Grief: Five Stories of Apocalyptic Loss

Grief: Five Stories of Apocalyptic Loss - Michael Coorlim (Book provided by the author through ARR #1797 in the Making Connections group, in exchange for an honest review.)

This collection of short stories revolves around the way in which different people react to the upcoming end of the world. Faced with an event nobody can help avoid—a meteor due to strike the Earth a few days later—the five people put in the limelight in this novella all display facets of the human psyche, some noble, some very ugly. Anger whose only outlet is to resort to violence. Acceptance, but not without a cost. Feelings of depression, leading to unexpected reactions.

The themes dealt with here are harsh and cruel. No sugarcoating, no complete bravery either. The people involved end up discovering some things about themselves they had never suspected, and at the end of every story, they are forever changed—well, "forever" not being meant to last for very long, granted. Said themes may upset some readers, but I found them fascinating all the same, for all the questions they raised. How would we react in similar situations? Would we give in to our darker instincts, or not? Can we be sure, right now, in the safety of our world, that we wouldn't become like one of the anti-heroes in "Grief"? Or would we find out treasures of courage in ourselves, just like the cop who decided he'd die as he had lived, on his own terms, even though this meant dying before the rest of the world?

"Grief" reads fast, its writing style is efficient, and the book was quite the page-turner for me. There were moments when I'd have seen the characters a little more developed, though, and this is why I'm not giving it 5 stars. But overall, I definitely liked it.