Flowers of the Sea

Reviews of this Reggie Oliver story (so far):

Reggie Oliver juxtaposes scenes of quiet tenderness between husband and wife, with a deep sense of loss and frustration, helplessness and existential dread – depicted literally or in the mind of the narrator through terrifying glimpses of a vast, churning abyss of wilted flowers and nightmarish form

Flowers of the Sea by Reggie Oliver follows that story and is my favourite of the collection. A slow burning story it uses a first person perspective from a not entirely sympathetic narrator and conjures up images in its climax that are truly unsettling

And the haunting “Flowers of the Sea” by Reggie Oliver uses a particularly upsetting homemade anthology to reflect on the ravages of dementia and grief.

Flowers Of The Sea by Reggie Oliver is a typically, beautifully written and moving tale where a woman sinks into the wilderness of dementia.

Reggie Oliver’s contribution (“Flowers of the Sea”) is even darker than his previous work , a masterly told story of desperation, helplessness and loss of identity with a deeply unsettling horrific taste.

An artist with advancing dementia creates works that mirror her deteriorating mental state. It seemed a little contrived once or twice, but the imagery and metaphor make for a powerful and affecting tale.

We are drawn in by a true and skillfully depicted human tragedy, hypnotized by visionary weird elements, then stunned with the horror of a climax which shockingly melds the tale’s ideas and emotions with a vivid physical presence

And I think “Flowers of the Sea” has perhaps the slightest of edges on all the others: rarely has a story torn itself out of the page and taken on a something-elseness, a state beyond writing and reading. I was seriously wondering (correction: I continue to wonder) whether Reggie was employing some sort of hypno-word rhythm to lure the reader’s mind into another place

Reggie Oliver has a story here, and I’m beginning to fall head over heels in love  with his writing.  Reggie is one of my discoveries of the year. Flowers of the Sea, is a heart breaking, moving, and poignant story that will move you when you read.

“Flowers of the Sea” by Reggie Oliver follows the physical and mental decay of an artist, as told by her husband, whose slowly dawning consciousness of the process of the disease has a haunting emotional depth.  The narrator’s realisation of his own mortality is rendered with great skill.  The story seems to draw out the themes of the collection’s other narratives, to focus their sometimes only half-expressed ideas, with a disturbing clarity.

Ah, another person who was so hypnotised by Reggie’s story in the Ha of Ha! I consider it to be one of the best short stories I’ve read in years. In fact, possibly THE best

“…the itinerary of a journey into the depths of hell, the story one of the most disturbing in the book, with its unnerving imagery and account of the slow inevitable loss of self…” Black Static #25 (TTA Press)

After 19/1/12, further reviews on this story will appear in the comments below.


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10 responses to “Flowers of the Sea

  1. The tales that really gripped me were Colin Insole’s ‘The Apoplexy of Beelzebub’, Tony Lovell’s ‘The Follower’, Christopher Morris’s ‘The American Club’ and Reggie Oliver’s ‘Flowers of the Sea.’

  2. “the painfully real horror of dementia described within Reggie Oliver’s grief ridden “Flowers from the Sea””

  3. This story has now been included in the prestigious Folio Society Horror Anthology edited by Ramsey Campbell.

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