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Some of these stories fall into the horror genre, some are fiction, others are comedic, and still others are based on the author s real life Kelly succeeds in all of these categories Of the 24 stories, I love about 18 of them If I had to choose my favorites, they would be in the order they appear as I read them off the TOC Frosty Out There, The Man With No Hands, The Night Light, Please Don t, The Side Effect, King to E1, Knife In Hand and I can t narrow it down any further.It is unusual to find an author who can be so many things at once creepy, raunchy, funny, tender, disgusting, and at times beautiful I am enad with this author and I can t wait for I d recommend this book to anyone into the horror genre and to newbies like myself. I am not a big one for multi author anthologies because, dependent on the editor, the quality can be so hit or miss Single author anthologies tend to be a better bet because it s one person s vision, but still you get the hit or miss quality in most of them like they were just trying to look for a label that would fit all their diverse short stories This one is completely different The quality of the stories runs through the book like a stream touching every story in the entire book Not even Gene Wolfe can do that Whether about the monsters, creepy, sardonic, bloody, crass, horrifying, ironic, justified vengeance, sadness, murderous satisfaction, serial killers, horrified relief, death, or simply an inability to change what s wrong with one s world these stories had two things in common 1 They were all of the highest quality 2 They all stuck on the topic of different types of horror That makes this THE ONLY anthology that I ve ever read that did that And that s saying quite a lot, because before I held my jaded opinion on anthologies in general, I used to read them quite a bit convincing myself that finding diamond amongst dross was the job of the reader I call bulls t on that now It s either the job of the editor or the writer in the case of single author anthologies This is too good an example of what can be done if you know what you re doing, or if you take the time and care to do a good job Mr Kelly, thank you for disabusing me on this simple point It s nice to see something so well done, that the exception proves the rule.These are all character driven stories, where characterization is everything Mr Kelly does simply a stunning job with each character in each story With spare prose and choice words he paints each character like it s the Mona Lisa, including monsters each painting comes to life in technicolor within the first page of each story, full of flaws, foibles, idiosyncrasies and all the rest that make up a human being or monster, or a human monster, take your pick Their dilemmas are definitive and precise, their feelings abundantly clear All stories are told from the first person POV of one of the characters in each story, making them seem very personal Kelly always picks the POV of the person who has the biggest life change, helping you to feel what they feel when all the weirdness goes down I guess that really gives the stories three things in common It also personalizes the horror in every story it becomes your horror too.The book is broken into four parts 1 Monsters, 2 Deep Black and a Mean Shade of Red, 3 Odds and Ends, The Nelson Variations The first part is about real live, actal monsters The second part is traditional horror The third part has some humor and non fiction though still horrifying in a different way The fourth part is three different looks at the same man Taken together these stories make up an opus of excellence and I can t say enough about what an amazing piece of work this is.I would recommend this book to anyone who likes horror, short stories, or simply likes good writing Right now you can get it free on It s worth so much I d get it before the price goes up after they figure out just how good it is, or Kelly gets a big time publisher, whichever comes first Either way, just get it I hate to call this author out but there is at least one story which uses a phrase from another published work written by another author To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground If I m mistaken or misquoting then please let me know but I didn t think it was right that someone could basically quote someone else s work without proper credit And if he she did it with one phrase how many other things in other stories are also borrowed like that Other than that, these stories didn t shock or scare me and there was nothing remotely memorable about them either I can honestly say there were several times this book put me to sleep Literally. This book is full of well written and engaging stories Full of strange and sometimes bizarre situations, this book is perfect for fans of The Twilight Zone.I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I received this book as a part of the Goodreads Giveaways promotion.A short story collection, some amusing, some entertaining, most not quite long enough The writing is decent, but at time I felt less like I was reading a short story and like I was reading the synopsis for a book One of the things I have always loved about The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock is the complete lack of explanation of why things happen, and I can see that that is what the author was going for here But in most of the stories it feels less like being dropped into an alternate universe and as though you ve opened a book to discover half the pages missing and for some reason started reading anyway. Such a disturbing read And that is high praise 4.5 stars There are scary stories, then there are stories that are listed as horror because something supposedly scary happens, but never really is and then There are those stories that are disturbing and horrifying even without being gory or necessarily scary.Kelly manages to take an almost all round look at what horror means from the blood and gore, to the frightening things our minds can do all on their own and all the way around to the horror of losing someone dear to us or suddenly realising that we are stuck in a life we never wanted and detest, but somehow cannot seem to free ourselves fromI must admit that when I first got to the non fiction part of the book after having gone through even physical reactions I was not able to finish my lunch while reading, which pretty much never happens to the bloody horror of the first parts of the book, I thought that Kelly had made a mistake in wanting to seemingly just publish all and any short story he d written The heartfelt story of a chess game seemed somehow out of place in the middle of all the horror Until it dawned on me that it was exactly that horror Only this time in a real life and tangible sense the kind of horror that each of us are likely to come across in our daily lives Which made the book jump from being a good bunch of creepy stories, to being an amazing collection of horror stories.Well done I look forward to seeing what Kelly comes out with next Not finished with this book yet, but felt I needed to comment on the short stories so far This is not a book you go to looking for a happy ending after the horror story There may not be an ending at all, at least not a satisfying one Since this outside of my usual taste in stories not the horror, but the endings , I have a difficult time reading it However, I do find the author is very creative in coming up with some of his stories and would be interested in what he did in a full length novel.For now, I am going to take a break from this book and come back to it when I need little snippets of weirdness.My rating isn t going to change This book just isn t for me. *Kindle ↾ I Held My Breath as Long as I Could ☝ A Detective S Search For His Missing Partner Ends In A Terrifying Discovery A Man Is Harassed By Monsters In His Radiator, Who Threaten Dire Consequences If He Doesn T Convince His Roommate To Move Out Two College Kids Go On A Road Trip, Which Turns Into An Odyssey Through Their Nightmares A Man Takes Self Improvement Advice From A Creature Living In A Jug Of Milk An Auction Is Held For A Painting That May Be A Window Into Hell Itself These Tales And Are All Contained In This Collection Of Stories That Push The Boundaries Of What Horror And Literature Can Be Recommended For Readers Who Enjoy The Stories Of Shirley Jackson, Clive Barker, And Stephen King, As Well As Those New To The Genre This is an anthology of stories, and like most anthologies, the stories could be hit or miss Some seemed too brief the story was incomplete and just abruptly ended Others were absolute gems, so good that it made reading the weaker stories worth it The horror stood out with Grim Remains being the best of the bunch IMO , but a few of the personal stories were actually pretty stellar too. good book, rather amateur but that was a lot of the appeal, very different and very dark with one odd nonfiction piece that was truly touching