First review of ‘A Glimpse of the Numinous’

Written by Seregil of Rhiminee RISING SHADOW WEBSITE Friday, 23 March 2012 09:23


A Glimpse of the Numinous is an interesting and challenging short story collection, because each story is different and handles a different subject. Jeff Gardiner writes fluently about feelings, sexuality, mental illness, relationships, sensuality, mythical happenings, religious themes etc (some themes may be difficult for certain readers, but others are more accessible and it’s easier to read about them). It’s a bit difficult to describe some of these stories, because the reader needs to experience them personally in order to fully understand them, but it’s possible to say that these stories and their strange happenings will intrigue readers.

In my opinion Jeff Gardiner shows great promise in writing speculative fiction, because his stories are genuinely fascinating, weird and original. His stories contain horrible happenings, strange characters and all kinds of emotions from love to hate, so they’re quite difficult to forget after reading. It’s nice to read Jeff Gardiner’s stories, because he writes unflinchingly about several different difficult things (he doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects, but handles them easily and without fears).

The characters in Jeff Gardiner’s stories are more or less strange – some are nice, but others aren’t. Some characters act normally and have normal feelings, but others act in mysterious and unpredictable ways. It may be a bit difficult to identify with certain characters, because they’re strange characters, but it’s possible to identify with a couple of characters.

I was impressed by Jeff Gardiner’s use of English. He writes beautiful prose and he’s capable of changing his writing style when needed. I have to mention that Heartwood is a good example of a beautifully and emotionally written story (it isn’t a long story, but it’s a wonderfully told story).

My favourite stories are A Glimpse of the Numinous, Bred in the Bone, 351073, Heartwood, Phobophilia, Gull Power, Delirium Tremens, Dionysus and Past Away. I think that the author shows lots of potential in these stories. A Glimpse of the Numinous is a fantastically weird story, which explores sexuality and mythical things. Delirium Tremens reminds me a bit of Clive Barker’s visceral stories, because it’s an unsettling story, which is told from two different perspectives (it’s a powerful horror story). Phobophilia is one of the best new horror stories I’ve read, because it’s a truly unsettling story about a guy becomes obsessed with death. 351073 is a comfortingly spiritual story about a man whose daughter becomes fascinated by numerology (I liked how the author wrote about the daughter’s fascination for numbers).

The author also shows talent for adding bits of inventive humour to his stories. The slightly sarcastic humour adds a nice atmosphere to certain stories. For example, it was fun to read what Sophie thought about TV channels in Past Away. I also enjoyed reading about the main character’s exploding wives in Writer’s Block.
Before I write the final words of this review, I’ll mention that the cover art by David Rix fits this collection perfectly. I like the cover art very much.

I enjoyed reading this short story collection, because each story was different (it was great that the stories ranged from fantasy to horror). If you enjoy reading short stories and want to read something different, you’ll like this collection, because it contains excellent stories. I’m sure that Jeff Gardiner’s A Glimpse of the Numinous is one of the best and most versatile short story collections of 2012, because it’ll be difficult to find similarly versatile collections.

Highly recommended!



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