At Horizon’s End – Chris Sarantopoulos

31 Jul

The Man Who Fed On Tears always knows whose time it is to pluck from the world of the living. His existence is one of a symbiosis between his need for the tears and woe he causes to those closest to the deceased, and the natural order of life and death to which he is bound. He never questions himself or his actions and has never made a mistake. Until now.

Stella is a four-year-old girl who misses her mommy and wants to see her again. She doesn’t yet understand the concept of loss, so when she sees close family members crying, she tries to stay cheerful and optimistic. After all, Mommy said they’d see each other again when the time comes At Horizon’s End. So if they’ll meet again, why is everyone crying?

Short stories are always challenging to review, especially ones of exceedingly short length, such as At Horizon’s End.  However having been sent a preview copy, I was willing to take the task on so shouldn’t complain about the challenge.

The story is a poignant dealing with, and understanding of grief, essentially from three sides; four-year old Stella, her family (to a lesser extent as they are mostly in the background) and Death, who is having something of a wobble in his understanding of the impact of the job.

The touching, simple and sparse narrative switches between these two main characters, offsetting a child’s innocence and moving way of looking at things with something more timeless and harsh in death who, is humanised to good effect.  The split narrative works well and fleshes out the scene to good effect.

This is a story of love, a short, sharp piece of prose which I really did enjoy.  The conclusion is strong and raises some interesting speculations which adds to the overall story.  It’s a lovely piece of writing, it won’t take you long to finish but if you are anything like this reader you will think on it for a good time after.






Posted by on 31/07/2017 in Fiction


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15 responses to “At Horizon’s End – Chris Sarantopoulos

  1. shadowoperator

    01/08/2017 at 15:52

    Though Henry James wrote with the cumbersome weightiness of his age and time in literary history, and his own special traits, his portrait of a child’s sensibility in “What Maisie Knew” was spot-on. I hope you found as much profundity and sharpness of awareness in the portrait of Stella in the short story you just finished–it’s very hard to do without being cute.


    • Ste J

      01/08/2017 at 21:40

      I haven’t come across Henry James in my literary travels yet, well at least not in reading, although I do own at least one of his books. I’ll have to find it out, I am intrigued to read him. It was a great look at a child’s understanding of death and its ritual, she was a cutie as well!


  2. readinpleasure

    01/08/2017 at 19:09

    Poignant, I dare say. A great review, Ste J. 🙂


    • Ste J

      01/08/2017 at 21:34

      Thank you my friend; it was certainly poignant.


  3. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    01/08/2017 at 20:34

    The story sounds poignant. You’ve done a great job with the review. Reviewing short stories, as you’ve said, is quite a task… 🙂


    • Ste J

      01/08/2017 at 21:35

      The challenges of not giving too much away, especially for anything spanning a mere twenty pages or less is a challenge but I do relish those. It was a moving read, very rewarding.


  4. Andrea Stephenson

    02/08/2017 at 20:34

    I’m not sure I’ve read a review of a short story! Interesting departure and you’ve managed to sell it, even though it must have been difficult to review without giving too much away.


    • Ste J

      03/08/2017 at 08:58

      It was a challenge but really made me think about my approach to what I could say sans spoilers. From time to time, I enjoy short stories for precisely that reason when normally I prefer something longer.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Seyi sandra

    12/08/2017 at 23:37

    I love short stories! You’re apt in your review yet I still want more. So good job Ste J!!


    • Ste J

      15/08/2017 at 21:01

      Luckily that need for me drives us down to the bookshop or back to the shelves for another story and glorious hit of literature!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Resa

    16/08/2017 at 17:26

    I love it when a book makes me think on after it’s finished. I just finished reading another book. Yes, I have read another book. It was amazing – Red Notice – WOW!! It took me 3 weeks, and I enjoyed every minute of it. 😀


    • Ste J

      16/08/2017 at 18:19

      I am impressed, you are reading books faster than me at the moment but I am going to make a concerted effort to read more. Books may live in physically but they mean so much more in one’s mind and heart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Resa

        16/08/2017 at 22:11

        I would love for you you to read Red Notice. I know…. you have hundreds of books piled up, but I did get my copy at the library, and as the author lives in the UK… well enough said. Love to you Ste J. & OH I did a new Art Gown! This is why I was a tad absent. & did you see the post, 2 posts ago where I actually was challenged to model a gown….. and I did!! LOL!


        • Ste J

          17/08/2017 at 09:17

          I see what you are saying my friend, there is always room to add another book or five to the list. I have missed so much in my half a month away from blogging. Starting a new job has limited my time but I will be over soon to take a gander.



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