Down to a Sunless Sea

Down to a Sunless Sea by Matthias Freese
Down to a Sunless Sea by Matthias Freese

Down to a Sunless Sea

Mathias B. Freese
Copyright 2007
WheatMark Fiction/short stories
134 pages
Author’s blog

From the cover:

Down to a Sunless Sea plunges the reader into uncomfortable situations and into the minds of troubled characters. Each selection is a different reading experience — poetic, journalistic, nostalgic, wryly humorous, and even macabre. An award-winning essayist and historical novelist, Mathias B. Freese brings the weight of his twenty-five years as a clinical social worker and psychotherapist into play as he demonstrates a vivid understanding of — and compassion toward — the deviant and damaged.

I’ve been a long time reviewing this, because I am just not quite sure what to say.  I found this very short book of short stories to be slow, and very hard, reading.  I am not normally a short story reader.  I enjoy some short story writers; Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munroe, Joe Hill, Flanner O’Connor is a favorite, Eudora Welty, Alice Walker…to name a few.  I usually find most short stories to be too short, stagnant and, well, boring.   I expect Freese pulls it off admirably, but I just didn’t enjoy it much.  The stories were just too depressing and I’m not in a place in my life when I cshould read such heavy material.  I second what Nancy said in her much better review:

You may be enlightened, but it’s going to hurt. Just don’t read this book if you’re already blue or you’re in the mood for sweetness and light. Read it to try to understand your fellow humans.

All in all, it wasn’t for me, but I think many who appreciate short stories such as these would appreciate this collection.  I hope you’ll give it a try.   And at least I finally have one book down for the Short Story Challenge!

Other reviews:

Nancy | BooksPlease | The Literary Word | Right Reads |

If you have also reviewed this and would like me to link to you, let me know in the comments.

5 thoughts on “Down to a Sunless Sea

  1. Dear Heather:
    If you think you have a headache, imagine my crafting these epiphanies, if I may use that term, over a period of thirty years. And Nancy had it right in her review. I am more than a therapist — that is an occupation; the stories are my take on the species. So, stay away from my book on the Holocaust — The i Tetralogy, unless you want a migraine. I appreciate yoru struggle and thank you.

    Kind Regards,
    MattFreese

  2. Hmmm..maybe it doesn't like the fact that I added a link?
    Ok, so without that…

    These stories certainly are depressing so I can understand them not appealing to everyone. I didn't love all of them but overall I thought he did a wonderful job capturing the dark side of human nature.

  3. OK, that worked. Sorry for the confusion Heather. If you're interested you can find the link to my review on my blog in the Author index in the sidebar on the left.

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