Tag Archives: flowers of the sea

AREA X: The Southern Reach Trilogy

vandAREA X – Jeff VanderMeer <<< My Dreamcatcher Review

This will not be the only place that you will learn about this incredible book. Likely to be major cinema film soon. A classic of a unique genre beyond science fiction, a genre yet to be named.

I hope my review linked above gives a thought-provoking slant on this book, as well as some of my personal references regarding Big Hawler, the two lighthouses of Whitby harbour, the nemonymisation of names, the room where I read this book, the Monkey’s Elbow musical group, and a final synergy that I find with Reggie Oliver’s ‘Flowers of the Sea’, and much more.

Note: I deliberately left reading and reviewing this work until the three separate parts published earlier (Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance) were published in one volume. In hindsight, I was right and, as I hope I have shown in the review, this is the only way!

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Flowers of the Sea

I know I must be biased, but, for me, temperamentally, FLOWERS OF THE SEA is the greatest Horror Story ever written. I know that’s pretty strong. But, actually, I do feel that inside.
So imagine my delight when I heard today (HERE) that it is likely to be the title story in a new Reggie Oliver collection published by Tartarus Press.


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Flowers of the Sea

Trying to forget my own natural bias with regard to this story, but judging by the reviews it has generated (shown here: Flowers of the Sea | The Nemonicon) – I am surprised that FLOWERS OF THE SEA by Reggie Oliver has apparently not been chosen for any BEST OF volume or nominated for any award. I only hope that its presentation by me within the HA of HA has not contributed to this otherwise surprising neglect, a neglect for what is, I feel, a truly great and disturbing horror story, one that ought to go down in literary history as such.
I am also in love with all the other stories in the HA of HA, of course, but judging by the nature of the uniform praise for FLOWERS OF THE SEA and my own instincts stemming from such public demonstrations of appreciation (as well as from other private notifications to me from readers), I am so minded to make the statement above.

Artwork: Tony Lovell

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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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