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Currency of Souls Hardcover – January 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596060697
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596060692
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,593,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Burke expands on the bar-tale theme of his 2005 anthology, Taverns of the Dead, in a gripping horror novel whose motley cast of characters drink the evening away in a seedy bar, Eddie's Tavern, in a dying town called Milestone. Each is stained by—and may even have caused—an ugly death that still haunts him or her. Reverend Hill acts as judge and jury, ordering the barflies to go punish others in order to make restitution for their past sins. But then someone torches the bar, revealing the true evil crouched at the core of this beer-soaked corner of hell. Sheriff Tom Turner, who just wants "things to be the way they were before my wife died... before we all ended up here as slaves to our sins," bargains to save the town, but the cost may be too much to bear. At the haunting conclusion, escape proves only a brief respite from damnation. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Burke's anthologyTaverns of the Dead (2004) featured stories of supernatural shenanigans in beleaguered barrooms. Now he takes the conceit a step further in his own gruesome dissection of the tormented patrons of Eddie's Tavern. In the deteriorating back-road town of Milestone, Eddie's is the lone watering hole for an assortment of angst-ridden locals, ranging from mute, giant Wintry McCabe to Milestone's sheriff, Tom Turner. Each carries the burden of having directly or indirectly killed someone, and each endures a ritual Saturday-night assignment from the diabolical Reverend Hill to rid the world of another evildoer and thereby cancel out his or her sins. But when the good reverend is dispatched by a bullet, and Eddie's burns to the ground, the stakes in the game of redemption become higher than anyone could have imagined, and Milestone's haunted citizens soon learn their purgatory may be everlasting. Burke's sharp-edged prose includes enough unforgettable characterizations and dollops of macabre wit to distinguish him as one of the most clever and original talents in contemporary horror.^B Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Born and raised in Dungarvan, Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of five novels (Master of the Moors, Currency of Souls, Kin, The Living, and Nemesis: The Death of Timmy Quinn), over a hundred short stories, four collections (Ravenous Ghosts, The Number 121 to Pennsylvania & Others, Theater Macabre, and The Novellas), and editor of four acclaimed anthologies (Taverns of the Dead, Quietly Now: A Tribute to Charles L. Grant, Brimstone Turnpike, and Tales from the Gorezone, proceeds from which were donated to children's charity PROTECT.)

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 grunge band, and, most recently, a fraud investigator. He also played the male lead in Slime City Massacre, director Gregory Lamberson's sequel to his cult B-movie classic Slime City, alongside scream queens Debbie Rochon and Brooke Lewis.

When not writing, Kealan designs covers for print and digital books through his company Elderlemon Design. To date he has designed covers for books by Richard Laymon, Brian Keene, Scott Nicholson, Bentley Little, William Schoell, and Hugh Howey, to name a few.

In what little free time remains, Kealan is a voracious reader, movie buff, videogamer (Xbox), and road-trip enthusiast.

A movie based on his short story "Peekers" is currently in development through Lionsgate Entertainment.

Customer Reviews

Very skilled writing.
Aurora M. Long
Vehicular manslaughter and fires abound, Eddie's rises like a Phoenix to claim its victims.
Belinda Frisch
In a sense, too much happens, there are too many twists and characters.
E. Slavitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S.F. Falkner on March 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover


When I finished reading Kealan Patrick Burke's latest novel, Currency of Souls, that was the word that came first and foremost to my mind. Courage. It takes some mighty large cajones to write a book like this. To take a large cast, give each and every one an uber-detailed, dark and dirty past, throw them in a cocktail shaker called Milestone, throw the contents onto the bar like a toss of the dice, and to have the balls to honestly record on the page whatever insane asylum train wreck comes up... Good God!

What the hell is this book even about? Debt? The Devil? Revenge? Regret? Sixties lounge singers? Native American Mythology? Murder? Fathers and Sons? Husbands and Wives? It's like an unsettling feeling that you can't quite describe... or one you don't want to describe. I know that the story moved me. I know that the story stretched my imagination to its limits to keep up with what it was being force-fed. Like a grisly car crash, I know that I couldn't look away once I caught a glimpse. I know that it doesn't come close to falling into the contemporary genre categories. I know that when I finished reading it I felt like I was privy to information that I never wanted to know, but that I now need to know.

I know that I loved every second of it.

As a reader, every once in a great while you get the opportunity to experience a story that doesn't just go against the grain, it scratches it up beyond comprehension leaving broken and bloody fingernails behind... and still succeeds as a brilliant story. Every once in a great while, you get to come across as story that questions everything you thought you knew about what the concept of story means. Burke has made me question everything about reading and writing, and for that, I thank him.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reader/author on April 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
KP Burke is well on his way to being the new master of "quiet horror." However, CURRENCY is wild, over-the-top, violent, and about as far from "quiet horror" as it gets. Guess what? He still rocks. If you haven't read this guy, you don't know what you're missing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Smith on March 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Currency of souls is a story about a town of people who are damned and the story of a man who is fighting to make things right. There is a mixture of genres within this story, you'll find a bit of mystery, horror, and SF. I can't just give it one label because there is so much happening. Some stories of the character I enjoyed more than others and wanted to know more about them and their backgrounds. If you've ever read any of Kealan's previous work, you'll find it a bit different. It was a very enjoyable read. I do recommend that you pick it and give it chance. You can't go wrong with Kealan Patrick Burke.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Y. on August 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Wow, this man has some serious writing talent!

I read a short story with some of these characters in his collection 121 to Pennsylvania (if I have the wrong collection, I apologize!!). I remember the bar, Eddie's, and several of the characters. This took the story to a level I never expected! Extremely well-written, atmospheric, great characterization..... how much more can I say without spoilers? With every new book I read by Kealan Patrick Burke, I am taken on a breathtaking journey to the depths of someone's deepest nightmares--how could I give a higher recommendation than that?

Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frank R. Errington on November 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Welcome to Eddie's Tavern, the only functioning waterhole in a near-dead town. Among the people you'll meet tonight are: Tom, Milestone's haunted lawman, who walks in the shadow of death; Gracie, the barmaid, a wannabe actress, doomed to spend her hours tending bar in a purgatory of her father's making; Flo, the town seductress, who may or may not have murdered her husband; Cobb, a nudist awaiting an apology from the commune who cast him out; Wintry, the mute giant, whose story is told only in cryptic messages scribbled beneath newspaper headlines; Kyle, the kid, who keeps a loaded gun beneath the table; and Cadaver, who looks like a corpse, but smells real nice, and occupies his time counting stacks of pennies.

And then there's Reverend Hill, who will be in at eleven, regular as clockwork, to tell them who's going to die, and who's going to drive.

Welcome to Eddie's, where tonight, for the first time in three years, nothing will go according to plan.

Not for the faint of heart. This book is out there and it was fun to escape to a place where you have no idea what will happen next. The dead don't stay dead and living wish they weren't and deer speak and cigar store Indians are a pretty good shot with a bow and arrow.
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Format: Hardcover
Kealan Patrick Burke, Currency of Souls (Subterranean, 2007)

I think there's a town like Milestone in every area of the United States, though typically, in books and movies, they seem to be placed in the American southwest. (With the wonderful exception, which I plug every chance I get, of Michael Paine's Steel Ghosts.) Milestone is a ghost town that doesn't quite know it's a ghost town yet. A core of individuals still inhabit it, refusing to die off out of stubbornness, perhaps. But Milestone is like no other town of its type in at least one way.

There's a bar in Milestone. Like most bars, it's got its regulars. Eight of them, actually. There are seven who go there to drink, and one who goes there each Saturday night to pick one of those seven, take him out to the parking lot, and put him behind the wheel. Okay, this is strange enough (especially in the current American anti-drinking-and-driving climate), but trust me when I tell you it gets a whole lot stranger. After all, one of the regulars is the town sheriff. And the eighth guy? He's the town preacher. But that's nothing compared to what happens when the pattern is interrupted.

An associate of mine has been bugging me to read Kealan Patrick Burke for years, and now I know why. This slim (two hundred pages) novel is a whirlwind of unusual-yet-compelling characters, ludicrous-yet-plausible situations (wait till you meet the ghost of Dean Martin!), and a plot that's straight out of the oldest books on record, and yet still feels fresh.
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