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Shades of Grey

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  50 reviews
John is not a very nice man. He works for the government. So who has tied him to a chair and what do they want? James is a British soldier during WWII. Tom is a young boy with a terrible secret

Three stories. Three very different people. All of them battling to survive.
ebook, 182 pages
Published February 19th 2012 by Smashwords Edition
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Midu Hadi
May 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: war fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eating venison drinking wine and reading this in the city

A Nutty NUUT read
Erin  Black
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow! I just finished the first short story. A simple story, but the author told it with such emotion. This story starts off with a bang! The way the author wrote the story is quite emotionally overwhelming at times, but he even had me giggling in spots. The constant flash backs to his life before being captured makes the story well rounded. It is not one you'll want to put down!

The second story in this collection was so detailed it made me tear up. I felt as if I was a part of this story. The wa
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In short words: This collection of short stories was simply amazing.

The slightly longer version is like this:(view spoiler)
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Shades of Grey is a collection of three short stories, each dark and unique.

The first story in the collection, Shades of Grey, is told from the perspective of John, a UK government agent. The story takes place in John's mind as he is tied to a chair, and we get to see where his thoughts take him as he waits to be questioned by an unknown captor. The author did an excellent job getting into his character's mind, and I found myself really liking John. The humor sprinkle throughout the story was gr
The stream of consciousness technique used in the first story, “Shades of Grey”, is highly effective for showing us the experience of a captured UK black ops agent. He’s not a very sympathetic character, but neither is anyone else described in the story. That’s very much the point of it. He’s what passes for ethical in the context of black ops which requires people who are willing to do whatever it takes to complete an assignment. He’s very critical of other black ops agents for enjoying violenc ...more
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
*Received e-book through Read It and Reap program from the Shut Up and Read! Goodreads group from author;
**Also posted on under Leanne

Shades of Grey by Michael Cargill is a collection of three stories that illustrate the blurry area between right and wrong. The first story, Shades of Grey, depicts the torture of a secret operative named John, who has himself caused riots and killed others in the course of his job. The second story, There and Back Again, follows a British soldier name
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, kbr
Shades of Grey is a collection of three short stories. Each one different, but each with a very dark side to it. The stories all focus on violence and death, but from different angles. Each story is very different to the other, which is a credit to the author; all too often an anthology of short stories can be a bit too ‘samey’ when written by the one author.

The title story, Shades of Grey, was a little too abstract for me. I didn’t really get it, but then perhaps I was looking a little too deep
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, nook
The writing of these three stories was astonishing and I was moved by the depth and the realism I felt as I read each one of them. Each of them was unique in their storyline but the characters each came out a different person in the end. A better person? Well, that all depends on your own perspective. To tackle a variety of different storylines inside one book was a nice change and I commend the author. The author did an excellent job in the details of each story, giving the readers just enough ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I got a copy for review and have to say I was very pleased. Michael Cargill is an author I will make a point to read from now on because of Shades of Grey, it's a great sampler of his work.

I love short stories and the three in this book are no exception. The first about a man who wakes up to find himself tied to a chair. Out the window a lovely park children running, band playing inside the room with him are people who will do whatever it takes to find out what he knows.
The second about a soldi
J.R. Barker
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, thriller
I have to say it took me a longer to get around to reading this than I would have liked, but it was well worth the wait.
It’s not often I will sit a read a book in one go. I couldn’t even put it down between stories. There are three of them.
This book is not for the faint hearted. The tales are disturbing, dark and absolutely gripping. The stories suck you in, spin you around in a deliciously dark world and spit you out before you know what’s happened.
Michael really makes use of all five senses, w
Sadie Forsythe
3,5, round up

Shades of Grey consists of three short pieces, two of which I would classify as vignettes as opposed to actual stories since they seem to simply relay the events of a segment of time rather than possess any sort of beginning, middle and end. Having said that, I rather enjoyed them all, the first most of all.

I’ll admit that the writing occasionally felt a little stiff and there was a certain juvenile (or maybe just male) preoccupation with excrement jokes and sexual/masturbatory refe
Mar 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Shades of Grey is a compilation of three unique short stories with a recurring theme of torture/abuse. My favorite was the second story where we get a glimpse into the life of James, a British solider during WWII. The author was able to draw me into each story through his descriptive detail of each character and how they dealt with their situation. Even though the subject matter is disturbing,I would recommend it to adults who are looking for a thriller.
Laura Thomas
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Michael Cargill, with Shades of Grey, gives you three very different stories.
What you get are well written, engrossing tales dealing with torture, the horrors of the battlefield, and physical abuse, which draw out a subjective response.
Be prepared for some dark, thought provoking reading as this book is not just another collection of scary stories.
Melissa ownsbey
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
first story very good it wasnt enough volincese for me but i still liked it
it was good

second story was ok not good but not bad either
the first and 3 story was the best

the third story was my fav it was the best one
i didnt like toms daddy though
all the book was short but good

thanks for letting me review
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Having not read any works by this author before I was hence unsure of what to expect when offered ‘shades of grey’ to read, but I was certainly not expecting to be as overwhelmed by it as I was. Upon sitting down to read this book that is a work comprising of three individual short stories (part one being ‘shades of grey’, part two being ‘there and back again’ and part three ‘down the Rabbit hole’), I sat transfixed for several hours lost within the authors work reluctant to move and somewhat di ...more
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This novel is actually a collection of three short stories about three very different people and settings. Each main character, in their own way is trying to survive in messed up situations where they have very little control. There are tons of books out there right now with the same or similar titles, so be careful! I won this book from Becky's blog a couple of weeks back - thank you!

Story 1 – Shades of Grey; this is largely a stream of consciousness of the wandering mind of a captured operativ
Three Crow Press
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Three Crow Press Review by OCD Reader

This novel is actually a collection of three short stories about three very different people and settings. Each main character, in their own way is trying to survive in messed up situations where they have very little control. There are tons of books out there right now with the same or similar titles, so be careful! I won this book from Becky's blog a couple of weeks back - thank you!

Story 1 – Shades of Grey; this is largely a stream of consciousness of the
Darian Wilk
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shades of Grey is a collection of three short stories, all touching on violence and death. Although this may sound a bit gruesome or odd, it's quite the contrary. Each story is from a different perspective, all seeing violence, life, and death differently than the other stories. Which was a nice approach for me. While I haven't read many collections of shorts, the ones I've had felt so similar they almost blended together to me. That's not the case with this collection - each story stands on its ...more
Ruth B
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, short-story
I didn’t know what to expect of a book with three stories in it that at first look a bit different. Luckily, I ended up enjoying a book mainly about life and about survival, fear, death and our conscience.
In Shades of Grey we found three short stories. They are very different but similar stories, about men at a breaking point of their lives. At first it may look like they don’t have nothing in common but after you finish I think you would find out that they share a lot of characteristics.
They a
May 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I won this book in a givaway from the lovely Becky at her blog a few weeks back. Now before i start I'm just going to state that this is not a book like the one that has a very simular name.

This book is a collection of three short stories, and as the synopsis above states, the main theme through the book is survival. I did think that it was war to start with, but the last story really didnt fit the theme.

The first book in the collection was Shades of Grey. This is about a man called Jack, who we
Caedy  Eries
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Title: Shades of Grey
Author: Michael Cargill
Rating: 4/5

Summary: This is a collection of three stories where each of the main characters have one thing in common – the desire to survive. John is not very nice. James is a soldier for the British in WWII. Tom possesses a terrible secret.

Shades of Grey: British operative John, nicknamed many things, but one of them is “John the Baptist” has been abducted and is being tortured. This story is crude and tormenting, but it is fantastic and it le
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I saw the announcement on anyone interested in reviewing this book I signed up in an instant. Not because it's m/m because it def isn't that. I told myself I would go out of my normal genre reading zone and chose this one. Boy did I ever! The cover I'll say is what brought my attention to the forefront the most.

Michael presents you with 3 stories. 2 with men and one with a young boy.

1. Shades of Grey: Features John who's kidnapped and you'll read in his POV his thoughts while he's being h
Melanie Cusick-Jones
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I’ve not read a short story collection for a long while so, as it turns out Shades of Grey, was a perfect choice – because it is fantastic!

I read quite a lot and I have to say that it has been a long time since I found myself so ‘transported’ by a book – to the point that the descriptions and world built in the story feel so alive and real that I feel I could turn my head and actually see what the character is looking at – but that was a regular sensation when I was reading this.

The writing sty
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Shades of grey. I cannot think of anything more terrifying than coming to, tied to a chair, in a place I don't recognize , being interrogated by people I don't know, about some really bad stuff I've done, concerning a job that really isn't recognized by any legal agency. Well that is what the first story is all about. A tense situation to say the least. Deftly and artistically written by Cargill, at his best. He has a way depicting the underbelly of society, putting the reader right there, in th ...more
Heather Boustead
Shades of Grey
By Michael Cargill

Shades of Grey: British operative John, or “John the Baptist”, has been abducted and is being tortured; this is a crude and tormenting short story that delves into the psyche of the tortured mind.

There and Back Again: An Action packed story of James a soldier during World War Two, showing the savagery of war and the bonds that form under such extreme circumstances.

Down the Rabbit Hole: An abused young boy, Tom, finds that his best friend, a stuffed rabbit, has
Linda Parkinson-Hardman
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Since being given a Kindle for Christmas a couple of years ago I have found that my reading has become much broader and I was recently invited to read Michael's book of three short stories 'Shades of Grey' and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the stories as I had assumed that I 'never read that genre'. Each one of them invited me to look at the world with different eyes. However, the thing that impressed me the most was that the stories told me about the individual experience in a way that is ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, kindle
This is a collection of 3 short stories. All of them very different from each other but all dark and with the same themes of death and violence.

The first story, "Shades of Grey" is about a man (John) who works for a British government agency and who has made a career out of violence and killing. In the story he finds himself on the receiving end of some of his own tricks of the trade. This story I wanted to know more about. How did John end up tied in the interrogation chair? What happens to hi
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

This anthology contains three fictional tales of suspense and nail-biting. Each is very different from the other, but they all kept me on the edge of my seat. Should you pick up this book be prepared for tension build-up.

Shades of Grey ~
John is some kind of British secret agent who gets caught and is tortured.

I was a bit confused at the beginning of this one, but it soon came together. Pretty good read and it left me wo
Lily at Bookluvrs Haven
Sometime ago, the lovely Erin who co-writes our blog, read and reviewed this book of short stories and had the pleasure of doing an author spotlight with Michael on May 3, 2012.

So, when the author requested a few more reviews through Shut Up and Read Group, I jumped at the opportunity to read it as well.

Truthfully, the last story, 'Down the Rabbit Hole', is what really interested me the most about the collection, and due to my personal tastes, what 'made' this book for me.

'Down the Rabbit Hol
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I'm an author who lives in the sunny, green hills of England. As you can see in the photo to the left, I'm mostly bald.

Over the years people had often said that I should write a book so, in mid 2011, I did just that! Anyone wondering which book of mine to read first should start with Shelter from Thunder; 'tis short and available for free.

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