I received this book for free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Hogarth Press on February 1st 2017
Genres: Argentinean, Fiction, Horror, Short Story
An arresting collection of short stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortazar, by an exciting new international talent.Amazon •
Macabre, disturbing and exhilarating, Things We Lost in the Fire is a collection of twelve short stories that use fear and horror to explore multiple dimensions of life in contemporary Argentina. From women who set themselves on fire in protest of domestic violence to angst-ridden teenage girls, friends until death do they part, to street kids and social workers, young women bored of their husbands or boyfriends, to a nine-year-old serial killer of babies and a girl who pulls out her nails and eyelids in the classroom, to hikikomori, abandoned houses, black magic, northern Argentinean superstition, disappearances, crushes, heartbreak, regret and compassion. This is a strange, surreal and unforgettable collection by an astonishing new talent asking vital questions of the world as we know it.
Mature-Content Rating: Heavy Language, Drug use, Disturbing rituals, Violence involving Children
“Burnings are the work of men. They have always burned us. Now we are burning ourselves. But we’re not going to die; we’re going to flaunt our scars.”
This little book packs a punch of disturbing short story mess! I love reading short stories, horror, and books translated from other languages, so I quickly picked up Things We Lost In the Fire: Stories.
Most of the stories include some sort of superstition; wether is Argentinean occult, ghost, or a combination. Sometimes it was hard getting past the intensity of the story because of the subject matter and because young children are often used in occult rituals and and are defiantly not for the faint of heart. As an aside, the book does lightly mention the dictatorship’s mass murder of young citizens in the late 70s- mid 80s.
As with many true world problems, some of the characters turned their backs on violence or considered a situation a social norm until their own life became effected by the same situation. Others were just as quick to jump in on the violence and were completely uncaring and selfish.
Many stories were centered around women who found themselves in positions in which they were looked down on by society or were in an abusive relationship; mostly mental abuse. From a woman suffering from depression who’s husband believes she’s going crazy, to a husband who cannot stand his wife’s family.
Overall, Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories is a good book of short stories for anyone who enjoys horror based on occult and superstition, though some might find it a bit too disturbing for their taste.