by A. J. Kirby in ‘The Short Review’
“A trawl through this book, leaving lingering fingerprints on various wildly diverse surfaces, is almost like wandering through an antiques shop on the hunt for dusty treasures. At first glimpse it appears the stories, the objects d’art within, are too different, too disconnected, to form a coherent whole. But such a conclusion would be to seriously devalue Gardiner’s excellence as a writer.
“A Glimpse of the Numinous is Gardiner’s unheimlich manoeuvre on our expectations. A rapid shock to our systems, a release from our reading constraints. A flapping gull to our faces. A screamingly bright light shone into our eyes. A body deconstructed. Gardiner’s stories are “clues” to a deeper life, a stranger truth, a scarier reality. They are stories about dysfunctional sexual and familial relationships, about masturbation and transformation, about death, about religion, about the ominous.
“It’s about shifting us out of our comfort zones as readers. Gardiner has a skill for eye-opening first lines which immediately draw us, kicking and screaming, into the worlds he creates.
“And once you’re in, you’re instantly won over all over again by his boisterous, yet ultra-realistic dialogue … And then, after the unbeatable combinations, Gardiner provides us with his knock-out blow, his simple, great writing, which acts like an uppercut to the brain.
“A Glimpse of the Numinous is far from an easy read, but it is a rewarding one, and, more importantly, an eye-opening one. Reading is a form of escapism, and in Gardiner’s fiction, we escape to places we’d never imagine journeying to.”
See the whole review here: