If you're debating whether to buy this based on the sample, then I would suggest you do. The first story in this collection is quite tepid compared to the other four and I was quite frankly surprised by them. They are dark, painful and vivid. Perhaps a little graphic in the sense that the content conjurs up images in the mind that may not be quickly forgotten.I think the product description, which comes after the table of contents in this book, would be better left out completely. They are one sentence blurbs that belong on the sales product page. Why? Because the enticement of short stories is the unexpected and the abruptness of them. You never know what's coming in your direction. As a reader I don't want the author to tell me before I have read it and thought about what it meant to me. Let me have my own experience, as opposed to what the author wants me to experience.For me that is the difference between the short story and a novel.I liked the paranoia and recognition of how the past can become a constant companion of the present in 'Going Under' and 'Guilt.' There seems to be an a subtle core of violence in each story, but in each tale it is approached from a different angle. Self-inflicted harm, pain to others or pleasure whilst causing pain.It wasn't at all what I expected...but in a good way.