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Get to know real terror first hand. Not the terror of fantasy, folk lore, urban myth and monsters, but the shock of horrors we visit upon ourselves through our own decisions and consequent actions. From the novice bank robber on the run in Brazil, to a man who gave his trust to a murderer and thief. Get to know a hired killer who breaks his code, to pursue a client who failed to pay his fee, or the man who arrives for a rehab interview under the influence, only to realize his attempt at salvation may be too late....
Get to know real terror first hand. Not the terror of fantasy, folk lore, urban myth and monsters, but the shock of horrors we visit upon ourselves through our own decisions and consequent actions. From the novice bank robber on the run in Brazil, to a man who gave his trust to a murderer and thief. Get to know a hired killer who breaks his code, to pursue a client who failed to pay his fee, or the man who arrives for a rehab interview under the influence, only to realize his attempt at salvation may be too late. Crawl through the mind of an alcoholic who accepted one drink after fifteen years of sobriety only to face terrors he never conceived. Follow the tale of a man who wanted to please his young daughter during Christmas week, only to experience the desperation of her disappearance in a wall of swirling snow. Stand by the side of a small-town county sheriff as he mourns the death of a former mother-in-law and witness the surprise he has for the ex-wife who nearly killed him. Live the frustrations of a tired black ops agent as he arrives at San Francisco Airport only to encounter two gangbangers in a men's room at three a.m. When there appears to be no mayhem that has not been explored, meet Carlos Estaban and Roger Morgan. Live in the mind of both boys aged ten and twelve as Roger uses his feigned friendship for Carlos to complete his study of human emotion. Then, see what it's like to live through the battle for the Chosin Reservoir with John Tahlman, a young Marine who can't put the horrors of Korea behind him. See his reaction and the consequences of same when a would-be robber attempts the holdup of a post office and kills the wrong Marine. And finally, witness the tragedy of a man mourning the father he idolized, at a wake he never wanted to host. Observe his surprise when in spite of his grief, he is confronted by a problem he must overcome. The tales of all these individuals, people like you and me, are seeking a path. Some will find peace and happiness, avoiding the Doors to Perdition, while others will follow the path of the damned to the portal of Hell they sought.
Posted January 2, 2014
Doors to Perdition is a collection of short stories from the dark side. No monsters except for your everyday common variety of humans. The tales might have you thinking of stories by Rod Sirling or Alfred Hitchcock. These are tales of comeuppance - what goes around, comes around and bad karma.
Bergstad goes deep into his characters mind and soul, and graphically shows how they struggle with their bad decisions. You might find yourself feeling sorry for some and their ultimate fate. Others you will cause you to say, “Well they got what they deserve.”
Bergstad writing will have you guessing as he expertly weaves you through the plots and the minds of his characters.
I don’t want to give out the particulars of any of the stories because this would take away your fun in trying to figure out the endings before you get to the endings.
I will say this though. When you reach the conclusion of each and every story, you will agree Bergstad knows how to plot a story because the endings are logical and no one comes to save anyone from the fate Bergstad planned for them.
I highly recommend this book of short stories for all who enjoy a good puzzle and don’t mind going into the minds of people you wouldn’t want to know.
Author: J B Bergstad work has appeared in the Jimson Journal, Midwest Literary Magazine, The Quill, Indie Searchlight, Scissors and Spackle, Pedigru Review, The Monarch Review and The Feathered Flounder to name a few. His collection of short stories, Screwing the Pooch, first published in 2009 to excellent reviews, won the Reader's Choice Gold Medal Award for Best Fiction of the year.
Posted September 23, 2013
Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
Doors To Perdition by J.B. Bergstad is a compilation of short stories that take the reader on a page-turning, often twisted journey of the mind. Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down; each story had me thinking I needed to read just one more. Within the pages I met some very interesting, although troubled characters. From the man who convinces his friends to rob a bank, thinking the money was the answer to all their problems, but instead becomes the death of them; to the unique twist on the John Dillinger story, shared by a ninety-year-old man who is on his way to an Assisted Living Facility, also known as "death's waiting room;" or perhaps the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself part of a hold-up - each story has enough down to earth realism that makes them all the more mind bending!
It takes a gifted writer to pull a reader into a short story so completely that you actually feel like you become the character. J. B. Bergstad accomplishes just that with his collection of short stories. Each story has a common thread running through them, although that thread is delivered differently with each tale. Sometimes I anticipated what was to come, but more often I was totally blindsided with the twists the author provided! A true wordsmith, whose writing provided me with a visual feast of settings from California to Brazil. Each setting is as varied as the story, allowing the author to pack a real wallop of visual stimulation as each tale unfolds! In my opinion, the only thing that classifies this collection as "short stories" is the page count. Mr. Bergstad provides in-depth characters, a tight plot along with unique twists that kept the story zipping along, making each tale a satisfying read. Short stories that pack a real punch, where the ending isn't always neat and tidy, is just what I hoped for with Doors To Perdition and I got that and so much more!