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Husk Paperback – March 5, 2016
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About the Author
- Publisher : Tiny Behemoth Press; 2nd edition (March 5, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 102 pages
- ISBN-10 : 069266159X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0692661598
- Item Weight : 4.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.26 x 8 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#2,131,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #68,262 in Horror Literature & Fiction
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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The stand out skills in this book lay in the author’s beautifully descriptive prose. There are several extreme scenes the reader is propelled through, they have lasting power well after the book is finished. The scenes move at a break-neck pace (with a few exceptions) and this book is easily read in one or two sittings.
This might miss the mark for some readers as different parts of the novella are sped through. One moment a soldier is struggling with PTSD and VA bureaucracy, and the next a love interest enters, along with an erotic daydream. The scenes themselves are great, it is in the transition that readers may become lost. More explanation or even time to process what is happening would be beneficial. The love interest comes in the form of a young preacher’s daughter and the whole family is just, well, off. I found myself thinking she was more like 13-14 years old and this made the romantic pieces seem awkward. I dug the sex scenes and they are well-written, they just seemed abrupt and out of place.
Conversely, I did enjoy the feeling of “what is HAPPENING” in most parts. I dig an undefined monster and Deering develops this well. This one may have missed the mark for me, but I will definitely seek out more from this author. I am in a minority on some of this, so be sure to check out some of the many 4 and 5 star reviews for this book.
Numerous times I felt my heart rate quicken, the terror palpable. It’s often difficult for mere words to achieve this effect, so I was impressed.
Toward the end, there was a specific moment I actually covered my mouth as I read. Not because it was scary but because it was sad and unexpected. You’ll see what I mean when you get there.
There were several beautifully worded sentences and passages that really made this story shine. Some scenes may have been simple in nature, but they were deep in emotion and made it all the more real in my mind.
The writing is skillful, the characters real, his memories nostalgic. And the horror is spine-tingling. Recommended for those who like Southern ghost stories.
HUSK is a psychological horror story with some well-sketched characters. Kevin is a war veteran, recently home from Afghanistan and undergoing treatment for PTSD until the VA cuts off his disability checks. They claim he is addicted to the pills they have prescribed him to treat his clinical depression. Kevin doesn't truck well with being told he's a drug addict and goes cold turkey on the meds. Maybe not the best idea ever.
Deering gives us a terrific look at how Kevin copes with PTSD, or doesn't in some cases. He's still plenty shell-shocked, and the tension is only heightened further when something strange begins lurking around his farmhouse, stalking him in the night and threatening his new-found love interest.
This is a work of horror where the people come first and foremost, and Deering takes her time making Kevin and Samantha real, devoting plenty of time to developing their burgeoning relationship.
If I have to pick nits, it's going to be with some of the dialogue and a few technical issues on the writing side. Some it feels a bit too much on the nose, particularly Kevin's rant early in the book when he rails against the VA and his doctor. There's also some wicked POV shifts that took me off guard, where we're with Kevin and then suddenly being told about what's happening inside the neighbor's home, which he could have no knowledge of. These are certainly issues that can be ironed out over time, and aren't exactly surprising to see in a first-time prose author. None of these issues break the story though, nor did they detract from my enjoyment of the work.
And besides, that ending...oomph. Nicely done, that.
Deeming makes every word count, nothing is wasted or used as padding. She describes the hopelessness of PSTD and the uselessness of the government's treatment of returning soldiers.
A lot of this story could be based on real life events, I'm not sure if it was based on true events, it definitely feels real and that should bother all of us.
Top reviews from other countries
As the story progressed it went to places I wasn't expecting. The nightmarish aspect was excellent Really enjoyed this.
I think I finished this in just over an hour.
Definitely a five star read for me.
I needn't have been wary. Nope, not in the slightest. I'll get to the point (hopefully forgoing my usual verbal diarrhoea in the process); Rachel's work as a comic writer stands her in good stead for the transition to prose. The writing in 'Husk' is lean and to the point, with no messing about or dwelling on anything that needn't be there. Instead, Rachel's twisted imaginings (I don't think she will be offended by my saying so) are conveyed with a punchy, almost sparse enconomy. For the most part eschewing more traditional terrors and steering well clear of traditional genre tropes, instead, 'Husk' focuses upon what, to me at least, is the real stuff of horror: addiction, guilt, and hopelessness, all underpinned by a truly crushing sense of inevitability.
A debut novella that promises of great things to come, with 'Husk,' Rachel Deering almost makes this whole writing thing look pretty damn easy, and certainly leaves me wanting more. If you're looking for a brisk, entertainingly chilling read, you'd do well to pick up a copy
Husk is a novella that packs a massive wallop. It’s as close to un-put-downable as you can get.
The story follows Kevin as he returns from Afghanistan, another soldier surrendering to the reality of PTSD. What he’s experienced over there is only compounded by finding out his coverage is being declined due to a dependency issue and now he’s returning to his childhood home. A home that feels foreign to him after his grandma and grandpa have both passed on.
Deering writes some of the most beautiful, lush passages filled with realistic sensations and nightmare allusions. I was constantly transported directly into the location as she described Kevin opening the door to the house and even when he sat in his grandpas old lazy-boy chair and the scents and memories flooded back.
“He knew the house would be empty, and he dreaded facing all that nothing.”
As Kevin begins to get the house in living order, Deering interjects our main characters return to normalcy with an odd creature making its presence known and the arrival of Samantha, the preacher’s daughter who lives just over the hill.
I found an unexpected erotic/sex fantasy incredibly jarring. The scene itself was well written but I just didn’t feel like it fit the rest of the story and it just felt like it went on a bit long. I’m no prude but I could see that being a skim over scene for those of you out there that haven’t watched as much crazy stuff online as I have.
The ending of the story is fantastic and it followed the narrative of the wounded soldier in a horrific fashion. I expected things to go the way they did, but Deering made you root for the characters really quickly, which is a kudos to her and her writing chops – accomplishing that in such a short period of time.
As for the character Samantha – the way her dialogue was written, I couldn’t picture anyone else other than Anna Paquin’s portrayal of Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood. As much as this mental picture annoyed me, she was a sweet character and I chuckled at how I saw her in my head.
Deering wrote a really dark story and one that I wished I hadn’t had so far down in my TBR. I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘southern-charm’ aspects she based the story around and by doing that, she’s created a timeless horror novella.
Definitely give this one a spin if you want a dark fiction read that is superbly written.