- File Size: 465 KB
- Print Length: 151 pages
- Publisher: Studio City; 1 edition (April 30, 2010)
- Publication Date: April 30, 2010
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003K16OHO
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,042,480 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Bait and Other Stories Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the second book I picked during this offer where I found out after I started reading that the author is a Minnesotan. I'll add this to my other talents of dubious worth. Most of the stories in this anthology have been published elsewhere first and it shows in how few errors I found. Off hand, I recall the use of "heal" when "heel" would have been the way to go in a story called Scorched Earth, but the prose was tight and professional quality.
The description reads, in part:
...the febrile imagination of Joel Arnold will keep you up long into the night with over 50k words of horror, suspense, and mystery. Includes the award winning stories 'Mississippi Pearl' and 'Some Things Don't Wash Off.
I believe this description is good, but I'd like to point out that there is a strong focus on the tragic and the macabre. I think this is both the strength and the weakness in this anthology. Mr.Read more ›
The plots of each of these stories were unique and intriguing. While my favorite was the title story, "Bait", there was not one that I didn't like.
There was a common theme throughout many of the stories of dealing with loss and depression. There was also a common setting to a few, a bar that seemed to draw the most unsavory of characters.
With everything from supernatural beings, to devils, to dead men rising, these stories had something for every horror fan.
My second favorite was "Groundskeeper Hank". That one had a kind of evil "Forrest Gump" in it. Also, "Swallowed" was terrific, being the more realistic of the stories.
Characters: 4 1/2 Stars
The character development was very good within the short story form. My only complaint was that many of them seemed like the same character with different names. This was not true of all of the stories. It was just that too many of them featured a sad father who had either lost his wife, son, or both, or was in the process of doing so.
Writing Style: 4 3/4 Stars
While the writing style was excellent through most of the stories, there were a few that appeared to have been written prior to the author reaching his peak of talent. Obviously, Mr. Arnold has mastered the art of the short story form. He packs a huge wallop within very few words and pages. He knows how to draw a reader in from the first sentences and keep them enthralled throughout to the mostly bitter endings.
Rating: R for Language, Violence, Blood & Gore, Explicit Sex Scenes
A few stories -- "Sitting Ducks," "Swallowed," and "Jam Session" -- are just sort of horror sketches; fun enough to read, but not memorable or very distinctive. But the best stories here are haunting. "Some Things Don't Wash Off" should seem saccharine with its metaphor for racial hatred, but its sustained by well-wrought detail and becomes impossible to forget. "When the Heart Dies" reminded me of Kelly Link, the same dark fairytale sensibility that made her story "Catskin" so meaningful. "October Blizzard" is both utterly horrific and a thought-provoking meditation on the nature of evil -- so, in a very different way, is "The Apple Tree Man." I knew from the first page where the title story was going, but it's well-enough written that Arnold sucked me in anyway.
If you love a classic horror sensibility and strong storytelling, ignore the red meat on the cover and give "Bait" a try.
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