The key to ‘getting’ this collection of dark tales from new author Vikki Patis is understanding the title. ‘Weltanschauung’ is a German word describing a culture’s ‘world view’. This view/ideology defines the culture and its people, but just as much it traps them with that definition (and the beliefs and behaviours that go along with it). The five gothic tales in Ms Patis’s book each provide us with protagonists who are trapped in daily routine, by past events, in limited perspectives or in particular realities. Of course, these characters are unable to escape the society and beliefs that make them who they are. Each story starts simply enough, and then things begin to unravel or a macabre secret is revealed. The accumulative effect as the reader goes through the lifestory of each protagonist is the sense that there are malign forces far greater than just an individual at work. The unease grows and grows, and we realise that the apparently simple narratives are actually deceptive and hiding something cosmically monstrous. All in all, it’s an unsettling and sometimes bleak read, but an important one nevertheless, even if only because it helps you to reflect healthily upon your own life and existence. Highly recommended for those who like their books unnerving/chilling.