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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sandcastle and Other Stories - Book Review

The Good, The Bad and The Personal Context  Book Review

Sandcastle and Other Stories By Justin Bog

I recently read Sandcastle and Other Stories by Justin Bog, and I’m excited to say it was pretty darn fantastic.  I read a lot of Indie books, and have been in a position where I simply could not review some of them without feeling I was putting a lot of negativity out there… in fact sometimes I can’t even get past the first few pages.  This was not the case with Sandcastle.

This compilation of short stories was a unique experience for me.  They were not filled with the basics I encourage in my flash fiction, that being conflict and resolution.  In fact, there was very little conflict and/or resolution in Mr. Bog’s tales, the opposite actually, any action was relayed in a cool and calm way.  Instead of grand twisted stories, the author takes us on a journey into the everyday (well… not always) lives of individuals and internal conflicts.  Not necessarily exciting, but definitely interesting. 

Okay because this a “The Good, The Bad and The Personal Context” review, I should hit on these points. 

The Good: As mentioned above, this book of short stories is filled with insightful tales.

The Bad: I have to dig on this, and before I mention it I want to give major kudos for the lack of typos and grammar errors that are so often found in self-published works (some of them could easily be caught by simply re-reading ones own work before publishing).  If I had to pick a “Bad” about this book, it would be that a good editing job could tighten up the writing.  Though actual errors were close to none, I did find myself being pulled away from the story a few times while having to re-read a sentence that could have been worded in a more reader-friendly manner.

The Personal Context: I loved the psychological aspects of these stories.  One of my favourite parts of doing the Prompt-and-Share is reading how differently people’s minds work and the diversity of the stories that erupt from the same prompt.  Though each of the stories in Sandcastles are by the same author, the insights into each character is quite unique.

So if you happen to be lazing on a beach this summer, or looking for something light to read before bed, I highly recommend this very reasonably priced collection of short stories.

I grant 8.5 out of 10 Golden Bookmarks for this book.


  1. Nice review, it's been awhile since I've read a good short story collection.

    And there is something to be said for those stories that keep their focus the smaller, more personal conflicts that aren't always so overt and obvious, they can really sneak up on you and give you something great in the end.

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  3. Nina, thank you very much for your terrific review. Loved your thoughts on my first venture into ePublishing. A Washington State publisher contacted me and wants to put out a print edition by November (in time for the holidays) - and I'm over the moon. Best to you. Justin Bog