Independently Published (2020)
Reviewed by Skyler Boudreau for Reader Views (3/21)
“Ekleipsis” is a collection of five short stories by Tamel Wino that all have one thing in common: Each story explores a character that has met their downfall. Sometimes it’s the narrator, other times it’s the antagonist or a side character. Each story is as dark and gruesome as the description sounds, and “Ekleipsis” will leave the audience eager to see more from Tamel Wino.
The concept of this collection provides a strong hook for any readers interested in the grimmest side of the human psyche. Wino wastes no time in taking his audience into the heads of deeply unlikeable characters and exploring the twisted wants that eventually lead to their downfall.
This short story collection’s weakness lies in its endings. Each one is usually violent and gory (with the exception of the final story, “All In,” where the violence is implied rather than shown). It becomes very predictable and does not offer any variety to the pieces included in this collection. It could be remedied by including a few more stories with subtler endings to balance out the “in-your-face” violence of the first four. Some of the endings are also confusing and difficult to follow.
Of all the stories included in “Ekleipsis,” “The Has-Been” stands out the most. It follows a washed up, former basketball star as he battles with alcoholism and a violent temper. While it does eventually fall into the same violent ending as most of the other stories, Wino utilizes a more discreet darkness for the beginning and middle. The main character tries to manipulate a new rising basketball star into throwing an important game so the main character can continue to cling to the scraps of fame leftover from his glory days. It would have been interesting to see this thread followed further or expanded upon.
Short story collections are a great way for readers to experience an author’s work in bite-sized chunks before committing to finishing a novel, and this one is not an exception. “Ekleipsis” offers an intriguing introduction to Tamel Wino as an author. It will leave readers eager to see what he does next!