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After the release of Hill's acclaimed novel Heart-Shaped Box, this collection of his short fiction, originally published in Britain two years ago made its way to the United States. Hill, the son of horror master Stephen King, runs a diverse gamut that includes some unapologetic chillers along the lines of the book's title story. Yet the essence of his material could best be described as a hybrid that connects the ironic twists from episodes of The Twilight Zone with the angst and vulnerability of childhood and adolescence. David LeDoux, whose previous audiobook credits include Douglas Coupland's Hey Nostradamus! and Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, demonstrates an especially keen knack for capturing the cadence of teen and young adult male speech patterns, with equal parts deadpan cool and quivering tension. Hill's novella Voluntary Committal provides a sublime experience of jarring suspense and compelling family drama. Admittedly, a few of the briefer works may leave listeners longing for more fully developed story lines, but Hill consistently manages to evoke emotional responses and provoke unsettling questions, which makes for a worthwhile experience.
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“Alternately sad, scary, strange and at times even sweet, these tales will haunt you long after you’ve read them.” (Parade (a "Parade Pick") )
“[A] lovely, earnest collection of short fiction.” (Village Voice )
“[O]ne of the best [horror] collections of the year. Hill is a relative newcomer who consistently creates creepy, very disturbing stories.” (Locus )
“Each tale is unique, and the collection proves that Hill’s talent is not limited to horror, but extends well into the mainstream.” (Denver Rocky Mountain News )
“[An] inventive collection . . . brave and astute.” (New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice) )
“[A] new take on the fantasy-horror genre...Highly recommended.” (The Sun Herald (Sydney, Australia) )
“The selections range from the mundane to the surreal, with a strong emphasis on the kind of horror tale perfected by Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub and Stephen King.” (San Francisco Chronicle )
“This solid, inventive, scary collection of stories reveals a writer who has thought hard about the problematics of horror.” (New York Times on 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS )
“Each of these chilling tales arrests you from the opening sentence and leads you — trustingly, thanks to the simple mastery of the story-teller — into a place of gulping fear.” (Daily Mail (London) on 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS )
“Subtle and disturbing in equal measure.” (Coventry Telegraph on 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS )
“Irresistible stories.” (Evening Herald (Ireland) )
These stories are beautifully haunting. They've been haunting me since I read them a year ago. There is so much feeling, it just pulls you along story after story. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Gina K
Each story was uniquely eerie and defied predictability. I had moments when I forced a conclusion before turning the page only to find my prediction deconstructed. Good read.Published 8 days ago by Nand Hart Nibbrig
Very intriguing stories. Leaves you anticipating more. Thrilling, mysterious, and very interesting without absolute terror. Can't wait to read more!Published 13 days ago by Jennifer
Excellent!!! Terrifying and riveting short stories. I loved this book. Highly recommend.Published 14 days ago by Lori A. Stringer
This is bad. Keep going to next tale hopeing that I could finish one. Couldn't pull it off. Gave it to local prison library. To read it is harsh punishment ..Published 29 days ago by Big Dawg
Most of these stories were very entertaining and interesting. A few seemed so totally incomplete that it was like he published them before he finished them. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Theresa Norman