Also by this author: , , , , , On the Lips of Children, , ,
Published by Wicked Run Press Genres: Dark Fiction, Extreme Horror, Horror
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The intoxication from a pint of vodka, the electric buzz from snorting cocaine, the warm embrace from shooting heroin--drinking and drugging provides the height of human experience. It's the promise of heaven on earth, but the hell that follows is a constant hunger, a cold emptiness. The craving to get high is an intense yearning similar to that which is felt by any blood thirsty monster.
The best way to tell the truths of addiction is through a story, and dark truths such as these need a piece of horror to do them justice.
The stories inside feature the insidious nature of addiction told with compassion yet searing honesty. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental deaths, and some of the most incredible names in horror fiction have tackled this modern day epidemic.
A WICKED THIRST, by Kealan Patrick Burke
THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE, by Jessica McHugh
GARDEN OF FIENDS, by Mark Matthews
FIRST, JUST BITE A FINGER, by Johann Thorsson
LAST CALL, by John FD Taff
TORMENT OF THE FALLEN, by Glen Krisch
EVERYWHERE YOU'VE BLED AND EVERYWHERE YOU WILL, by Max Booth III
RETURNS, by Jack Ketchum
Garden of Fiends is an unflinching and intense collection of addiction stories from some of the best authors in the business. It is not for the weak of heart, but neither is addiction. Let’s take a brief, but closer look at the tales within:
A Wicked Thirst by Kealan Patrick Burke: Alcoholism is no joke and many find that they cannot quit on their own and seek out help from programs like AA. This story does not shy away from the absolute power that is addiction and then it slays the reader with its powerful ending. 5*
The One in the Middle by Jessica McHugh: This tale was twisted as twisted can be. (At least I thought so until I read Max Booth III’s story, but more on that in a moment.) A hard, direct look at the downward spiral of addiction and the other crimes associated with it. After all, drugs often cost an arm and a leg. 4*
Everywhere You’ve Bled and Everywhere You Will by Max Booth III: Combine a heroin addiction, blood everywhere and spiders and what have you got? You have this graphic and dare I say… disgusting?, tale of heroin dependence. You’ll need a strong stomach for this one, but I think it’s worth it! 5*
Last Call by John FD Taff: This was another story of alcoholism. This one shows us that there are no shortcuts to sober. 4*
Torment of the Fallen by Glen Krisch: Demons abound in this story and not all of them are drug related. 3.5*
Garden of Fiends by Mark Matthews: A tale about how addiction affects everyone surrounding the addict. It floods out like the ripples on a calm lake, as do the effects of eating anything from this particular garden. 5*
Returns by Jack Ketchum: here we have another tale of alcoholism, but with the twist of also involving a ghost. Short and to the point, this one punched me right in the gut. 5*
To be all technical about it, my ratings add up to a 4.5, but after thinking about this collection overnight, I think it adds up to more than the sum of its parts, so 5 fat stars it is!
My highest recommendation to those readers who are strong of heart!
*I was provided a free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*
**Further, I consider Mark Matthews a friend, albeit online only. This did not affect the content of my review.*
About Glen Krisch
A native of the Chicago suburbs, Glen Krisch hopes to add to his list of ghosts he’s witnessed (two), as well as develop his rather pedestrian telekinetic and precognitive skills. His novels include Amazon Bestseller WHERE DARKNESS DWELLS, THE NIGHTMARE WITHIN, NOTHING LASTING, ARKADIUM RISING, and LITTLE WHISPERS (forthcoming).
Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked a lot of unfulfilling jobs that only reinforced his ambition to chase his dreams. Besides writing and reading, he enjoys spending time with his wife, his three boys, simple living, and ultra-running.
Sign up for his newsletter at the following link to hear the latest news about upcoming projects (and receive freebies along the way).
About Jack Ketchum
Jack Ketchum “is on a par with Clive Barker (Hellraiser), James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential) and Thomas Harris (The Silence of The Lambs),” and that “the only novelist working today that is writing more important fiction is Cormack McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, The Road). – Stephen King
Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for novelist Dallas Mayr. He was born in Livingston, New Jersey in 1946. A onetime actor, teacher, and lumber salesman, Ketchum credits his childhood love of Elvis Presley, dinosaurs, and horror for getting him through his formative years. As a teenager, was befriended by Robert Bloch, author of “Psycho” who became a mentor to him. He supported Ketchum’s work just as his work was supported by his own mentor, H.P. Lovecraft. This relationship with Bloch lasted until his death in 1994.
A pivotal point in Jack Ketchum’s career came while he was working for the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. He met Henry Miller and assisted him as his agent until shortly before his death in 1980. His extraordinary encounter with Miller at his home in Pacific Palisades is one of the subjects of his memoir in “Book of Souls”.
In 1980, Jack Ketchum published his first novel “Off Season”. Stephen King said in his acceptance speech at the 2003 National Book Awards that “Off Season set off a furor in my supposed field, that of horror, that was unequaled until the advent of Clive Barker. It is not too much to say that these two gentlemen remade the face of American popular fiction.” Ketchum has received continued praise by King throughout their friendship.
Ketchum’s work is largely based upon true events. The Girl Next Door , for example, was inspired by the 1965 murder of the young Sylvia Likens. In the special edition of the novel, King, who volunteered to write the preface, wrote one of the longest introductions of his career. He later went on to say that the movie adaptation of the book was “the first authentically shocking American film I’ve seen since Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer over 20 years ago. If you are easily disturbed, you should not watch this movie. If, on the other hand, you are prepared for a long look into hell, suburban style, The Girl Next Door will not disappoint. This is the dark-side-of-the-moon version of Stand By Me.”
He has received numerous Bram Stoker Awards for works such as “The Box”, “Closing Time”, and “Peaceable Kingdom”. As his books gained in worldwide popularity, they also began to be adapted into feature films, the first of which was “Jack Ketchum’s The Lost” which went on to be a cult success, followed by the highly controversial second film “The Girl Next Door”. However, the main launch for Jack Ketchum into international commercial and critical success was the long-awaited release by Magnolia Pictures of the film Red, based on his novel, starring Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy) and Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan). After favorable reviews at The Sundance Film Festival, the movie made a critical showing in the United States and enjoyed relative success internationally with subsequent translations of the novel.
The author enjoyed more international succes with the publication and film version of “The Woman” co-written and directed by Lucky McKee in which the New York Times said “in this lean adaptation of a novel by Jack Ketchum and himself, maintains an artfully calibrated pace, investing a powerful parable with an abundance of closely observed details. Like David Cronenberg and Roman Polanski, Mr. McKee is a master at drawing suspense from pregnant silences.”
Jack Ketchum continues his rise with the present showing of “The Woman” at the Sundance Film Festival 2011 co-written by Ketchum with director Lucky McKee. The novel is to be released this year.
Kethcum lives in New York City where he continues to write, articles, reviews, short stories, novels and screenplays.
About Jessica McHugh
Jessica McHugh is a novelist, poet, and internationally produced playwright running amok in the fields of horror, sci-fi, young adult, and wherever else her peculiar mind leads. She’s had nineteen books published in seven years, including her bizarro romp, “The Green Kangaroos,” her Post Mortem Press bestseller, “Rabbits in the Garden,” and her edgy YA series, “The Darla Decker Diaries.” More information on her published and forthcoming fiction can be found at JessicaMcHughBooks.com.
About Kealan Patrick Burke
Born and raised in a small harbor town in the south of Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke knew from a very early age that he was going to be a horror writer. The combination of an ancient locale, a horror-loving mother, and a family full of storytellers, made it inevitable that he would end up telling stories for a living. Since those formative years, he has written five novels, over a hundred short stories, six collections, and edited four acclaimed anthologies. In 2004, he was honored with the Bram Stoker Award for his novella The Turtle Boy.
Kealan has worked as a waiter, a drama teacher, a mapmaker, a security guard, an assembly-line worker at Apple Computers, a salesman (for a day), a bartender, landscape gardener, vocalist in a rock band, curriculum content editor, fiction editor at Gothic.net, and, most recently, a fraud investigator.
When not writing, Kealan designs book covers through his company Elderlemon Design.
A number of his books have been optioned for film.
About Mark Matthews
Mark Matthews is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a licensed professional counselor who has worked in behavioral health for over 20 years. He is the author of On the Lips of Children, All Smoke Rises, and Milk-Blood, which has been optioned for a full length feature film. He is the editor of the anthology Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror, coming in April 2017. Matthews has run 13 marathons, and has two running based books, The Jade Rabbit and Chasing the Dragon, also available on amazon. He lives near Detroit with his wife and two daughters. Reach him at WickedRunPress@gmail.com
About Max Booth III
Max Booth III is the author of four novels. His mom has read at least one of them. He’s the Editor-in-Chief of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and an ongoing columnist at Litreactor.com. He works as a hotel night auditor in a small town outside San Antonio, TX. Follow him on Twitter @GiveMeYourTeeth and visit him at www.talesfromthebooth.com