Three Culture Shocks – by Tony Thorne MBE – Review

This is a pretty good effort from writer Tony Thorne. Not all the stories are equally good, however, the collective effort is praiseworthy. The first story is the tale of a cunning witch and is filled more with comedy than horror (especially her invocations and sudden fits of rage). She is someone who is almost ostracized in her village and she believes she can put anyone under her spell, even if her spells don’t work right all the time (there are occasional goof-ups in the execution of her plan whereupon she has to call on her nephew to clean the mess). Her plans work well and she is on her way to becoming a rich, old hag when a ‘magical’ (pun intended) twist spoils everything for her.

The second story is a sci-fi tale of an alien written in a more serious vein, but it lacks the charm of the first one. Honestly I found it a bit too preachy and serious at times and didn’t feel much for the characters or even the alien creature. The third story about a holidaying American woman and her rendezvous with a crazy, old lunatic who’s hired her for an equally crazy job is pretty creative, full of suspense and supernatural horror. The comic twist at the end of the third story is much better than the twists of all the other stories. The witch’s story, however, still remains my favorite.

Each story is preceded by a prolog which gives the reader a brief introduction to the atmosphere and characters of the story (the second story has an epilogue too which details the aftermath of the story). I found that quite an innovative approach.

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