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A Long December by [Richard Chizmar]
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A Long December Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 336 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

“Powerful…I love it… Richard Chizmar writes clean, no-nonsense prose…sets his tales in no-nonsense, middle class neighborhoods I can relate to…and writes terrific stories served with a very large slice of Disquiet Pie.” —Stephen King “Chizmar's stories are hard-hitting, spooky, suspenseful, poignant, harrowing, heartbreaking and most of all very well-written. Excellent work!” —Robert McCammon In 1996, Richard Chizmar’s debut short story collection, Midnight Promises, was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. Publishers Weekly called it “a sterling collection” while singling out “The Silence of Sorrow” as “an understated masterpiece.” Two years later, Subterranean Press published a mini-collection from Chizmar entitled Monsters and Other Stories. In his introduction, acclaimed genre critic Edward Bryant said, “When all is said and done, this book should leave you in utter silence, giving you time and opportunity to contemplate what you just read. Tough storytelling from a tough writer; but a writer who is not calloused. Chizmar possesses a finely honed gift of empathy. With utter grace and loving kindness he’ll put you right inside the life (and soul) of the monster.” Now, nearly two decades later, Chizmar assembles thirty-five stories, including a previously-unpublished novella, and presents us with A Long December. This massive new collection features more than 150,000 words of Chizmar’s very best short fiction and includes 8,000 words of autobiographical Story Notes.Eerie, suspenseful, poignant, the stories in A Long December range from horror to suspense, crime to dark fantasy, mainstream to mystery.As New York Times bestselling author Scott Smith (A Simple Plan, The Ruins) notes: “It’s an idyllic little world Richard Chizmar has created. Boys fish in the shallows of a winding creek. A father tosses a baseball with his young son in the fading light of a summer day. There’s the smell of fresh-cut grass. And then, well…just beneath the surface? There are those missing pets whose collars turn up in a shoebox. Or the disturbing photos the dead can leave behind. Or the terrible thing you might find yourself doing when a long lost brother suddenly returns, demanding money. Chizmar does a tremendous job of peeling back his world’s shiny layers, revealing the rot that lies underneath. His stories feel like so many teeth: short and sharp and ready to draw blood.” --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

They say you can’t go home again, and many of the 35 quietly creepy stories in this career-spanning collection make it clear why one might not want to. Cemetery Dance publisher Chizmar uses the sparkling lights of Christmas to illuminate the darkness of child abuse (“The Season of Giving”) and the cathartic release of taking revenge on a serial killer (“A Long December”). Brothers, loving and overprotective, slay their brothers (“Brothers”). Sons honor fathers with an unusual protection from death (“Heroes”), and a father struggles with the decision to keep a dead son’s horrible secrets hidden (“The Silence of Sorrow”). A crime yarn of a worn, workaday cop being swept up in the giddiness of a new millennium (“Night Call”) sits surprisingly well alongside the quotidian horrors of cancer (“Midnight Promises”) and teen jealousy (“Devil’s Night”). Chizmar pays tribute to horror master Richard Matheson of Twilight Zone fame both explicitly (with “The Artist”) and implicitly with last-act twists and a firm emphasis on family as the source of both laughter and tears. Story endnotes add insights to the author’s methods and use of autobiographical material. (Nov.)
Kirkus Review

★ 2016-08-03
These short stories are dappled in Americana, but something not-quite-right lies just beneath the surface, threatening the appearance of calm.Each of the 35 stories turns on a twist ending, none of which will be spoiled here. The title novella sends a family into turmoil when their friend and neighbor James Wilkinson is suspected of being a serial killer. That it turns out to be true is not the big reveal; the horror stems from why the killer chose this particular neighborhood and these neighbors. “The Man with X-Ray Eyes” is narrated by a man whose gift is not seeing bones but humanity; those who come up short don’t fare well under his gaze, and if he occasionally misjudges? More’s the pity. In “The Box,” a mother makes a gruesome find and traces it to one of her children; it’s a deft bit of writing, as Chizmar feints toward one suspect only to make the reader’s original suspicion a surprising revelation. Some of these tales clock in at under 10 pages, yet each creates a credible world, and often a beautiful one; a beloved fishing hole or the details of a work shed or pickup truck ring true...right up until the tentacles appear. “Ditch Treasures” conjures up a list of great finds made by workmen along the shoulder of I-95 in Maryland: “A framed velvet Elvis. / A George Foreman grill still in the box…. / A loaded handgun.” The narrator goes on to describe his ultimate find, one that lights him up with visions of tabloid fame and working-class fortune, until he gets close enough to wish he’d never seen it at all. Once again the commonplace setting makes the otherworldly that much more credible and frightening. With the whiff of classic pulp fiction about them, these chilling tales pack a giddy wallop and make staying up late to read just one more mandatory.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01LX2P76A
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Subterranean Press (October 31, 2016)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 31, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 786 KB
  • Simultaneous device usage ‏ : ‎ Unlimited
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 520 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336 ratings

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Richard Chizmar is the author of Gwendy's Button Box (with Stephen King) and A Long December, which was nominated for numerous awards. His fiction has appeared in dozens of publications, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and multiple editions of The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. He has won two World Fantasy awards, four International Horror Guild awards, and the HWA's Board of Trustee's award. His third short story collection, A Long December, was recently published to starred reviews in both Kirkus and Booklist, and was featured in Entertainment Weekly. Chizmar’s work has been translated into many languages throughout the world, and he has appeared at numerous conferences as a writing instructor, guest speaker, panelist, and guest of honor. Please visit the author’s website at

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
336 global ratings

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Kendall Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Short story perfection!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 5, 2017
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to par.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 7, 2017
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Gillian Forsyth
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing value for money!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 8, 2017
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4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 8, 2018
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Desk Rabbit
3.0 out of 5 stars Dunno...cos I read it in January.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2018
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