Filipino Friday is back! And I’m not participating in the first topic discussion. Not because I don’t think it’s a topic I want to discuss, but more because I don’t really know how to define myself as a book reader. Instead, I’m going to write about Stories from the Diabolical.
“Welcome to The Diabolical! My name is Hank. I’ll be your bartender for tonight. What will it be? Don’t tell me. I know exactly what you want to drink.
So, what’s on your mind? You have a story to tell? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve got some interesting stories as well.
Have you heard the one about the ghost who walked in the bar? The one who kept coming back, waiting for the arrival of that certain someone?
What about the guy who had coffee with his dead girlfriend? Or the story of the spectral Christmas carolers?
And then there’s that strange tale of all those senior citizens who watched the last full show and never came out.
No? Haven’t heard those? Well, have another drink and I’ll tell you all about it.”
I liked it. To a point. I mean, I love how the team of Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo continue to build the world of Trese. But at the same time… There’s something missing from this collection of stories. I don’t know how… but it lacks the spark of a Trese release.
Obviously, this judgement is colored by the fact that I’m a fan of the Trese series. On its own, the stories here are exceptional and original. They’re properly creepy… and sometimes poignant. But they’re not very exciting. And that’s something we’ve come to expect from each Trese release. The anticipation for something bigger at work. The thrill of the chase. And those aren’t present here.
For me, Stories From the Diabolical suffers from its connection with Trese. Because I’m expecting something akin to Trese, I’m disappointed after I realize that I’m not getting it. And I understand that this release really isn’t supposed to feel like a Trese book–that’s why it doesn’t have her name on the cover. But because she is in the stories, and it takes place in the same universe, I can’t help but associate.
And that’s a bad thing for the anthology. As I said, I think the stories are exceptional and original. They would just work better if they weren’t related to Trese.
I don’t know if I’m still making sense here. I guess you’ll just have to grab a copy of the release to make your own mind up about it.
To the Trese fans, tell me if you feel the same way as I do. To those who’ve never picked a copy of Trese up, tell me if you liked the stories without a backgrounder on what the world they’re inhabiting is like.