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The Dark Verse, Vol. 1: From the Passages of Revenants [Kindle Edition]

M. Amanuensis Sharkchild , John F. Stifter
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver Medal Winner in the Category of Horror

Twenty-six short stories of occult, metaphysical, and fantastical horror that will follow you to the visions of your sleep.

This is Sharkchild's first collection of grim and ethereal tales.

Editorial Reviews


"Some would be quick to point out the similarities between Sharkchild's esoteric style and H.P. Lovecraft's writings, but though they appear similar I would argue that Sharkchild has a very distinct and unique way of unveiling his mysterious stories. I will say that like any good horror author, Sharkchild's stories will leave you unhinged as you get a glimpse of the strange species that permeate his imagination and have scrawled themselves into this book.... All of Sharkchild's stories are inhabited by grotesque yet sometimes wondrous beings who have managed to break forth into our own world. These unimaginably horrific monsters populate these short stories, and Sharkchild's writing brings them to startling and shocking clarity. His stories exist on a different plane, a dimension where unspeakable horrors lie in wait, ready to assault and invade our own existence. These are tales that could reduce you to madness as you marvel at their complex simplicity. Horror lies in fearing the unknown, and boy, does Sharkchild ever have a grasp of how to scare us!"

"Though grotesque and gloomy, a lot of the Dark Verse tales have a moral. They leave you in thought in the end. Not only does the reader crossover into the dark worlds of the book, but also the worlds seem to come to the reader. Sharkchild does this by relating grim subjects and thoughts to everyday life. Overall, The Dark Verse, Volume I is a preeminent compilation of short stories, or maybe even bedtime stories, to add to any collection. One of the greatest elements of the book is its ability to remain fascinating and enticing even after reading it for the first time. It never festers." --Gothic Beauty Magazine

"Whoever Mr. Sharkchild may actually be, he knows how to have a beautiful house constructed to hold his stories. In regards to the content, this aims for Lovecraft Territory. While avoiding out and out pastiche, most of Sharkchild s brief tales nestle comfortably alongside any Mythos tale. Cthulu or any of the Elder Gods are not specifically mentioned but in tales filled with cosmic horror and entities too unspeakable for humans to fathom, the reader understands these stories to fit into a Mythos mirror universe.... For Lovecraft and Mythos fans, the hardcover copy would be a gorgeous addition to any collection."

About the Author

As a zealot of the imagination, M. Amanuensis Sharkchild embraces the strange, the bizarre, and the great unknown. His mind is a haven of unique life where species of the cosmic take reign.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6038 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0982314116
  • Publisher: Armored Books; Second digital edition (February 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0032FNZDE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,133 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That old time religion... January 18, 2010
I will say this outright: if you cannot appreciate the histrionic outbursts of Poe or the verbosity of Lovecraft, Sharkchild's work is not for you. But, for those of you who can appreciate Machen, Lovecraft, Dunsany, Le Fanu, the foundations of dark fantasy as we know it, this book is a real winner, the sort of fiction most writers cannot pull off. The thirty dollar price point and the supercilious diction should be a turn off, but this book is a great collector's item for the serious genre reader. Sharkchild makes bold, narrative choices that keep his stories from feeling derivative and instead remind us of an older, more primal kind of storytelling. In a market where sexy vampires and bland novels about small towns plagued by ancient evils rule the roost, it's a breath of fresh air.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this if you don't want to be able to sleep March 7, 2010
"The Dark Verse" is the best and most haunting book that I have read in a long time. The twenty-six brief stories each paint an image that is bizarre and terrifying. Particularly noteworthy is Sharkchild's command of the language of possession - while reading, I often felt the cosmic forces burrowing into me as they took possession of his characters. An additional element which I found effective was the introduction of horror into family life, the idea that a man with a wife and children could be unwilling thurst into evil.

He writes in a style that reminds one of Lovecraft, but is distinctly his own. He is terser, sharper, and perhaps less prone to use words like eldritch.

Based on "The Dark Verse", I look forward to Sharkchild's next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely Painted Excursions to the Dark Side October 22, 2010
In a nutshell, if you like taking a white-knuckled ride into the darker corners of the imagination, then this is a book for you.

The first thing you notice about this book is the graphic presentation.
It's a hard cover, black in color with an intricate silver foil illustration on the front . Open the book and the end papers are artwork unto themselves, the paper is heavy grade, and each story has it's own individual illustration on its first page (illustrations courtesy of John F. Stifter) The design alone tells you you're not in for the same old short story collection.
Our author, the enigmatic M. Amanuensis Sharkchild compiled this volume from material for his spoken word podcast, The Dark Verse.
Collected here are 26 of those stories, stories as lovingly crafted as the book itself is. The term "wordsmith" comes to mind in describing Sharkchild's writing...he uses words to paint exquisite portraits of the fantastic, the wonderful, the terrible, the horrible.

Stand outs include "Gift of the Crossroads", where a scrap of fabric found in the kitchen begins one man's nightmare odyssey. At one point as I was reading this story, I literally exclaimed out loud "God! Dude!", over a turn of events, and continued to the following page and gasped out loud. That rarely if ever happens when I'm reading anything.
"The Missing Come Home" details one father and the loss of his daughter and her unexpected return and the horrifying consequences which ensue, rather than a joyous homecoming.
"The Captive Inside" which will make me forever think twice about wishing for a dusty old toy shop to dig through and whiling away the hours working a jigsaw puzzle (and for me that's saying something as I like and am fairly skilled at jigsaw puzzles).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and Haunting July 30, 2009
If you enjoy reading well written, thought provoking, dark and eerie tales, this surely will not disappoint. I love it and I look forward to each new podcast episode every couple of weeks. It's a treat for those who are morbidly inclined.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative, Intelligent Gothic Horror December 19, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read this book straight through in two sittings. This is tasteful gothic horror with echoes of Lovecraft, Giger, Lynch and Ballard. I highly recommend this book, and I hope for many more volumes from this extremely talented writer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless author, great volume. May 10, 2011
Found this author by accident and I'm glad I did. As a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft I'm very picky when it comes to literature but this was definitely worth my time. Although his work is obviously comparable to Lovecraft he still takes his own unique spin on the style. The packaging of the book is beautiful and John F. Stifter did an amazing job on the illustrations. The book is as enjoyable to look at as it is to read. Sharkchild has a beautiful writing style yet it is also easy to understand. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Lovecraft and the like.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me sleep with the light on. July 27, 2010
This book is wonderfully made. The quality is amazing. I listen to the podcast and they are creepy by themselves. Once I received my book and started reading the same stories, they came to life in my imagination, making them more real and all the more terrifying. I am not too proud to admit that these stories give me nightmares. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading horror, fantasy, and science fiction. I'm looking forward to the next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DARK VERSE June 4, 2010
one of the most fascinating books of the past few years. The literary quality is exceptional and the physical volume is a pleasure to hold and read. The bookbinder/publisher (Armored Publishing - Santa Monica, CA) has presented what can best be described as "an example of the nearly-lost Art of bookbinding"...

Highly recommended on all accounts. Thanks, Sharkchild!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Indeed
darker even than Lovecraft; a journey into the pit of chaos
Published 24 days ago by Lee Hargrave
5.0 out of 5 stars A nicely constructed hardcover with complex and dark artwork (both...
Let me start out by saying the book itself is a work of art. A nicely constructed hardcover with complex and dark artwork (both which fit the overall theme perfectly). Read more
Published 2 months ago by Myelin
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
I have an autographed copy of this and it is a good read! The art work is awesome to boot!
Published 2 months ago by T
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any Lovecraft fan!
"The Dark Verse" is a great read for anyone interested in lovecraftian horror. Each chapter had something new and unique to offer and was an enjoyable read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Trevor
5.0 out of 5 stars a dark and well constructed collection of short horror, both in...
I won this book in a give away. I went into it a bit skeptical, as I generally don't trust the quality of most indy writers, particularly indy horror, but was won over within the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amanda W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic gothic horror
Very innovative gothic horror. The stories are all unique and draw you inside the worlds that Sharkchild is able to create. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John Schultz
5.0 out of 5 stars Starting the nightmare
This book is excellent, really good writing, amazing stories, widening the horizons of the Lovecraft universe and even creating a new and frightening Sharchild universe, the author... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars First book I haven't been able to put down in years!
I had the pleasure of meeting shark child in Los Angeles during the anime expo, at which he was promoting his book. Why he choose that venue, I'll never know, but I'm glad he did. Read more
Published 15 months ago by This guy...
4.0 out of 5 stars Good HPL Inspired Fiction
I first heard this collection of stories on the podcast but picked a hardcopy of this book up because they're worth it. Read more
Published 20 months ago by QP
4.0 out of 5 stars Death is dreaming
Haunting and undeniable, Sharkchild has tapped into a dark fiction, macabre style of writing that carries the tone of great writers before him to which he lends his own uniqueness. Read more
Published 22 months ago by HodgePodge Galore
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More About the Author

M. AMANUENSIS SHARKCHILD is the author of THE DARK VERSE universe of award-winning occult, metaphysical, and fantastical horror stories that have the sole purpose of following you to the visions of your sleep. He lives in lurid wakefulness and lucid dreams, overtaken by visions that uncontrollably seethe in a torrent of horror and fantasy. As a zealot of the imagination, he embraces the strange, the bizarre, and the great unknown. His path of creation has only just begun.

Some of his other projects include GRAVESCABS and DARK ENERGY DISCOVERIES. GRAVESCABS are fun, reversible plush covers that are placed over a base plush toy called a Skell. DARK ENERGY DISCOVERIES is an EBM music project containing his rich vocal layers and soundscapes that are embodied by a virtual group of inter-dimensional beings who have joined forces to explore the ever-expanding reaches of existence.

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