so glad I did.
What we have here is a collection of five short stories, each of different length and themes; from the birth of a monster, to the supernatural, familial horror, home invasion-terror and the concluding story a mythical, folklore horror that delivers the gore in bucketloads, think Stephen King’s Carrie but with larger buckets full of blood!
Curtis – this story is told in a diary format, a diary of a counsellor who is working with a troubled young man, Das writes the unreliable narrator perfectly (who is more of an enabler to the dark thoughts of a troubled young man) and we soon are thrown into a crazy dark ride where we are unsure who the true monster is, the therapist or the patient. What I enjoyed in Curtis is that we also get to see the nature vs nurture debate as Das details what makes a monster; how our upbringing, social status or life events contribute to the person we are becoming or the beast that is waiting to be born from the carnage of our lives.
Higher Learning – Here we have an almost supernatural haunted house story. A university student commits suicide and once all the lip service has been paid, and the student newspaper articles have finished praising this stand up student, taken too soon, a life lost with uncharted possibilities before them a jilted student decides to start making some money off this bullies death. I really enjoyed the switch up that happens in this story when we are introduced to our protagonist and the terror that awaits this money making scheme, with a reveal that had my jaw dropping.
Family – a familial horror that twists and turns and mutates into something quite macabre. Unfortunately I didn’t get on with this one, but I enjoyed the story, there was just something missing for me in the story.
Endings – I really enjoyed this story. We follow two brothers reign of terror and carnage as they create snuff films to order from well paying customers. Their latest job spirals out of control and now all bets are off. This contains some graphic detail of injury and a story that evolved and mutated into a staggering conclusion – it’s the type of crazy that Chuck Palahniuk would write and I loved it.
Darjeeling – This was for me the best story in the collection, it had a really good fable / folklore vibe to it and so much gore and blood and butchery that I am sure that the warning was for this story alone. We follow a group of Scouts in India who go to a house where a brutal murder had taken place where they are spending the night, before hiking off into the mountains the following day to take in the scenery. What I loved about this is that with the prose and the information Das gives us, you’d be fooled into thinking this is going to be a supernatural tale, it’s anything but! I loved the barbaric, raw and brutal writing here from Das and he’s created a tale that makes for troubling reading and for me was a great way to leave the collection as it left me wanting more from his pen – the chains seemed to come off Das in this closing story and I feel if he’d had that unrestraint in the other tales, we’d be looking at one hell of a dark fiction horror collection.
Buried With The Night is a brutal introduction to Syon Das’ writing, flitting through many horror genre tropes Das splatters us with his gore, appalls us with his horrors and captivates us with the crazy. If you’re after a short, quick read, one that can be read in a couple of hours, a palate cleanser if you would, then this is the book for you. So long as you can handle graphic depictions of body horror and injury detail!
Buried With The Night is available here.
Syon Das lives in New York City. When he’s not writing dark fiction, horror, or poetry, he is watching HBO shows, listening to true crime podcasts, reading the work of talented indie authors, playing heavy metal guitar, and writing about himself in the 3rd person. You can contact Syon at firstname.lastname@example.org with business inquiries or any comments regarding his work.
Reviewed by Ross Jeffery
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