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Sandcastle and Other Stories: The Complete Edition

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  66 reviews
The Complete Edition of Justin Bog's First Collection of Dark Psychological Suspense Tales.

In the old incarnation, the book was a Finalist for the 2014 Ohioana Book Award, and picked as one of Suspense Magazine's Best of 2013 Books!

An award-winning collection, Sandcastle and Other Stories reveals twisted secrets that are mined like plutonium. These twelve literary tales ar
Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 274 pages
Published May 29th 2015 by Booktrope (first published May 1st 2012)
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"As he's walking away I know he's still thinking about trains, wondering what a really big train crash would look like, the first car striking something twisted on the tracks and dragging the following cars off the rails, tumbling over on their sides with a world-stopping screech." location 2227

Everybody loves a good train wreck, though personally I vote for the roller coaster because I can get my fill of other people's misfortunes, the Schadenfreude, bright bloody and visceral. But wait, is thi
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is the first collection of short stories I have read since the Canterbury Tales in high school. And I've concluded that the short story genre just isn't something I am drawn to ultimately.

The writing style is fantastic. The author clearly is talented (and I'm not just saying that because he personally thanked me for rating his book on Goodreads....which I was frankly very surprised about!) The writing was not the problem for me. I am just not a short story person. I like to really take the
M.E. Franco
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Personally I love a good short story. I don't have a lot of time to read, so I like being able to sit down and read an entire story in one sitting. Writing a good short story is difficult given the size limitation. The author has to develop the characters, story line and ending all within the space of what would roughly count as one chapter in a novel. Each word has to be chosed with care.

Justin Bog not only wrote one amazing short story, but he wrote ten of them. This collection is an incredibl
Rachel Thompson
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you think you're in for a happy-go-lucky group of stories about unicorns and rainbows people, leave right now. These are dark stories, amazingly detailed and well-thought out, to the point that I found myself holding my breath to discover where Mr. Bog would take us next.

Yes, he's that good.

My favorite is the title story, Sandcastle, a seemingly quiet tale of mothers and daughters on the beach. And then it's not. And it haunts me in the kind of way that I've read it repeatedly, thinking "How
Justin Bog
May 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
It's filled with characters who spoke to me, some very loudly. ...more
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri

A richly imaged, literate dozen of psychological suspense, the stories collected here are like invisible nerve gas: you won't realize at first, but each story will change you, commemorate itself in your memory, and days, months, later, you will find yourself recalling a note, a passage, an image; and you will be impelled to dive into the collection again.
Ben Ditmars
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Author Justin Bog, and I don't say this lightly, has written the defining collection of our age. I have not read a modern author interpret so many perspectives as eloquently or brilliantly. He is a master of every genre, every facet. If you like intelligent, deep stories with unmatched imagination behind them, Sandcastle and Other Stories is for you. ...more
Elite Indie
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Justin Bog writes stories that are chilling in an uncanny and uncomfortable way. His stories have very other-world qualities to them, while being very contemporary. Bog is a fantastic writer, with a literary bent. It's been a long time since EiR has read a book that is so engaging. You can read this book quickly, but I found myself slowing down, re-reading sentences that were too delicious to pass up. Entertaining and challenging. Some of these stories flow like poetry off the page, some of them ...more
Jane Isaac
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This enchanting short story collection deftly examines the psychology of life.
With elegant prose, each story leads the reader through a character's journey, requiring reflection on influential events in their lives, and finishes up with an unexpected twist at the end.
This anthology can be read as individual stories, or in its entirety, and I very much look forward to more work from this author.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What an assortment of short stories! In a daring departure from the typical trajectory of the American writer Justin Bog’s Sandcastle and Other Stories takes no prisoners, spares no one and yet holds you captive in the wondrous web of his craft! His subject choices are bold, strange, almost stunning in their range of flavors. Each and every one a perfect morsel served on a spotless mirror reflecting each and every one of us deepest inner fears.
Charity Parkerson
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Terrifyingly brilliant, unique, and memorable are just a few of the words that I can think of to describe the stories contained inside this book. Don't let the bright happy cover fool you. Things are very deep inside of Sandcastles. ...more
Helle Gade
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This collection of short storys takes you on a psychological journey through human nature in all it's diversity. I highly recommend it. ...more
Jen La Duca
I don’t typically read a lot of short stories; I’ve always carried this misconception that unless you had at least 300 pages in a book then there was no true way to connect to a story or its characters no matter how talented an author is. Last year I re-read some of my favorite Stephen King books and at some point stumbled across a little book of his called Full Dark, No Stars, I decided to give it a try and was totally blown away and realized how wrong I’d been all these years in my refusal to ...more
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was pleasantly surprised by this. I picked it up, was interested to see the short stories that featured, and there were some solid reviews about it. I had no real idea what to expect from the author, who is someone I had not heard of before, or his style of writing or the type of content. Something I am going to draw attention to from the off is the fact that Justin Bog can write. I mean it, really well. It flows quite well, each story brou
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it
These stories are not for the casual reader. The stories are convoluted, confusing, and often upsetting. Initially I had thought that a collection of short stories would make for an easy before bed read, when you want to read something but not anything too long. However these stories are not relaxing or entertaining. They seem to be written in a laissez-faire style, but that is misleading. The stories are purposefully pushing the envelope of acceptable and seem designed to cause conflict mental ...more
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of stories about ordinary people living ordinary lives. The author has developed persona you might meet anywhere on the street in your home town and has given them a new, enriched meaning. Many of their experiences and thoughts are unique, almost other worldly. His descriptions are raw and clear to the reader from start to finish. The one thing that bothered me a lot was the way the stories touch on violence, cruelty and general lack of empathy for the characters themselves ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this collection late at night, while I had jetlag. Halfway into the first story, I found myself sitting up straighter in bed, and leaning closer to the light as I flicked through the pages (on my Kindle app for the iPad). I fell in love with the strong narrative voice, the characters put in awkward situations, and a writer who is not afraid to make the tough decisions for bad things to happen to good people -- as is the case in real life.

The grimness of these stories may turn s
books are love
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Each story is more complex and written with more intensity that the last. Each a unexpected look at different concepts. The gardener who has dark secrets and shows us we all have something to hide and that everything around us influences us even if we don’t know how. The actor who is okay with who he is but has others wanting him to change because it helps them. Te girl on the beach who has Poseidon change her life, the single’s cruise that shows loneliness but also how some who are lonely get o ...more
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Sandcastle and Other Stories is a book of beautifully crafted character studies. Justin Bog’s writing style flows as he delves deep in the minds of his creations and shares their innermost thoughts and deeds. Most of the characters in this ten-story collection involve the type of person you’d pass you on the street and not give a second glance to. Yet, like everyone, they have complex thoughts, feelings, and dreams. Bog makes these everyday nobodies into people you have feelings for (some good, ...more
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In this fast paced world of modern writing it can be hard for an up-and-coming author to find other, more experienced, authors whom we can look up to and learn from. Awhile back It was suggested I read Sandcastle and Other Stories penned by Justin Bog. This book is an amazing work of short stories that are more emotionally dark, deep and thoughtful than many I have come across. This isn't just some quick publication of shorts which are thrown together and have no real tie like you often see comi ...more
Edenmary Black
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Justin Bog’s Sandcastle and Other Stories is captivating and a recommended read for several reasons. Bog’s clear writing is the fluid, keeping each of the stories in this suspenseful collection together, as he creates a collage of human nature and something beyond. The settings are places you’ve probably been. The characters could be people you know, but when you think you’ve got an understanding of what will happen next, the author injects a twist. At the bend in the road, you’re suddenly pulle ...more
Stephen Moran
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is a breath of fresh air: literary tales. You don't see many books of literary short stories and this one is a gem.
I found the stories packed with both suspense and psychological turmoil.

These characters will surprise and shock, at times offend and leave you filled with horror. Through it all, the stories are told by a master weaver of words and I look forward to his next book with great anticipation.

To those that normally read other genres I say, take a chance. Spend an afternoon in
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Sandcastle and Other Stories contains memorable short stories that are wonderful studies into human nature. The author's ability to write any character, from a man, to a woman, to a child, is impressive. I was swept along in the stories, not only because of the well drawn characters, but also the original themes. I loved the fantasy elements in some of these stories and my favourite, Sandcastle, had a twist at the end that made me gasp and almost cry. These bittersweet stories and their haunted ...more
Bradley Knox
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sandcastle and Other Stories is a collection of dark short stories by Justin Bog. Once again, I am bowled over by Justin’s stunning writing ability. In this collection, Justin explores the darker side of human emotion and behavior with powerful imagery, well-rounded and complex scenery and situations, and from a vast array of different points of view. His articulate and highly cerebral story-telling left me still pondering, hours later, the deeper meanings behind what I had read. This was a high ...more
Ajax Minor
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Justin Bog has a great pedigree. He majored in English at Michigan and received an MFA from Bowling Green. Certainly a CV that I lack. And besides, he's a pretty damned good writer.
If for no other reason than to experience the short story 'Sandcastle', I would recommend the book highly. Justin claims he writes 'psychological stories'. HELLO? Talk about understatement. Sandcastle will blow you away. You will not be able to even remotely guess the tale's denouement. Does Brenda, the main character
Gayle Pace
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: human-mind

Anytime you read a book that has several short stories, there will be some you like and some you don't. The author gets to the point in his stories. He doesn't put the stories together as he goes. He has in his mind what he wants to put on paper and he does.

People are complex and Mr. Bog writes about humans and the complex minds we all have. They're about how the mind reacts to different situations and how different people re-act to the same situation. The characters are really the
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it’s far less horror-oriented than most of the fare I review, this updated version of Justin Bog’s 2013 collection “Sandcastle and Other Stories” nevertheless has the potential to haunt you regardless. Think somewhere along the lines of Shirley Jackson or Joyce Carol Oates and you’ll be on the right track. I’ll leave a few surprises and not go over every story in detail, but this should give you an idea of what’s in store.

In “Sandcastle”, a casual day on the beach takes a sinister turn as
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful collection of short stories. The stories don't have a common theme running through them, but one thing that is common throughout is the way the author is able to introduce many diverse characters and yet make the reader feel as though he or she is looking at the world through the eyes of the character; really getting inside that character's mind and getting a feeling for the emotions. The quality of the description and the obvious talent the author has to be able to observe a ...more
Bex Montgomery
Sandcastle and Other Stories (The Complete Edition) by Justin Bog

This reissue of the debut story collection by Justin Bog is impressive. Originally published in 2013 by Green Darner Press the collection garnered high critical praise, was named one of the Best Books of 2013 Suspense Anthology by Suspense Magazine and a 2014 Ohioan Award Finalist.

It’s not hard to see why. This collection of 12 short stories runs the gamut of colorful characters, and the author manages to inhabit each of them with
Rosi Hollinbeck
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My review for the San Francisco Book Review:
There are dark times in every life, moments most hope will stay hidden and never come to light. There are moments most have thought things they would never say in the company of others or act on in the light of day. It is just such moments as these Justin Bog seems to have mined like ore as precious and as dangerous as plutonium for this tidy little book of stories that are as untidy as a life can be. Oh, I don’t mean the writing is untidy. The writing
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Justin Bog is a member of the ITW: International Thriller Writers

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island, and is the author of psychological horror and suspense tales.

Wake Me Up won Foreword Silver INDIES Book Award for LGBT novels!

Wake Me Up won First Place Somerset Book Award!

Sandcastle and Other Stories was a Finalist for the Ohioana Book Awards 2014 and also named Best Susp

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