Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: The Other Side by Faraaz Kazi & Vivek Banerjee

Tales of horror have kept human company for ages. From forts to mountains and abandoned places they all have a tale to tell. Few believe in it and few rubbish it off as a human notion. Author Faraaz Kazi & Vivek Banerjee in their joint venture "The Other Side" take you for a ride which goes deep dark inside to explore the secrets of human fear and human mind. So has he been able shred some light on this unnerving genre? Let's find out. 

A slow rasping sound made me turn. I jumped back, the cell phone leaving my hands and smashing against the concrete floor. Someone was seated on the chair, rocking back and forth. Through the fallen light, I could see those hands placed on the arms of the chair, two gruesome wrinkled limbs with ugly boils plastered over the black skin. The red bangles on its wrists shone in my eyes, momentarily blinding me. That thing and I call it a thing because I could sense it wasnt human as no human could have such a hideous form, as vile an existence as the one seated opposite to my horrified self.
From a honeymoon in the hill that goes horribly wrong to an obsessed lover who wants his first love in life and in death; From a mentally deranged man who collects body parts of various women to stitch together his dream girl to a skeptic who enters a mansion of horrors to win a bet and much more, this book is filled with scenarios that are guaranteed to give you goosebumps and sleepless nights.
The Other Side is a collection of thirteen tales of the paranormal; a world that our eyes refuse to see, our ears deny hearing and our senses ignore the feel of. This is a book for someone who is brave enough to take up this invitation to journey through uncharted waters along with the authors, who were inspired by some bizarre experiences to pen down this work where the lines of reality have been blurred by the footsteps of imagination.
Each story takes you on a tour de force of unadulterated horror and draws upon the deepest fear in the human mind- the fear of the Unknown!

First look at the cover and title and the sense of scariness and creepiness gives you some jittery thoughts and probably second thoughts too about reading the book. It's an anthology that is what comes as a surprise but the red color of the cover along with scary eyes is a pre-dominant factor to make it more scarier for the readers. The blurb has some excerpts of the stories and the choices lines which hit it's mark with the readers. It arouses curiosity and gives you a sneak peek of what lies ahead.


It's a prelude which you won't expect to see in many books. It's a short story in itself. Some glimpses and a perfect setup for the readers it gives shivers and makes readers curious about the rest of the book. It comes from personal experiences and has been crafted very well.

Story No. 1:

A story of a doctor and his wife and their untimely help of two people which later on turns out to be a nightmare for them. It's a story which is a bit surprising but not much of an excitement as the predictability factor is there in it. It's a nice story to start with.

Story No. 2:

The story is of two people who after getting bored of their monotonous lives decide to go on a road trip but that trip brings them something which they never expect. It's a twisted and turned story and surprises a lot. It'll baffle towards the end. A very good story in the making.

Story No. 3:

A vague bet and over confidence of a young man to enter a dilapidated mansion on his friend's insistence might become a boon or his downfall. It's a story of pure horror and fear as it gives you goosebumps. But the expectations of something unexpected happening towards the end is washed out completely. It's a nice story.

Story No. 4:

The story is about an unusual night when two strangers meet strangely and their strange meeting converts into something totally unexpected. The story's USP is it's element of surprise and the guess work which will ultimately put you in a dizzy. It's a good story.

Story No. 5:

A writer's imagination and his chance encounter with someone who will change his life completely. A gruesome and a brutal tale and the sufferings of a man. It's revenge mixed with some crazy imagination of a human mind. It feels incomplete towards the end but the barbarism remains throughout.

Story No. 6:

A young man's encounter with a beautiful woman and then truth dawn upon him when that encounter leaves everlasting impact on his life. A story packed with surprises and crafted tastefully in order to fool the readers till the end and keep the guess work going. It's a good story.

Story No. 7:

A story of a woman and her loneliness and how it happens to generate curiosity and anxiety when she shifts to a new place. It's not exactly a very exciting story but for a small bit of time it holds your attentions as a reader.

Story No. 8:

A story of a passionate young man and his love for a classmate which with time converts into obsession and what happens in the end. It's an average story with nothing in it to excite your senses or feel the shivers down the spine. It's a weak story.

Story No. 9:

An old man's tale, a young couple who doesn't believes in this modern day voodoo and incidents post their honeymoon which arise a lot of questions. It's a story of faith and fear which have to be conquered and captured by our mind and heart. A decent narration in the end.

Story No. 10:

A reoccurring dream a boy holding the key to the lock of the past and a lot of unanswered questions in his mind. It's a story of curiosity and something quirky. It's one of the better stories of the book with a touch of disbelief and bewilderment in it. This story also leaves a scary impression on the mind of the readers.

Story No. 11:

A couple and their two kids and a stranger ready to meet them in person in their new house giving it a new turn altogether. There's hardly anytime to breathe when it comes to this story. The gory and dark side in unveiled along with some strong and powerful narration. It's the best story of the book. It's surely going to jolt the senses.

Story No. 12:

A story of a doctor and his transfer to a remote place in a city let him encounter something which he doesn't believes in. His curiosity takes over and he is out to find out the truth. It's a curious story mixed well with mystery and concealing the surprise. The story is another very good story for the readers.

Story No. 13:

An artist or no artist but his imagination is going to take the shape of life as he trudges on a path so powerful that there is no looking back. A gory and power packed story awaits the readers. It's a bit different as it takes shape and a befitting end to the book.


The entire setup in this part is far more scarier than some of the stories in the book. The whole ordeal is just the way anyone wants the book to be. It's a scary experience while reading the epilogue. 

The narration is the USP of the book. It's smooth, crispier and done up to create an uproar in the readers mind. Some of the stories are really mind boggling and the sense of creepiness just gives enough adrenaline to brace yourselves for what's coming next. The unexpected factor in a few stories is also a thing to watch out for and the entire descriptive and the whole spread out is wonderful. The stories which will steal away your heart are no. 2, 11,12,13. The research on the subject and the genre reflects in the book. The epilogue and prelude are the scarier portions which will leave you stunned for sometime. 

The downside of the book are some really weak and predictable stories which don't get the momentum shifting. They lack curiosity and depth and falls flat on expectations. Story no.1, 7, 8 are the primary examples of it. These stories could ave been dealt with a little more command. The stories in the start are not as exciting as the stories towards the end. 

All in all for the first time horror readers it's a grilling experience. You'll feel spiked after the end of it. Avid reader of this genre will find it interesting but lacking a bit sometimes. The purpose of the book is solved and the essence of horror lingers over the mind of the readers.  It's a great presentation and has a lot of meat in it to give shudders down the spine. Pick it up at your own risk and brace your heart and mind for long unslept nights. 


3 OUT OF 5 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks for reading and reviewing the book. Your in-depth analysis of the stories is appreciated.

    Vivek Banerjee

    P. S. In future, you are likely to come across The Other Side Part II

  3. You're welcome Sir and thanks a lot for the appreciation. :)

    I would love to read the second part of the book as and when it comes. :)