Click here to return to the main site.

Book Review

Book Cover

A Glimpse of the Numinous


Author: Jeff Gardiner
Eibonvale Press
RRP: £8.99, US $14.99
ISBN: 978 1 908125 11 8
Available 02 March 2012

It is always a delight to receive a book of short stories which is not constrained by either expectation or genre, but is written purely for the joy of producing good writing.

A Glimpse of the Numinous (2012 - 168 pages) is a new collection of short stories by Jeff Gardiner. The word "numinous" refers to the presence of power of the divine; it is also a name which has been adopted by some writers to indicate stories which are deliberately inspirational, although, this being a collection of slipstream stories, the latter does not often apply.

The book contains fourteen stories, eleven of which have been previously published in other periodicals and anthologies. As well as the three previously unpublished stories, the collection allows fans of Gardiner's work to catch up with stories that they may have previously missed.

Unconstrained by the restrictions of genre, Gardiner gives full rein to his imagination, producing stories which range from modern horror to lyrical vignettes of beauty.

The story, which opens the collection, A Glimpse of the Numinous, has many of the elements of Gardiner’s writing. Language is modern, with the rhythms and tone of a naturalistic conversation, which often belies the fantastical twist in the tale. Like many of his tales, it is written in the first person, placing the reader at the centre of the story.

Here a man is asked to look after his brother’s wife, after his brother complains of her strange nightly behaviour. His experience with her opens up a whole new level of reality which is both beautiful and frightening, like a modern Lovecraft, Gardiner is adept at mixing the divine with the macabre creating an unsettling reading experience.

Like all reviews we get down to the, which ones did I like? The answer would have to be pretty much all of them, but not always for the same reasons. 351073, takes a simple idea, that of a name and its numerological significance and takes you down a path which examines relationships and ideas of divinity. The Curious takes a look at the inner world of humanity from an external perspective.

Gull Power is a quirky tale about a man and his gull, proving that Gardiner can handle humour just as well as the more serious aspects of literary forensic introspection. Bred in the Bone was my personal highlight, having missed the story when it was first published. Without ruining the reading experience, it takes you on a journey where the author deftly sets up your expectations only to slowly turn them completely around. It is almost perfect in its construction.

So, another great collection which will take you to some of the stranger shores of human experience.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£7.99 (
£7.99 (
$12.70 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.