Underworld Dreams' Review
Daniel Braum's stories seem to come, as the name of the collection indicates, from dreams of the underworld. His stories are on a tightrope, balancing between the supernatural and the psychological, leaving the reader with the enormous responsibility of deciding where the literary tightrope walker will fall. This is a good thing.
The overall ambiguity might leave us frustrated right after finishing any of the tales in the collection, but the summation of several of those stories makes us realize that they are interconnected on an imperceptible level at first. The repetitive reading was what made me, personally, get out of that frustration a bit and helped me enjoy those prolonged thoughts that good books leave us.
With an atmosphere that mostly borders on the Weird, there are tales of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Particularly, the stories that caught my attention the most were:
• How To Stay Afloat When Drowning. The story of a surfer who doesn't surf, with the music of “Jaws” in the background.
• The Monkey Coat. A tale worthy of the Twilight Zone.
• Between Our Earth And Their Moon. Science fiction reminiscent of the times of Pulp stories.
• Cloudland Earthbound. Nostalgia for those places within a town that have a life of their own and that little by little are disappearing.
• Underworld Dreams. One of those stories that you might not like at first, but that leaves you thinking over and over about those crossroads in life that stay with us.
As with all story collections, the quality varies and is not for everyone's taste. But if we put a little effort into it, Daniel Braum's Underworld Dreams is a very enjoyable book.