Book Review – The Cenotaph of Dreams by Prince Cavallo


I bought this collection after reading an announcement of its release on the author’s blog. It sounded interesting so I snapped it up right away. It sat on my Kindle for a while – longer than I’d planned, but I finally got around to involving myself.

This book contains 28 stories, twenty eight, with each taking up exactly 150 words. Now I didn’t count them all, but the description sounds legit.

Making each story the exact same word count sounds pretty hard to me and is not something I’d undertake, so props to Prince Cavallo for this!

Although aware of the word count ting before purchasing, I had forgotten this detail before reading, so after the first couple of tales I was left wanting more and wondered whether there were some files missing on the Kindle. But as I progressed I eventually ‘got it’ and found the groove, if you will.

You can’t tell too much with 150 words, but with each tale here you’re thrown straight into the atmosphere and environment of a group of very different stories. As with most flash fiction, you’ll be craving for more, but this teasing works in the book’s favour.

The highlights of this collection for me were Mirror Street (someone sees their Doppleganger across the street), The Existential Death of the Gingerbread Man (weird and strangely humorous), Unexpected Responsibility (a ‘don’t open the box’ tale), Into the Maelstrom (spooky happenings at sea), Inside (a dude in prison – my favourite one in here), Idolatry (a story that makes you itch), Moonmadness (more creepiness), The Only Child (oh, what are kids like, eh?), and Vampire Dogs (exactly what it sounds like).

Each micro-story could have been developed into something much more substantial, but I realise that this isn’t the point here. The writing flows really well so that although I understood there would never be a complete conclusion, it didn’t matter. It was just one enjoyable ride.

Flash fiction-ado’s should be checking this one out!

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6 replies

  1. Well that’s a different sort of collection. I can imagine it’d be very tough to write exactly 150 words per story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Prince Cavallo and commented:
    I feel very honoured to have had my small book of extremely short stories reviewed by Morgan K. Tanner (writer of horror) and he seems to quite like it! Hoorah!

    Liked by 1 person

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