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That Which Should Not Be [Kindle Edition]

Brett J. Talley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.95
Kindle Price: $6.00
You Save: $6.95 (54%)


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Book Description

*  2011 HWA Bram Stoker Finalist for superior achievement for a First Novel.
*  2011 GoodReads Choice Awards Semi-Finalist
*  Winner of the 2011 JournalStone horror writing contest.

Miskatonic University has a long-whispered reputation of being strongly connected to all things occult and supernatural. From the faculty to the students, the fascination with other-worldly legends and objects runs rampant. So, when Carter Weston's professor Dr. Thayerson asks him to search a nearby village for a book that is believed to control the inhuman forces that rule the Earth, Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch, the student doesn't hesitate to begin the quest.

Weston's journey takes an unexpected turn, however, when he ventures into a tavern in the small town of Anchorhead. Rather than passing the evening as a solitary patron, Weston joins four men who regale him with stories of their personal experiences with forces both preternatural and damned. Two stories hit close to home as they tie the tellers directly to Weston's current mission.

His unanticipated role as passive listener proves fortuitous, and Weston fulfills his goal. Bringing the book back to Miskatonic, though, proves to be a grave mistake. Quickly, Weston realizes he has played a role in potentially opening the gate between the netherworld and the world of Man. Reversing the course of events means forgetting all he thought he knew about Miskatonic and his professor and embracing an unknown beyond his wildest imagination.

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Editorial Reviews


"Four and a half suspenseful, frightening tales in one.  Talley is wonderful at crafting suspense, and each sub-story pays homage to a high theme of occult horror.  Plenty of suspense and chills to satisfy occult-horror fans." - Kirkus Reviews

"A spooky, atmospheric story that pays loving homage to its roots. Brett J. Talley is a man with talent, and this book certainly makes him an author to watch. Fast-paced, classy, and with some terrific prose, this is an excellent read for horror fans. Very highly recommended."  -

"That Which Should Not Be is a fresh, intelligent, yet traditionally told story....Well written and well edited, Talley's That Which Should Not Be draws you into a simpler time, where monsters are god-creatures best left alone by man."  Clayton Bye, Editor-in-Chief -- The Deepening

"Talley's odyssey into the unknown makes this tale a heart stammering page turner from beginning to end.  Talley's use of present, to past and foreshadowing rivals that of any successful commercial author in contemporary horror fiction. His characters are well crafted and personable."  Dave Gammon -

"That Which Should Not Be is a welcome addition to the ranks of the Cthulhu Mythos. It takes the originals seriously but at the same time feels free to take liberties with them as well. It is a pastiche but at the same time strives for--and attains--its own level of creativity...Highly recommended" -- Dr. Michael Collings, literary critic

That Which Should Not Be, which ends up not as a pastiche or knock-off but rather as a loving and dedicated tribute that presents a new story in another author's world."  -  Darkeva,

From the Author

"Recently Lovecraftian authors have been sending me their books to review.  Some are good, some are....not.  But the recently published That Which Should Not Be, by Brett J. Talley, is great.  In fact, it's one of the best Lovecraftian novels I have ever read, and I don't say that lightly.  And scary?  Author Brett J. Talley gets that right, too.  There are quite a few genuinely frightening scenes in That Which Should Not Be, both in the "tavern stories" and in the main plot.  I feel that a lot of writers get Lovecraftian horror wrong, but Brett J. Talley has expertly captured the dread and the moon that should embody a Lovecraftian story.  It's a great read.  Pick it up -- you won't be disappointed."  -  Mike Davis, Lovecraft eZine.

"Winner of JournalStone's horror novel writing contest, Brett J. Talley has written a wonderful homage to occult horror.  Each of the stories told to our protagonist is unique and scary by itself while adding to the overall atmosphere and theme of the novel as a whole.  Each character is nicely fleshed-out and their individual stories come together beautifully.  With references to Lovecraft, Stoker and even the Bible, That Which Should Not Be reads like the best 19th and early 20th century horror stories about the occult and ancient god-like monsters.  I look forward to reading more by Talley in the future. Highly recommended."  -  Colleen Wanglund, Monster Librarian

"Finally, it is easy to see why this first novel of Brett J. Talley's has received the notice and acclaim that have followed it, and That Which Should Not Be marks a welcome and stylishly enjoyable addition to the Lovecraftian Mythos as well as a promising and talented introduction of a new authorial talent to the horror genre in Brett J. Talley. I know that I, for one, will be looking forward with great anticipation to his next novel."   -  Norm Rubenstein, Horror World

"In Brett J. Talley's That Which Should Not Be I have to admit I think I've found one of the best homages to Lovecraft I have read. I'd go so far as to use the almost cheesy line that it's "a Love letter to the work of Lovecraft". Anybody with any interest in Lovecraft's work will recognise the style of writing and the on-going themes that Talley has pulled into the book." - Paul Metcalf,

Product Details

  • File Size: 441 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Publisher: JournalStone (October 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005RR20RM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,776 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Horror I have read in a long time. August 26, 2011
Carter Weston is a college student at Miskatonic University, where the fascination with legends and the occult run rampant.
One infamous book named the Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch resurfaces and Weston's professor and mentor asks him to procur the book for him and get it back to him immediately so that it can be locked away forever, Weston jumps on the chance to get the book for his professor.
His journey to find the book won't take him long in miles but the men he will encounter will tell him stories that will take him back in time to places in their lives that changed everything for them forever.
Carter is a non believer in all of the legends but can't help but be intrigued by their stories and notice the similarities.
During Carter's journey, his faith and beliefs will be tested.
Can a hand full of men overcome an unimaginable evil that has been lurking around since before man???
I can not even begin to describe to you how very much this book captivated me!
The very first page in this book piqued my intrest and it was very hard to put down.
I would have read this story in one sitting if real life weren't always interrupting me!
Brett Talley is a wonderful storyteller!
His depictions of places and events had me so fascinated that I even had to google some of them to see if they did in fact exsist.
That Which Should Not Be covers various legends and religious beliefs about the inevitable end of days and the unholy beings that will try to take over the world.
What made this story so chilling to me was the fact that Talley used many real legends and scriptures.
Unlike a lot of horror stories, Talley doesn't use gore to scare you.
Read more ›
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but the ending was off. November 4, 2011
Was a decent enough book, there was a few spots I was confused about when it was set, but that was minor. However, the ending took a left turn into Judeo-Christian beliefs...which kinda conflicts with the Cthulhu Mythos. But, on the other tentacle...stopping Cthulhu really does require a deux-ex-machina ending.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly Delicious December 19, 2011
This is a read even non-horror fans will gobble up. I'm not one for exaggeration, but scout's honor: This was the most engrossing book I've read all year. I rarely put it down without picking it up again within the hour. I was immediately sucked into the rich detail, easy dialogue and suspenseful plot-line. I'm still not sure how Talley managed to so deftly maneuver in and out of so many different stories without losing me. But he did - with ease and mastery. At times he even had me (a born-and-bred-New Englander) convinced that Miskatonic University was a real place. All in all, a fabulous read from a promising new author.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Diversionary Read August 16, 2011
Brett Talley's book, That Which Should Not Be, is a well-formed and fully-thought-out pastiche of Lovecraft's work. As with any tribute to the Master, this work has its triumphs and its setbacks. The story, on the whole, is nicely done; what starts as an anthology quickly grows into a close-knit adventure story, and Talley is quite adept at capturing Lovecraft's voice and tone. For example, the narrative voice never changes from one story to the next; phrases are all to frequently repeated ("witch-haunted" stood out the most, but there were others) and everyone in the book sounds on the edge of a nervous collapse. All, in other words, is as it should be. Talley can turn phrases well, too: I was particularly pleased when one of his narrators, moving through the wards in an asylum, noted solemnly that "the heavy silence of the criminally insane was upon me."
Talley's side stories are also excellent riffs off of classic Gothic tales--the Unholy Monastery, the Thing in the Woods, the Cursed Treasure / Lost Knowledge, the Haunted Asylum--and at times one sees homages to Shelley, Walpole, Lewis, Stoker, Beckford, and even Melville. Sometimes these homages are a little annoying--after the introduction of Dr. Harker, I started looking for Captain Frankenstein and Dr. van Helsing--but most are excellent additions to the atmosphere. Overall, Talley's book is superb, marred only by a few printing errors (is he Vladimir or Valdimir?) and the utterly nonsensical moment when, surrounded by the noise of the insane, Dr. Hamilton remarks "I knew now why the old London Royal Asylum had spawned the term Bedlam."
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak mythos rip-off December 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This isn't a completely worthless read. The short stories that make up the first half of the book are fairly well done, each one exploring a classic horror cliche with a Cthulhu Mythos twist. The author plainly has only a vague understanding of the Mythos, referring to the Necronomicon as a book from before the pyramids, and throwing various Lovecrafting stuff in rather randomly.
The worst news is that the author introduces concepts like 'the cross' as an effective protection against Mythos creatures, and obviously thinks there's some connection between Cthulhu and 'Satan'. To me, this pretty much spoiled an otherwise amusing light potboiler.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book - Sent Chills Down my Spine August 17, 2011
Unlike my movie choices, I tend to be highly picky about what I read. I often spend hours just trying to figure out what my next book should be. This has been one that I loved from the moment I picked it up. Despite my work (which is reading intensive) and another book already started, I found myself reading this whenever I had a spare moment. I'll limit my description so as not to give anything away. If you are a horror fan, this is a book for you. But, even if you are not a horror fan, I would still recommend this novel. Talley weaves a tale that lets your imagination take flight and honestly - who doesn't enjoy leaving their world behind for a little while? I found myself invested in the characters and the story and the twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat. The ending truly caught me by surprise. I hope Talley publishes additional works because I can't wait to read them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good first novel
Although I wonder what Lovecraft himself might think of some of the overt Judeo-Christian elements of this novel, they are not entirely unprecedented in mythos tales. Read more
Published 2 hours ago by Daniel McCollum
5.0 out of 5 stars What Lovecraftian fiction should be!
I LOVED this book! I've been a Lovecraft fan since I read At The Mountains of Madness, and this book has all the creepiness, despair, and pure evil that hooked me then. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Rachel J. Maley
4.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic Horror at its Finest
In years to come when I look back on the authors that shaped my recent conversion to the sub-genre of cosmic horror as created by Lovecraft, two names will top that list. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kaisersoze
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining!
An homage to Lovecraft, and a very entertaining visit to his haunted realms. It's not perfect, but if you enjoy Lovecraft, you'll enjoy this. Three stars for a normal reader, 4. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chrys
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent library book
Got this one from the library and read it on my Kindle. It was great up until the end, then I think it got weak. Overall, a good solid read for free. Read more
Published 2 months ago by B. Steffey
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Not Lovecraft
It's better.

H.P. filled the pages with wonderful ideas but ponderous and obtuse prose. Talley has chained together several short stories with a common backbone that... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maker
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
great mythical read. it was very hard to put down after I got past the first chapter. I hope you enjoy it.
Published 2 months ago by Char
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping
A very gripping book. I would definitely recommend this to all. I was a little let down by the ending though.
Published 3 months ago by gaurav
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition for those who love Lovecraftian works!
I can only echo the other reviewers who thoroughly enjoyed this thriller. Talley draws the reader in with his ability to develop the characters and then takes you on a ride!! Read more
Published 3 months ago by M. Masztal
5.0 out of 5 stars Never forget what lurks in the shadows!
The bartender threw another log on the fire, and as he did, the already burning wood cracked and spat embers into the air. Read more
Published 3 months ago by RT Twinem
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More About the Author

A native of the South, Brett Talley received a philosophy and history
degree from the University of Alabama before moving to witch-haunted
Massachusetts to attend Harvard Law School. When people ask, Brett
tells them he writes for fortune and glory. But the truth is the
stories in his head simply refuse to stay put. Brett loves every kind
of fiction--from horror to literary to historical to sci-fi--as long as
there are fantastic characters with a compelling purpose. There's
still magic to be found in fiction, the mysterious and the unknown
still beckon there, and the light can always triumph over the
darkness, no matter how black the night may be.

Brett writes when he can, though he spends most of his time working as
a lawyer so that he can put food on the table. That is, until the air
grows cool and crisp and fall descends. For then it is football time
in the South, and Brett lives and dies with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Roll Tide.

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