'Horrifically good...': Critics praise Ratnakar Matkari for his new book 'Darkness'

A creatively written piece lets your imagination run wild. Try reading a good horror work. Many will nod in agreement (with open horror-struck eyes). Most avid readers fondly know Marathi author Ratnakar Matkari as the Stephen King of Marathi literature (though it should be the other way round).

Now English readers will welcome his skilful penmanship courtesy Darkness, his collection of horrifyingly first-rate tales translated into English by Vikrant Pande. One truly wonders why his works were not translated earlier as most Marathi readers have loved his skilful chilling stories for decades.

A set of 18 stories in total, each story is truly different but what is common is the manner in which he associates horror with every simple human emotion.

There is romance. There are family issues. There is greed. There is passion. There is lust. Almost every human shade is covered. Matkari creates stories that thrill you.

Birthday has a boy predicting his death. Darkness is about a doctor narrating a story associated with an unusual dream. Find a twist in the inheritance story in The Heir. The Monsoon Guest has an archaelogist meet a horrifying death. A rich uncouth youth meets a tragic death in Worms. Each story carries the same thread: Pure horror.

Matkari’s horror works in Marathi appear much more terrifying, but the translation is good. Pande has done an excellent work in making Matkari’s stories equally scary in English.

Each story is as different from the other as chalk and cheese. But, don't assume they are easy stories to read. The twists keep the element of horror alive.

Horror fans must pick up

Darkness. You are introduced to an excellence in Indian horror writing. Just read the book at night for special effects.

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