A Collection of Bizarre Short Stories and Dreams
by Dr. E. R. Buckler
Trafford Publishing

"Hawk was so full of stories about his exploits that it would test even the most credulous, but the one incident I remember most vividly is the one about the warrant officer's wife."

Dr. E. R. Buckler's story collection is a macabre, dark gathering of misfits in half-shadow taking wrong turns into the next adventure, or their inevitable doom. Buckler creates an infinitely collapsing, indiscernible, and unkind world for his characters, placing them in situations that they cannot control, no matter how hard they claw, cry, or clamor for an exit. The third story of the collection, "A Compensation," centers on the main character, Hawk, revealed through the eyes of a nameless narrator. As if to throw the main focus off of himself and his own lack of direction, the narrator briefly describes Hawk's life while they knew each other, then provides a reversal where Hawk has disappeared. Only rumors and speculations are abound as to what has become of Hawk, leaving the nameless narrator haunted by this person from the past, mirrored in how he sees himself in his present.

The themes and characters of the collection are varied, but the richest section of the vignettes is the experimental, tiny diagrams of dreams the author has noted and gathered in the final chapter. The stories are brief, detailed, and elegant, almost as if they were hand-picked, multicolored leaves, retrieved and pressed into a book for safekeeping, only to be taken out and admired on a cold, rainy winter's day in order to remember the fading warm autumn sun under which they were gathered.

The author mentions this collection is his first attempt at writing short fiction. He pays homage to the horror and suspense greats, ranging from Edgar Alan Poe to Stephen King; however, Buckler has his own signature style. He embodies an array of characters in a short page span, providing glimpses and longer forays into this uncharted, unsure reality.

Return to USR Home