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Dark Awakenings Hardcover – May 31, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Mythos Books LLC (May 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972854568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972854566
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

It is refreshing to see that there are still authors interested in and capable of portraying a species of dread that is dependent neither on the standard bogeymen of horror fiction nor in pain and the thread of bodily dissolution as ends in themselves....The philosophical and theological bases for Cardin's horror run deep....[He brings] his ideas to vivid, immediate life through his excellent descriptive skills, believable characters, well-described settings, and an unusually apt gift for choosing metaphors when attempting to describe the ineffable....In "Teeth," comparative religion, philosophy, and quantum mechanics meet in a mandala that offers the clearest expression of Azathoth as the universal maw since Lovecraft. Perhaps even more devastating is "The God of Foulness," which posits a cult based on the incarnation through disease of the third god in an unholy trinity, served by a text riddled with redirected, misquoted, and parodied extracts from the world's spiritual texts. Cardin's ability to detail the full implications of ideas that utterly destroy "the human need for illusion" reveals the forces behind those ideas in action, without risking anticlimax, and demonstrates the impact they have on the lives of characters in whom readers can recognize themselves; this lends the stories a terrific impact -- Jim Rockhill, Dead Reckonings #7, Spring 2010

--Dead Reckonings #7, 2010

About the Author

Matt Cardin is a writer, college teacher, and musician living in Central Texas. His short horror fiction has received multiple honorable mentions in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror, and has been recommended for the British Fantasy Award and Bram Stoker Award. With a master's degree in religion and a lifetime of experiential involvement in the study of world religion and philosophy, he writes frequently about the mutual implications of religion, spirituality, and horror. His work has appeared in Icons of Horror and the Supernatural, Encyclopedia of the Vampire, Alone on the Darkside, Cemetery Dance, Lovecraft Annual, The Thomas Ligotti Reader, Cthulhu's Reign, Dark Faith, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and elsewhere. He blogs about horror, religion, and cultural apocalypse at The Teeming Brain, and about the muse/daemon/genius model of creativity at Demon Muse.

More About the Author

Matt Cardin is a writer, college teacher, and musician living in Central Texas. He has a master's degree in religious studies and writes frequently about the mutual implications of religion, spirituality, and horror.

In 2009 he released an album of original soundtrack-style music, "Curse of the Daimon." He blogs about horror, religion, and cultural apocalypse at The Teeming Brain, and about the muse/daemon/genius model of creativity at Demon Muse.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Aside from the short fiction, the book includes three essays that further explores the link between religion and horror.
ramonoski
Recommended highly to any fan of thinking horror, and for anyone willing to look beyond life's reflecting glass to see what horrible truths lie unadorned there.
nomis
And if you want both your horror fiction and critical analysis in one book, then you will be absolutely thrilled with it.
Kendall Giles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By nomis on July 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Cardin has been called one of Ligotti's children, but despite the pejorative nature of the term, there is some truth to it. Not because he apes or mimics Ligotti, but instead because he has learned from that master the art of synthesising one's worldview and philosophies with the work. And Cardin's work can be absolutely stunning. Tales like "Teeth" and "Desert Places" are more ambitious than what nearly all his contemporaries are attempting. My own despair is the knowledge that this volume won't be given near the attention it deserves. Recommended highly to any fan of thinking horror, and for anyone willing to look beyond life's reflecting glass to see what horrible truths lie unadorned there.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Simon Murphy on January 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Matt Cardin has emerged as one of the most fascinating craftsmen of modern weird fiction in recent years. The comparison with Thomas Ligotti is inevitable, as this writer has no doubt left an indellible impression upon Cardin. But whereas Ligotti's fiction is saturated with a sense of resignation, Cardin's fiction teeters between the horror of the abyss and the tantalizing hope of salvation or transcendence - and this is the perfect environment for the mode Cardin works in, which is, for the most part spiritual/religious horror. The tales included in 'Dark Awakenings' delightfully exploit the anxieties of the religious (or post-religious) mind in order to cultivate a primal spiritual horror which I believe stands unique in modern weird fiction.

Cardin stands as one of the true visionaries of weird horror. Fans of older writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Machen really owe it to themselves to read all of Matt Cardin's work, including his fantastic 'Divinations of the Deep'.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ramonoski on September 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It would be easy to describe Matt Cardin's work as "religious horror", but I feel that this label lends itself to a myriad of misconceptions and prejudices. Religion lies at the core of each of this book's pieces, but it's far removed from the usual supernatural fare that invokes such a broad topic.

H.P. Lovecraft wrote about the perils of science, and the potential utter disaster it could bring to the human race as it got closer and closer to unravelling the mysteries at the heart of it all. Cardin takes a similar approach to the concept of spiritual and/or philosophical enlightment: in the superb first story, 'Teeth', he asks "what if there is indeed a total perspective, but to gain and know it and identify with it is to invite your own deepest disaster?", and "what if reality itself is finally, fundamentally evil?". Parting from such a premise, Cardin, a religion scholar, uses his knowledge of western and eastern religions and philosophies as the foundation for this terrifying vision of existence, making it seem rather plausible even if you, like me, are not a religious person.

To me the highlight of the book is the novella-length story 'The God of Foulness'. It revolves around a reporter tasked with investigating a cult known as The Sick and Saved Movement, people with serious (often terminal) diseases that refuse to undergo any sort of treatment and, it seems, consider their disease to be something divine. It is an extremely evocative and visceral piece of work that mixes the above-mentioned religious concerns with pure, unadulterated body horror. The climax of the story is the stuff of nightmares.

Aside from the short fiction, the book includes three essays that further explores the link between religion and horror.
Read more ›
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