Who’s There?: A Collection of Stories by Dimas Rio
Updated: Sep 25
So, who is in the mood for something different today? No worries, it’s still horror, but it is horror from Indonesia, sounds good? Great!
One benefit of having this blog is that I occasionally get emails from writers asking if I can review their work, and sometimes I get something truly unique to review, in this case I got Who’s There?: A Collection of Stories by Dimas Rio, an Indonesian writer who recently had this short story collection translated to English. And I do enjoy trying out new things.
Who’s There?: A Collection of Stories:
I am going through each story by how they are listed in the book
First story out, and it’s the one the book is named after, a young man is drinking his drinking by a bar with his friends, worrying about getting married, his fiancée is nowhere to be found and he does not seem to worried about that.
Great opener for this collection. Features an ghostly apparition on a bike, to be honest the apparition on a bike is reason enough to read this book.
This one is the shortest one in the collection, its about a journalist student who has gone to interview a famous suspense writer at his home, when there, the writer tells the student a story about the scariest thing that have happened to him.
Short but efficient.
This one is definitely my favourite of these stories. A young security guard is working nightshift on a floor in an office building, spending his nights reading books and stealing petty cash from the cubicles, at home he has a pregnant girlfriend waiting for him. He starts finding letters around in the office space, he starts reading them and they are from a young woman to her fiancée, then the letters start finding him and they crave to be read.
This is a tense and unsettling story, just being alone in an office at night is scary! (Trust me on that) Great build-up leads to a conclusion that I feel like I should have seen coming, but I didn’t.
THE VOICE CANAL:
Another short short-story, this one a sad tale about a young man studying in Scotland and occasionally talking to his father over the internet.
Bit different from the other stories in this collection, but it works rather well here.
THE FOREST PROTECTOR:
So, then we have arrived at the final story of the collection. A woman is on the run with her young son, from what? We don’t know to begin with, all we know is something horrible has happened.
What is great here is that the narrative is split between the mother and the young son, you get two different perspectives on the what have happened. Also, this story feels like a fitting end for this collection, a quiet ending.
So, what did I think of this collection? Well I really enjoyed it, it is always exiting reading horror (or basically anything) set in (and from) new places, and set with cultural flavourings I am unaccustomed to, like words and titles. When it comes to these flavourings, I found it extra helpful that Dimas Rio have provided a glossary.
This is a suspenseful, tense and entertaining collection, with an with and Indonesian flavouring that makes me want to read more works of fiction from the region and from Dimas Rio himself.
So, in the end I give this collection a 5/5 haunting letters.
Thanks for reading, hope everybody is safe out there!