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Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories Kindle Edition
From the Publisher
Tales from the Darkest Depths
Since its founding in 2012, Crystal Lake Publishing has quickly become one of the world’s leading publishers of Dark Fiction and Horror books. With multiple award nominations and wins (including the HWA’s Specialty Press Award), we put integrity, honor, and respect at the forefront of our publishing operations.
Join the Crystal Lake adventure as we strive to present only the highest quality fiction and entertainment, while also supporting authors along their writing journey.
"We've grown accustomed to horror that pulls us into the depths and leaves us there, but this compilation shows that even at the worst times, humans instinctively cling to any ray of hope they can find. While it may not be the hope they thought they were looking for, sometimes, it's still enough." - Bleeding Cool
"Enough big-hitters to propel this collection to the top of any horror enthusiast's to-read list." - This is Horror
"Have you ever been punched in the stomach? You know, just hit so hard that it knocks the wind out of you and all you can do is sit there and try to catch a breath. That's how I felt after reading this book." - HorrorNovel Reviews
"I would say this collection is appropriately named and deserves to earn each and every author worldwide acclaim. Yes, it's that good." - MassMovement magazine
"It's a book for readers who love language as much as story, who understand that horror can be beautiful, ecstatic and revelatory as well as down-right scary." - James Everington
"Up-and-comingwriters such as Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, and Maria Alexander deliver the goods alongside Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, and other established writers. If you only buy one collection of stories this year, this should be it." - JG Faherty, multi-award nominated author of The Cure, The Burning Time, and Ghosts of Coronado Bay.
- ASIN : B01HALT6YW
- Publisher : Crystal Lake Publishing (June 24, 2016)
- Publication date : June 24, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 2030 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 255 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #487,910 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
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Top reviews from the United States
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"Picking Splinters From a Sex Slave" by Brian Kirk is heartbreaking. In this day and age where everyone (even those who don't have children) are armchair generals in regards to parenting, this story is a super painful reminder that love and parenting is never easy and that you can never judge what someone chooses to do until you have placed yourself in their shoes.
"Water Thy Bones" by Mercedes M. Yardley explored a different kind of love, a dark love, an infatuation with what a person is within; a love for their bones. Beautifully written and fascinating, if not just a bit taboo.
"Cards for His Spokes, Coins for His Fare" by John F.D. Taff quite literally broke my heart. The love and devotion good parents have for their children, and the desire of a child to branch out and explore the world he lives in could not have a more painful ending than this. My childhood came screaming back at me with all those small pleasures that meant so much as a child and it made me thankful that none of my adventures took me away from my parents.
"Hey, Little Sister" by Maria Alexander was a quick exploration into the intoxicating emotion of revenge that typically leaves us more than a little dissatisfied and often more broken than we originally were.
This book has something for every genre of horror-fan, or even for those who realize that life itself can be a horror, but still possesses something darkly beautiful as well.
I gave this 4 stars since there is a chapter I found to be distracting due to missing punctuation, but that's only me.
The stories are:
* The Morning After Was Filed With Bone by Stephanie M. Wytovich
* Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave by Brian Kirk
* Arbeit Macht Frei by Lisa Mannetti
* The Problem of Susan by Neil Gaimen
* Dominion by Christopher Coake ( I had a real problem reading this story, some punctuation is missing and I found it very distracting)
* Water Thy Bones by Mercedes M. Yardley
* A Haunted House is a Wheel Upon Which Some Are Broken by Paul Trembly ( this was a cool book to read, it had links to take you to different parts of the house, so you had a choice where to go).
* On the Other Sid of the Door, Everything Changes by Damien Angelica Walters
* Repent by Richard Thomas
* Coming to Grief by Clive Barker
* Cards for His Spokes, Coins for His Fare
* Cellars Dog by Amanda Gowin
* When we All Meet at the Ofrenda by Kevin Lucia
* Hey, Little Sister by Maria Alexander
* The One You live With by Josh Malerman
* The Place of Revelation by Ramsey Campbell
Each story is very different, unique and twisted, lol. I enjoyed the short stories since it gave me a spot in which I could put it down, lol. I enjoyed this book but personally, it did not thrill me. I will finish it and may check out some of the other authors books at a later date. As with other books of this type thee were stories that I enjoyed and some not as much as others, but judge for yourselves.
For bonus material be sure to start from the cover and go thru.
I would recommend for those that enjoy twisted stories. I personally would not consider this as horror but maybe thriller.
I don't know that a lot of these stories are "horror" in the sense that some of you might expect, but they are quite deeply unsettling as a whole. Many of what you'll find are examples of the horror that we carry within us or manifest internally, like in the unexpected choose-your-own-adventure tale 'A Haunted House Is a Wheel Upon Which Some Are Broken' provided by Paul Tremblay or the devastating 'Arbeit Macht Frei' by Lisa Mannetti.
Clive Barker's 'Coming To Grief' was my personal favorite, and a more subtle tale than a lot of his short fiction. Strangely enough, because I love his short fiction, my least favorite story was 'The Problem of Susan' by Neil Gaiman, a dark and perverse take on the world of Narnia...it wasn't necessarily a bad story in any way, but it felt like the weakest inclusion.
I definitely recommend this book, especially if you're looking to discover new authors you might not have already been familiar with.
Top reviews from other countries
But, in the selection of stories and in the writing of them, this volume shows a haunting quality, a mesmerising style. The beauty lies not so much in the eye of the beholder as in the ear of the reader as elegant sentences and paragraphs wrap themselves around horrific cores. A juxtaposition reflected in the stylish cover of flowers sprouting from a skeleton.
Time prevents me from reviewing all the stories and, to be fair, some worked for me better than others. But below I have written more about my five top picks. Other readers may find different favourites, such is the nature of anthologies - and indeed of readers!
Water My Bones by Mercedes M Yardley
Those used to Miss Murder's writing will be familiar with the challenge she offers to conventions of victim and villain. This story is again about two people, in some ways it reminds me of her piece Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu. Again two damaged people meet, drawn into each other's gravity like a binary star system, swirling closer the one feeding off the other, the other more or less willingly giving. Nikilie is a woman much abused by those around her and - in turn - she abuses herself, fresh wounds in her flesh to match each cut the world makes in her psyche. But then she meets Michael and everything changes. He sees an inner beauty she did not know she had. "That night she took a razorblade to her inner thigh, but the cuts were heartless and shallow."
Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave by Brian Kirk
It is every parent's nightmare to lose a child to abduction, but what if the child is returned years later and the restoration of what was lost is a still greater nightmare. Kirk paints a vivid picture of a father reunited with a daughter abducted and abused long ago. It has echoes of all the real life abduction stories we have seen in the news, in some ways it reminds me of the Fritzl story in Austria. How can those freed return to a normal life, more importantly how can they find happiness after an experience that has changed and damaged them. The father in Brian Kirk's story will make many sacrifices to restore his daughter's happiness but the reader may ask - could they do as much?
On The Other Side of the Door Everything Changes by Damien Angelica Walters
Is it an accident that parenthood and horror are so akin? That having a child opens up a whole new vista of ways in which to fear the dangers of the world? Or is it that, being a parent myself, this story and others like it strike a resonant note more so than others. I also work in education, where everyday we have to confront another exploitation of new technology in old evils. Cyber bullying, the risks children are exposed to in the privacy of their own bedrooms, a world away from my own childhood. I've also relatively recently moved house and job dragging children in the vulnerable teenage years from their embryonic circle of friends. For my children it has worked out well, but those experiences and anxieties made this story sing for me. A two handed tale of child and mother, the one displaced, sullen, angry brooding with a horror she dare not share. The other, anxious - like all parents of teenage children finding that every word is the wrong word and so they stay on opposite sides of the same door trapped in a failure of communication. Beautifully written, horrifically real.
Coming to Grief by Clive Barker
As a child when I walked home from school (a school I shared with Nigel Farage - but that's an entirely different horror story) there was a lane I had to walk up Low Cross Wood Lane, it had a kink in it - a sort of chicane - which made the top half invisible from the bottom. As a small school boy I always had a fear of what might lie unseen around that corner. Would it be kids from the other local school waiting to beat me up - in truth I was only hit once there - but I try to remember the vulnerability of that fear when imagining what it is like to be a woman in today's world, a vulnerability that grown men cannot so easily empathise with.
There is much more in cleverness in the writing of Barker's tale than the ingeniously punning title. Miriam has returned home to tidy up the affairs of her estranged and recently deceased mother. The antagonist in this story is the Bogey-Walk a curving lane along the edge of an old quarry that haunted her youth and still has the power to terrorise the older successful woman that the child has begun. Besides the obvious resonance with that not-forgotten Dulwich lane - this story appealed because of the exquisite writing as Miriam picks through the bones of her relationship with her mother, rekindles an old friendship, and all the while orbits the old fears of the Bogey-walk in ever decreasing circles.
A Haunted House is a Wheel upon Which some are Broken by Paul Tremblay
Skilful evocative writing abounds throughout the anthology along with some innovative takes on the horror genre. Most innovative perhaps is Paul Tremblay's Haunted House story which took me back to a childhood of Steve Jackson scripted adventure books (anybody remember the Wizard of Firetop Mountain?) where after each page the reader had a choice to make and - depending on that choice - would turn to a different page to advance the story in a different direction. The miracle of embedded links in ebooks makes that all so much easier and the reader gets to choose how far and which route they take through a Tremblay's tale of a woman revisiting a house that scarred her childhood and still plagues her dreams
Favourites include 'On The Other Side of the Door, Everything Changes' by Damien Angelica Walters and 'Cards For His Spokes, Coins For His Fare' by John F.D. Taff. These two stories were really moving. Brian Kirk's 'Picking Splinters From A Sex Slave', Mercedes M. Yardley's 'Water Thy Bones', and 'Repent' by Richard Thomas were notably dark tales. But I enjoyed every single story.
And, given the context of the story and the style in which it is written, 'Hey, Little Sister' by Maria Alexander may have the best last line ever! But I won't spoil it for you. Just check it out! You won't be disappointed.