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21 Grams

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In the bowels of an unassuming, ever-moving funerary parlor, a mortician known as the Operator hides a fearsome machine called the Godwin, rumored to have the ability to resurrect the dead. It runs, like a soul does, on logos: on words. And in exchange for those words—for a client’s life story—the corpse of their choosing might yet walk again. Careful, though. Words bear w In the bowels of an unassuming, ever-moving funerary parlor, a mortician known as the Operator hides a fearsome machine called the Godwin, rumored to have the ability to resurrect the dead. It runs, like a soul does, on logos: on words. And in exchange for those words—for a client’s life story—the corpse of their choosing might yet walk again. Careful, though. Words bear weight, so one must choose them wisely. Author M. Regan delivers a harrowing and beautiful glimpse into a world filled with desire, darkness, love, and loss.


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In the bowels of an unassuming, ever-moving funerary parlor, a mortician known as the Operator hides a fearsome machine called the Godwin, rumored to have the ability to resurrect the dead. It runs, like a soul does, on logos: on words. And in exchange for those words—for a client’s life story—the corpse of their choosing might yet walk again. Careful, though. Words bear w In the bowels of an unassuming, ever-moving funerary parlor, a mortician known as the Operator hides a fearsome machine called the Godwin, rumored to have the ability to resurrect the dead. It runs, like a soul does, on logos: on words. And in exchange for those words—for a client’s life story—the corpse of their choosing might yet walk again. Careful, though. Words bear weight, so one must choose them wisely. Author M. Regan delivers a harrowing and beautiful glimpse into a world filled with desire, darkness, love, and loss.

38 review for 21 Grams

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I received an E-galley ARC of 21 Grams, authored by M. Regan, cover art and design by Don Nobles/Rooster Republic, interior design by Firedrake Designs, edited by Beverly Bernard, from Timber Ghost Press, for review consideration. What follows below is my honest review, freely given. I rated this novella 4.5 stars. This is the official first release for Timber Ghost Press; the title and artwork immediately grabbed my attention, the back page grabbed my money. The idea of the soul weighing 21 gra I received an E-galley ARC of 21 Grams, authored by M. Regan, cover art and design by Don Nobles/Rooster Republic, interior design by Firedrake Designs, edited by Beverly Bernard, from Timber Ghost Press, for review consideration. What follows below is my honest review, freely given. I rated this novella 4.5 stars. This is the official first release for Timber Ghost Press; the title and artwork immediately grabbed my attention, the back page grabbed my money. The idea of the soul weighing 21 grams comes from a scientific study published by Duncan MacDougall in 1907; a flawed experiment never repeated. Interesting read. 21 PAGES The reader is thrown into a scene already underway, one that almost reads how you would imagine if Frankenstein cared for his creation. A benevolent figure of science gently talking with their subject. But that is not this story. The Operator is called for a particular procedure, one that will raise a corpse, all for the cost of a lifetime in words. I felt this gave the most information on how the Godwin device works, though by the end the implications of its reach are beyond alarming. 21 BYTES Where the last tale seemed to take place in a time long before technology we would recognize, this one appears to be far beyond our reach with internal computers being mainstream (Black Mirror warned us!). We once again have the Operator running the show, different client, different corpse. Without spoilers, the reader will begin to notice a theme (I did), but how does that connect the stories, what does that mean for the bigger picture? I also really wonder of the Operator’s purpose, or ultimate desire at the end of this one. If you are an excitable reader like me, and find that you skip sentences if you start reading too quickly; focus for this one. I had missed a few my first reading, misunderstandings abounded. Second reading when I was focused, no problems. I hate that I’m a kid on crack with a book I enjoy, like “chill girl, breathe!” 21 MINUTES This ties it all together, and let me tell you—just wow. The theme is an inherent part of the the novella, this final chapter revealing a darker truth than I was wholly prepared for, how do you properly describe that; maybe as being beautifully broken open? I know I’ve been vague talking about it; wow this, great that, but I have been doing it so that I have not spoiled anything for you! There are many emotions in play here: grief, rage, loss, forgiveness, love and fear. How do we handle these emotions when they are tied to a person important to us, in whatever capacity. Each tale will make you ponder and ache, in a new way. 21 Grams is not going to leave my heart for a long time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Yocom

    21 Grams is a philosophical horror. This tale is woven with poetic passages to bring together the tales from three visitors to the Operator. Each story takes place in a different time period and ends with different results. They may not run in a chronological order, but they are presented in an order that builds the overarching story being told and provide examples of the different results one can be expected from visiting the Operator. I like philosophy, and I found 21 Grams an enjoyable read. T 21 Grams is a philosophical horror. This tale is woven with poetic passages to bring together the tales from three visitors to the Operator. Each story takes place in a different time period and ends with different results. They may not run in a chronological order, but they are presented in an order that builds the overarching story being told and provide examples of the different results one can be expected from visiting the Operator. I like philosophy, and I found 21 Grams an enjoyable read. The underlying philosophy adds to the story as I read to fit the pieces together. It reminded me of what I consider some of the classic horror tales (like Frankenstein) that raise questions about life, God, and us. Here the questions are about the soul, God, and what we are willing to do with our life and how we portray ourselves. The theme of the complete work is supported through each of the three sections. This is a book that will make you think. It will provide a creep factor that builds instead of making you jump. The real horror that is presented throughout is what we are capable of and willing to do. The fantastical element provided by the Operator allows for a look in a dark mirror. I recommend 21 Grams for readers who like dark tales of soul-searching situations. It is a read that will stick with you and make you wonder what you would be willing to do for a lost loved one, or to one that is not so loved. you can read the complete review at http://guildmastergaming.blogspot.com...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Todd Sanders

    This is an excellent longer narrative and is worth a read by many interested in horror, gender, philosophy and meditations on the life lived and the death received. M. Regan weaves together three stories that are imbued with thoughtful prose and some really beautiful language and description. The three tales have overlapping details which helps to unify the work. It is obvious that she has done a lot of background research and there was a lengthy gestation period while writing the narrative. The This is an excellent longer narrative and is worth a read by many interested in horror, gender, philosophy and meditations on the life lived and the death received. M. Regan weaves together three stories that are imbued with thoughtful prose and some really beautiful language and description. The three tales have overlapping details which helps to unify the work. It is obvious that she has done a lot of background research and there was a lengthy gestation period while writing the narrative. The main character (and their Godwin machine) is described with detail but still vaguely enough that you, as the reader, have space to bring your own conceptions and engage with the writer in the creative act. The book feels longer/fuller/denser than the page count would suggest, which is something that I, as a reader, enjoy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Meaghan Brown

    Do yourself a favor and BUY THIS BOOK. It has been a very long time since I’ve read something as interesting, beautiful, and thought-provoking as 21 Grams by M. Regan. When I first picked up this short (but dense) novella, I expected to read it in a few days and move on. What actually happened was that I devoured it in one sitting and then proceeded to re-read it to try to capture any little scraps I may have missed the first time. I am an avid reader, and it is very seldom that I find a book th Do yourself a favor and BUY THIS BOOK. It has been a very long time since I’ve read something as interesting, beautiful, and thought-provoking as 21 Grams by M. Regan. When I first picked up this short (but dense) novella, I expected to read it in a few days and move on. What actually happened was that I devoured it in one sitting and then proceeded to re-read it to try to capture any little scraps I may have missed the first time. I am an avid reader, and it is very seldom that I find a book that can still surprise me, but this book does. M. Regan uses language like a paintbrush to create a beautiful, distressing, tragic, hopeful masterpiece. If you enjoy classic literature/horror like Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, then this is the book for you. If you enjoy thinking deeply about metaphysical and philosophical ideas, this is the book for you. If you just want to read something that is unique and unpredictable, this is the book for you. You will not regret reading this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    I received 21 Grams by M Regan as a gift. I'm an avid reader; this is my honest review. Short version: Highly recommend. A quick read (great for travel) with many twists and turns. I'll read again. More details, read on: In each of the 3 novellas, M Regan weaves a woeful, yet hopeful, tale of love, sorrow and intrigue. Each story interweaves elements of the other stories, tying them together like a well-wrapped package, yet each story remains independent. Regan's characters are both comfortably I received 21 Grams by M Regan as a gift. I'm an avid reader; this is my honest review. Short version: Highly recommend. A quick read (great for travel) with many twists and turns. I'll read again. More details, read on: In each of the 3 novellas, M Regan weaves a woeful, yet hopeful, tale of love, sorrow and intrigue. Each story interweaves elements of the other stories, tying them together like a well-wrapped package, yet each story remains independent. Regan's characters are both comfortably familiar (like the neighbour on the next street) and uniquely uncommon. The 3 stories are intricate, full of surprises and unexpected twists, that ensnared me in Regan's ethereal, sometimes challenging, imagery. Regan uses words like an Agatha Christie tale, leaving vivid breadcrumbs for the reader to pick up, and like Christie, the ending of each story was an unexpected revelation. Excellent weekend read. Good Book Club book, as it's bound to generate provocative discussions.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Not for me

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh Pippin

    21 Grams is a beautiful exploration of relationships and how they change us: the myriad of emotions they inspire and the sacrifices we are willing to make for those we feel strongly about. M. Regan's dark and poetic writing style captures the reader immediately with their premise, inspired by the 21 Grams experiment by Duncan MacDougall in 1907. Using the idea that the weight of a human soul is 21 grams, they've brought to life a universe where words, or logos, can do literally just that. With t 21 Grams is a beautiful exploration of relationships and how they change us: the myriad of emotions they inspire and the sacrifices we are willing to make for those we feel strongly about. M. Regan's dark and poetic writing style captures the reader immediately with their premise, inspired by the 21 Grams experiment by Duncan MacDougall in 1907. Using the idea that the weight of a human soul is 21 grams, they've brought to life a universe where words, or logos, can do literally just that. With the help of an uncanny machine called the Godwin, the mysterious character known only as the Operator guides each of their clients through the retelling of the events that brought them to the mysterious funerary parlor where each narrative begins. Intensely immersive, this story will surprise you at every turn. Every time you think you have figured out what is happening and how the story will end, something new is revealed to throw you off-kilter. Both beautifully written and entertaining to read, I highly recommend 21 Grams, and am personally looking forward to M. Regan’s future releases as well.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kayla C.

    21 Grams by M. Regan blew my mind, and not just because of the splendid metaphysical elements. When I started reading 21 Grams, I didn't know that it was actually a collection of three novelettes. All three were connected by the Operator, the Godwin, and the common themes of love and grief. Each tale was set in a different time period and introduced a new cast of characters (with the exception, fortunately, of the Operator). Because I expected a more traditional novella structure (one story, not 21 Grams by M. Regan blew my mind, and not just because of the splendid metaphysical elements. When I started reading 21 Grams, I didn't know that it was actually a collection of three novelettes. All three were connected by the Operator, the Godwin, and the common themes of love and grief. Each tale was set in a different time period and introduced a new cast of characters (with the exception, fortunately, of the Operator). Because I expected a more traditional novella structure (one story, not three), my reading experience was jarring. I became so invested in the first story that when it ended, I was bereft. The following stories seemed rushed in comparison. That said, I'd be more than willing to read the whole work again. Now that I know how the novella pans out overall, I'll enjoy it more. M. Regan's prose was beautiful, eerie, complex, and emotionally evocative. 21 Grams was by no means an easy read. Sometimes the prose and dialogue were slightly hard to follow. Nevertheless, I found the author's style of storytelling fresh and absorbing. M. Regan excelled at creating a consistently unsettling, mysterious atmosphere throughout each story. My favorite part of 21 Grams was the recurring character of the Operator. They were delightfully creepy and thought-provoking. The deeper my understanding of them grew, the more intrigued I was by them. 21 Grams was so unique that I can't think of any books like it. Suffice it to say that if you’re a fan of philosophical, gothic literature that provides great LGBTQ+ representation, I strongly suggest you check out 21 Grams by M. Regan. (Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book from Silver Dagger Book Tours for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own and are honest and unbiased.) Trigger Warning: This work contains some gore, a vivid description of gender dysphoria, and other dark themes, including grief and murder.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    This is a gothic anthology and universe that takes the genre where it feels it had never been allowed to go. Nothing is taboo, yet all things are vulnerable to being brought to light. Love is dangerous. Death has weight. I've never quite read anything like this. It is a unique experience. This is a gothic anthology and universe that takes the genre where it feels it had never been allowed to go. Nothing is taboo, yet all things are vulnerable to being brought to light. Love is dangerous. Death has weight. I've never quite read anything like this. It is a unique experience.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    This is well written but just not a novella for me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alec Thompson

  12. 4 out of 5

    Caryn

  13. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

  14. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elis Aaron

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matt Corton

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nancy (The Avid Reader)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Montag

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bea LaRocca

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kari

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Rote

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Heil

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rita Wray

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michele Soyer

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ann Fantom

  30. 4 out of 5

    SD

  31. 5 out of 5

    Scott Moses

  32. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

  33. 4 out of 5

    Justin Montgomery

  34. 4 out of 5

    Alecia Gibson

  35. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

  36. 4 out of 5

    Debbi Wellenstein

  37. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  38. 4 out of 5

    Mel

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