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In Extremis: The Most Extreme Short Stories of John Shirley [Kindle Edition]

John Shirley
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this collection of darkly funny, disquieting stories, John Shirley brings his substantial talent to bear on human morality through the absurd, violent blunderings of his characters. In Extremis features more than twenty of Shirley’s most intense stories, including two never-before-published pieces that are sure to roil the genre’s most hardened readers.


Product Details

  • File Size: 486 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Underland Press (August 9, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005I57NWA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,182 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small bites of delicious horror August 1, 2011
Format:Paperback
I have read most of John Shirley's books, but this is my new favorite. This collection of twenty-two short stories delves into the tiny frightened recesses of your quivering mind to apply the head iron full on. No hockey-masked butchers here. Instead, "In Extremis" turns the human condition on its head, exposing the pale evil that lurks beneath the placid ennui. Classics like "You Hear What Buddy and Ray Did?" "Skeeter Junkie" and "Ten Things to Be Grateful For" surround new tales of lost morality like the dark and manic "Answering Machine." Comparable to great short story horror collections like Stephen King's "Night Shift," "In Extremis" dissects the moral depravity of the human condition and takes you to places no author ever would, or could, explore. Shirley eschews the gross-out for a virtuoso performance played to your deepest fears. Not for the faint of heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extreme Brilliance December 8, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been on a bit of a Shirley bender lately, and that's an apropos way of describing how many of his books I've recently read. But I have to say this about In Extremis: these are some of the sickest, most brilliant stories around. Feel the desire to skewer the pop spectacle? There's a story in this volume for that. Ever wondered who or what the logical extension of J.G. Ballard is? It's John Shirley. Read the ingenious "Cram" and discover the hairline fault that cleaves the space between sex and death in urban population clusters. Disaster? Yeah, it's in there. Humanity - always. It's always at the heart of his stories, no matter how graphic or disturbing. A clarion call for the 21st C. Shirley's a street walkin' cheetah with a handful of napalm, a 21st Century boy.

All of these, nearly all of them, are prime examples of contemporary black humor. They're tightly written, efficient in their excess and call to mind the likes of Bataille and, as mentioned before, Ballard, among others. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most of these stories are pretty good July 12, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love the writings of John Shirley, and this book has many of his short stories. Most of them are pretty bizarre and trippy, some kind of confusing due to technical vocabulary, I was hoping the stories would be much more scarier and extreme. He wrote another book called DEMONS, And the book was in two parts, the first part was FANTASTIC, and the second part was actually boring. Some of the stories in IN EXTREMIS are hard to understand, maybe I'm not that well versed in the English vocabulary, but some and most of the other stories are easier to read and understand and were pretty entertaining.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What an imagination ! May 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I chose this highest rating because the stories work as just imaginative entertainment but also have some lessons about how we treat one another. Like Rod Sterling and Harlan Ellison, Shirley's fiction eggs us on to wake us up as fragile beings doing harm to other fragile beings on a fragile world. Bravo!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Shirley collection April 23, 2014
By Bobcore
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really love John's writing and this collection of shorts was no disappointment. A great add for anyone who enjoys this genre.
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More About the Author

John Shirley won the Bram Stoker Award for his story collection Black Butterflies, and is the author of numerous novels, including the best-seller DEMONS, the cyberpunk classics CITY COME A-WALKIN', ECLIPSE, and BLACK GLASS, and the urban fantasy novel BLEAK HISTORY.

He is also a screenwriter, having written for television and movies; he was co-screenwriter of THE CROW. He has been several Year's Best anthologies including Prime Books' THE YEAR'S BEST DARK FANTASY AND HORROR anthology, and his nwest story collection is IN EXTREMIS: THE MOST EXTREME SHORT STORIES OF JOHN SHIRLEY. His novel BIOSHOCK: RAPTURE telling the story of the creation and undoing of Rapture, from the hit videogame BIOSHOCK is out from TOR books; his Halo novel, HALO: BROKEN CIRCLE is coming out from Pocket Books.

His most recent novels are DOYLE AFTER DEATH, a dark fantasy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the afterlife, and WYATT IN WICHITA, a historical novel about the young Wyatt Earp.

He is also a lyricist, having written lyrics for 18 songs recorded by the Blue Oyster Cult (especially on their albums Heaven Forbidden and Curse of the Hidden Mirror), and his own recordings.

John Shirley has written only one nonfiction book, GURDJIEFF: AN INTRODUCTION TO HIS LIFE AND IDEAS, published by Penguin/Jeremy Tarcher.

Other John Shirley story collections include BLACK BUTTERFLIES, IN EXTREMIS, and LIVING SHADOWS.

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