Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The intoxication from a pint of vodka, the electric buzz from snorting cocaine, the warm embrace from shooting heroin - drinking and drugging provide the height of human experience. It's the promise of heaven on earth, but the hell that follows is a constant hunger, a cold emptiness. The craving to get high is a yearning as intense of any blood-thirsty monster.
The best way to tell the truths of addiction is through a story, and dark truths such as these need a piece of horror to do them justice.
The stories inside feature the insidious nature of addiction told with compassion yet searing honesty. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental deaths, and some of the most incredible names in horror fiction have tackled this modern day epidemic.
"A Wicked Thirst" by Kealan Patrick Burke
"The One in the Middle" by Jessica McHugh
"Everywhere You've Bled and Everywhere You Will" by Max Booth III
"First, Just Bite a Finger" by Johann Thorsson
"Last Call" by John FD Taff
Torment of the Fallen" by Glen Krisch
"Garden of Fiends" by Mark Matthews
"Returns" by Jack Ketchum
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 29 minutes|
|Author||Mark Matthews, Kealan Patrick Burke, Jack Ketchum, Jessica McHugh, John F.D. Taff|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 01, 2017|
|Publisher||Wicked Run Press|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #172,412 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#295 in Horror Anthologies & Short Stories
#494 in Addiction & Recovery (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,169 in Literature Anthologies
Top reviews from the United States
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Most, if not all the stories in this collection show it's not just the addict that is affected or harmed, family, friends and pets too are always affected. The first two stories "A Wicked Thirst" and "The One in the Middle" are 5 star worthy, "Torment of the Fallen" is 3 maybe 4 star, and the last story "Returns" much as it depressed me and made me angry is a 4 star (warning if you love animals, do not read this story), however, none of the other stories are that great, some of them are too blah, drawn out, or weird.
Below is a brief description of each story.
"A Wicked Thirst" is one of the best stories in the collection, it is about the absolute worst lengths a man will go to in order to quench his thirst for alcohol when there is none left.
"The One in the Middle" horrifying, cringe inducing story of what addicts will sell to the Kum Den Smokehouse to get their entire body in ecstasy. Though this story made me cringe and shudder, I liked it the best.
"Garden of Fiends", too long and dragged out. The drug addicted daughter of a couple is convinced by her ex to take one more hit, one he deliberately made certain would kill her. In the aftermath, her loving parents descend into ruin.
"First, Just Bite a Finger" weak story about a woman eating herself to death.
"Last Call" weak story about an alcoholic gets cured by drinking the last bottle he'll ever need.
"Torment of the Fallen" a girl who can see demons takes into her the demons possessing her father and imprisons them forever inside her.
"Everywhere You've Bled and Everywhere You Will" a very strange story involving a spider like alien woman, I think this story will make men cringe.
"Returns" If you love animals, especially cats, DO NOT READ THIS STORY, at its core it is about a man's love for his cat. If you love cats or any animal, it very well may make you cry as it did me. Speaking from the heart, this story upset me so much because I unfortunately can relate to it, I know many people are just as cruel or more so than the man's widow in the story. I've taken in several animals thrown out of their homes when their owner died or had to be put in a nursing home. If someone you love dies, honor their memory by caring for and loving any pets they had, or at the least find forever homes for them with people who will love, care for and appreciate them. It's hard and it takes a major commitment of time and money to take in a loved one's pet(s), but it beats flowers, charitable donations, etc. and it's what that person would have wanted most. With time you may just find out for yourself why that pet was so loved because you too will come to love it, I know because although it took months, I gradually gained the trust of and came to love my late mom's very eccentric cat.
A WICKED THIRST by Kealan Patrick Burke: Alcoholism is no joke and many find that they cannot quit on their own and seek out help from programs like AA. This story does not shy away from the absolute power that is addiction and then it slays the reader with its powerful ending. 5*
THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE by Jessica McHugh: This tale was twisted as twisted can be. (At least I thought so until I read Max Booth III's story, but more on that in a moment.) A hard, direct look at the downward spiral of addiction and the other crimes associated with it. After all, drugs often cost an arm and a leg. 4*
EVERYWHERE YOU'VE BLED AND EVERYWHERE YOU WILL by Max Booth III: Combine a heroin addiction, blood everywhere and spiders and what have you got? You have this graphic and dare I say... disgusting?, tale of heroin dependence. You'll need a strong stomach for this one, but I think it's worth it! 5*
LAST CALL by John FD Taff: This was another story of alcoholism. This one shows us that there are no shortcuts to sober. 4*
TORMENT OF THE FALLEN by Glen Krisch: Demons abound in this story and not all of them are drug related. 3.5*
GARDEN OF FIENDS by Mark Matthews: A tale about how addiction affects everyone surrounding the addict. It floods out like the ripples on a calm lake, as do the effects of eating anything from this particular garden. 5*
RETURNS by Jack Ketchum: here we have another tale of alcoholism, but with the twist of also involving a ghost. Short and to the point, this one punched me right in the gut. 5*
To be all technical about it, my ratings add up to a 4.5, but after thinking about this collection overnight, I think it adds up to more than the sum of its parts, so 5 fat stars it is!
My highest recommendation to those readers who are strong of heart!
*I was provided a free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it*
**Further, I consider Mark Matthews a friend, albeit online only. This did not affect the content of my review.*
I've battled addiction all my life. My family has a very long history of drug and alcohol problems. I quit drinking about 10 years ago, and it couldn't have been harder. My family still drinks, which compounds the difficulty, increases the voice's yearning from time to time. Reading these pages reminded me that I stopped before drinking took my life. The stories give me more strength to say no to something that constantly badgers, always pulls.
These tales capture you and they don't let up. The writers all appear to have gone through some battles themselves, or they have intimately known someone who has gone through the battle for sobriety, a war that rages on for most veterans of that fight.
If you are looking for a good anthology, this one won't disappoint. Give it a shot.
Top reviews from other countries
1. A sobering tale about alcoholism and how it can take over a person's life - with dire consequences. Fine writing.
2. Set in the future (post 2080) this tale introduces us to a drug known as atlys which is usually injected into the genitals. The author paints a very dark picture which details some rather unpleasant human practices - like potsticking - urrgh! It may not be wise to read this one during your lunch break!
3. This is the story of Tara, a recovering heroin addict. She has been attending NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and appears do be making good progress - until her ex-boyfriend gets out of jail and pays her a visit...
4. A rather short, bizarre tale about someone who gets gratification from eating parts of their own body.
5. An alcoholic is given one last (but potentially dangerous) chance to become forever sober. All he has to do is drink from a special bottle of clear fluid...
6. Maggie is a teenage runaway. She also has the power to ‘see’ demons. One day she makes the decision to return home to her father....
7. This one starts with a guy sitting on a sofa with his jeans around his ankles, looking down he notices that he's bleeding profusely from his penis....
8. The last story is written by Jack Ketchum - an author who Stephen King reckons is the scariest man in America. As short stories go it's very short - but still enjoyable nevertheless. Jill is a middle-aged ex-actress who has let her self go - she drinks too much and smokes too much. In the opening chapter Jill is having an early morning shot of Jim Beam. Her husband is standing in the doorway and tells her that she must attend to Zoey the cat - she needs food and water and her litter tray requires emptying. It's only after a few verbal exchanges that we realise the husband is in fact a ghost - he has recently been knocked down and killed by a New York taxi cab.....
So yeah, it's a crazy bunch of tales - but it's a book I'd recommend for all those horror fans out there.
It's not comforting to know others struggle like you do or to know the pain is shared, but its interesting to read how others deal with their horrors .
Beautifully written, should be enforced reading for those in the "oh just quit it then!" Part of your world.