Shades of Grey – Michael Cargill

Read                18th March 2012

My rating          4 / 5

Format             Kindle

This book was reviewed for and on behalf of The Kindle Book Review

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 deeply? It’s well written, but was, for me, the weakest of the three.


There and Back Again is set on the battlefield of world war two, and will be a familiar tale to those who have studied the period. It’s dark and it gave me a feeling of helplessness and a real feeling of the futility of war.

The third story, Down the Rabbit Hole, was my favourite. Other reviewers have commented that it reminded them of Roald Dhal, I see that comparison, although it’s a darker version of the brilliant Roald Dhal. I think there’ll be many different interpretations of this one, but it was, for me, the best written of the three stories, and the most interesting.


The stories are all thought provoking and do raise questions of morality, from the trained killer rationalising his own behaviours, to the looting of the bodies of dead soldiers to the ultimate demise of an abusive husband/father. Cargill does an impressive job of never casting his own judgements, he instead weaves enough into the stories for you to cast your own decision.


Shades of Grey is a well written, dark and different approach to the world of short stories and I’ll be interested to look at Cargill’s other work. These short stories were each so differently written that they could easily have been from different authors so I’ll be looking out for one of Cargill’s novels to see how he’s approached that.


All in all a different, but satisfying, read. Why not pop on over to amazon (.com or to take a look yourself? Please do let me know what you think by commenting on this post.


You can follow Michael on twitter –  @michaelcargill1 or why not visit his blogsite.


Filed under 4 Star, Kindle Book review

4 responses to “Shades of Grey – Michael Cargill

  1. Jennifer Hedden

    I have heard so many positive reviews about Shades of Grey. I had no idea that the stories were different. Thank you for the great review. I can’t wait to read the book.

  2. Pingback: My week in books – 18 – 25 March | A Kindle & Kittens

  3. As ever Sarah, you paint a picture of the quality and failing of a book and somehow make the failing seem as equally enticing as the quality, certainly for this reader. As a writer I am always interested in anything you rate as 4 and sometimes will buy a 3 rated book because you highlight a particular strength or failing.

    As I’m always checking out the competition, in you I have the perfect barometer, which means there is no doubt at all, I need a copy of this book.


  4. Pingback: GIVEAWAY – Shades of Grey | A Kindle & Kittens

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