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Tales from The Lake Vol.4: The Horror Anthology Paperback – October 7, 2017
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The Legend Continues...
Twenty-four heart-rending tales with elements of terror, mystery, and a nightmarish darkness that knows no end.
Welcome to my lake. Welcome to where dreams and hope are illusions...and pain is God.
- This anthology begins with Joe R. Lansdale's The Folding Man, one of his darkest stories ever written.
- Kealan Patrick Burke's Go Warily After Dark pulls us into a desolated world, and reminds us of the price of survival: a guilt that seeps into the marrow.
- Damien Angelica Walter's Everything Hurts, Until it Doesn't places us in the middle of a family whose secrets and traditions are thicker than blood.
- Jennifer Loring's When the Dead Come Home explores a loss so dark, that even the stars are sucked into its melancholic vacuum.
In the spirit of popular Dark Fiction and Horror anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, and the best of Stephen King's short fiction, comes Crystal Lake Publishing's Tales from The Lake anthologies.
This fourth volume of Speculative Fiction contains the following short stories:
- Jennifer Loring - When the Dead Come Home
- Joe R. Lansdale - The Folding Man
- Kealan Patrick Burke - Go Warily After Dark
- T. E. Grau - To the Hills
- Damien Angelica Walters - Everything Hurts, Until it Doesn't
- Sheldon Higdon - Drowning in Sorrow
- Max Booth III - Whenever You Exhale, I Inhale
- Bruce Golden - The Withering
- JG Faherty - Grave Secrets
- Hunter Liguore - End of the Hall
- David Dunwoody - Snowmen
- Timothy G. Arsenault - Pieces of Me
- Maria Alexander - Neighborhood Watchers
- Timothy Johnson - The Story of Jessie and Me
- Michael Bailey - I will be the Reflection Until the End
- E.E. King - The Honeymoon's Over
- Darren Speegle - Song in a Sundress
- Cynthia Ward - Weighing In
- Michael Haynes - Reliving the Past
- Leigh M. Lane - The Long Haul
- Mark Cassell - Dust Devils
- Del Howison - Liminality
- Gene O' Neill - The Gardener
- Jeff Cercone - Condo by the Lake
With an introduction by editor Ben Eads. Cover art by Ben Baldwin. Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing - Tales from The Darkest Depths.
Additional book categories:
- Short stories
- Horror anthology
- US Fiction
- Lovecraftian / Lovecraft
- Dark Fantasy
- Haunted house and ghosts
- Myths and Legends
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"The Tales from the Lake series offer a truly diverse and top notch collection of horror and the strange. These are modern campfire tales you won't soon forget, so bundle up tight and keep your loved ones near! One never knows who or what is lurking in the darkness."-John Palisano, Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of DUST OF THE DEAD and GHOST HEART
"With any Tales From the Lake volume you're guaranteed a great product--quality stories, smooth editing, gorgeous production values. It's a series I'm proud to be part of, and it's heartening to see it going from strength to strength. Long may it continue!"-Tim Lebbon, author of Relics
"Once again, Tales From the Lake has brought together a fresh collection of darkly disturbing and gratifyingly grotesque stories for the lover of horror. This 4th volume offers tales of the best and most chilling kind in that they are up close and personal, like hands around our throats, like claustrophobic cellars, like screaming faces in the night and grotesque things that savor our flesh and the hopelessness encroaching insanity. As they say, it's all good!"-Elizabeth Massie, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Sineater, Desper Hollow, Hell Gate, and more.
"With Crystal Lake Publishing's rich history of putting out quality fiction, Ben Eads should be proud to have continued that trend. On the heals of Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders comes the fourth volume in the Tales From The Lake series. This volume raises the bar for future volumes in that it's a wide mix of stories that pluck at every heartstring, creating a symphony of finely tuned notes that guarantees something for every taste."-Kenneth W. Cain, author of Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction and editor of Tales From The Lake Volume 5
- Publisher : Crystal Lake Publishing (October 7, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 372 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1640074694
- ISBN-13 : 978-1640074699
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.06 x 0.77 x 7.81 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,756,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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This anthology, edited by Ben Eads and put out by Crystal Lake Publishing, is by far one of the best gatherings of short horror story that I’ve had the pleasure to read. I would recommend this for anyone, be it a gift for the book lover you know or as a gift to yourself. Crystal Lake has outdone themselves again. Easily 5/5 stars. It doesn't get better.
Despite the large page count and 24 separate authors, there are no “filler” stories in this collection. Every single tale is a quality read and worthy of inclusion. Each story fits well within the horror genre, with only a few exceptions. Other than that, there is no designated theme, which helps to deliver a collection that is both diverse and fresh.
There are only a few shared themes, with four different stories of survival during the end of the world and three stories dealing with the death of family members.
Ten stories are told by the main character. Usually, stories being told in the first person guarantee to readers that the narrator will survive. That is not the case in two instances. Another narrator experiences a monstrous transformation at the end. A fourth story concludes with a vague resolution that will leave readers wondering.
Nine of the 24 stories are exceptional, well above average and worthy of award consideration. Previously published “The Folding Man” by Joe R. Lansdale shares top honors with Damien Angelica Walters’ “Everything Hurts Until It Doesn’t” for best stories in this collection.
Lansdale tells a truly creepy story of a prank that turns nasty in a hurry. Three friends in various stages of inebriation leave a Halloween party and go joy-riding on the back roads. Jim thinks he’s mooning a car full of nuns. It turns out to be “the old black car” of local legend. The “nuns” have a secret weapon in the trunk - - a mechanical folding man enhanced by dark magic who takes after the friends in a gripping and disturbing midnight chase scene. It’s quirky and absurd but chilling nonetheless.
Walters’ story is a disturbing first person account of body horror, wherein two sisters continually cut each other to bleed the ugliness out.
The other most notable stories in TALES FROM THE LAKE VOLUME 4 are:
“To The Hills” by T E. Grau: A young girl whose father has prepared her with “dress rehearsal for the end of the world” awakes in the middle of the night to find events in progress. She flees with her father by truck to an isolated woodsy cabin where the story takes a mean-spirited twist. I enjoyed the story in spite of the author taking some liberties with the narration.
“End Of The Hall” by Hunter Liguore: A young boy is haunted by a late night visitor to his bedroom, who influences his exploration of a gathering area in the woods where history repeats itself.
“Pieces Of Me” by T. G. Arsenault: A vividly described journey of a walker who ignores the warning signs and enters a dense forest where he has a transformative experience. Arsenault’s depiction of the dangerous terrain is especially creative. The forest becomes a threatening and deadly protagonist. One of the best lines in the story occurs when the narrator discovers drug paraphernalia and instruments of violence scattered about: “ . . . a smorgasbord of euthanasia lay before me, no different than cold cuts behind the deli counter.”
“Neighborhood Watchers” by Maria Alexander: The new couple moving into a previously occupied home experience buyers’ remorse from hell. Beth accepts an invitation from a snoopy elderly woman to attend a Watchers meeting where she learns that she’s living at the crossroads between the living and the dead. Neglecting the specific duties of a Watcher will invite the demons to cross over. It’s a tongue it cheek story that both amuses and appalls.
“The Story Of Jessie And Me” by Timothy Johnson. An unspecified occurrence causes the fall of known civilization. Two survivors meet at a high school gym accepting refugees, band together, escape, and fall in love. It’s a bittersweet tale with a somewhat optimistic ending, beautifully told.
“Reliving The Past” by Michael Haynes. Upon release, an innocent prisoner convicted of murder sets out to dig up the past, visit a secluded and haunted house, and gain redemption for his fallen friends.
“Dust Devils” by Mark Cassell. The dust covering an ancient stone being studied by an archeologist (who’s also taking driving lessons from the narrator) takes on a life of its own and threatens the very foundations with dark cyclonic forces. The horrific descriptions are a loving homage to Lovecraftian themes.
The short biographies in the back of the collection provide welcome introductions to the authors, most of whom reside within the United States. Twelve of them are either winners, finalists or nominees for Bram Stoker awards and other distinctions.
NOTE: I received a digital advance review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Top reviews from other countries
With so many stories to choose from, I found it hard to choose my favourites, but I will give it a go.
When the Dead Come Home by Jennifer Loring: Trevor and Kate needed a fresh start after losing their child. Whilst Trevor was trying to move on, Kate was suffering with severe depression. As the story progressed you could feel Kate’s guilt getting worse, and she felt that the whole world was against her. This was a harrowing story about grief and was written with so much compassion, even after I finished the story, it was still thinking about it.
Whenever You Exhale, I Inhale by Max Booth III: Tom and Michael were young lovers, it did not bother anyone except Michael’s dad, a bully when he had a drink. This story is about the fatal night that Michael’s grandma died. This story had me gripped from the start, Michael’s dad was dying to fight someone, and you knew something bad was going to happen. It was magical read and was beautifully written.
Grave Secrets by JG Faherty: Eric was chasing ghosts, 25 years ago his brother Wade went missing in Rocky Point. Now Eric and his son Arthur were going back there to find out what happened. This was full of mystery and suspense as whilst you knew something had happened to Wade. Following Eric’s footsteps, you find out what happened to Wade.
End of the Hall by Hunter Liguire: Davey was being visited by a lady in red, but her visits helped tell a story. I loved this traditional ghost story, Davey was a lovely boy, who became the hero.
The Story of Jessie and Me by Timothy Johnson: A post-apocalyptic story of a young lad and his friend Jessie. What I am still amazed at, was how much went into this short story. The story spanned over years and told of their survival against the military, dangerous men and nature. Action packed from the start.
Dust Devils by Mark Cassell: When a driving instructor went to pick up his last leaner, he did not expect to get involved in a mystical monster attack. Having read other work by this author I was not disappointed with the story. An ancient monster, a deranged man and bloody death scenes, all things that I love in a story.
With every anthology that I read from Crystal Lake, I still find more new authors to read. This is a must read for horror fans. Another great publication and looking forward to the book 5.