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Beautiful Sorrows Paperback – September 5, 2012
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"Beautiful Sorrows... delicate prose with devastating impact. Mercedes Yardley is a female Joe Hill, and I fear her 'Broken' will haunt me to my grave." --F. Paul Wilson, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Keep and The Tomb
"Mercedes Yardley's debut collection, Beautiful Sorrows, holds its hands out, palms up, no tricks, no irony, no clever retreats from honest emotions. Life's travails inhabit these pages, and she renders them beautifully." --Christopher Barzak, author of One for Sorrow and The Love We Share Without Knowing
"Mercedes M. Yardley has the Right Stuff. She demonstrates that in her wonderful collection of short stories: Beautiful Sorrows. Each story is a different kind of gem, the bagful priceless." --Gene O'Neill, Bram Stoker Award™-winning Author of The Taste of Tenderloin and Double Jack"
About the Author
MERCEDES M. YARDLEY wears red stilettos and writes whimsical horror. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including John Skipp's Bram Stoker Award™-winning Demons: Encounters with the Devil and His Minions, Fallen Angels, and the Possessed, and A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs. Mercedes lives in Sin City.
Top customer reviews
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I've been hearing great things about this book for some time and with the new release from the fine folks over at Apex Books, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
First of all, kudos to Yannick Bouchard for an absolutely wonderful cover for Beautiful Sorrows. Then there's the glowing introduction by P. Gardner Goldsmith comparing Mercedes' writing to the sirens in Greek mythology. Can the book possibly live up to all the hype? Well, I'm happy to say it does.
The contents in this book have all been published elsewhere, but are collected here for the first time and run the gamut from flash fiction to longer pieces all giving you glimpses into the heart and soul of Mercedes M. Yardley. At the end of the book, Mercedes graciously provides insights into each of her stories and many of these are as entertaining as the stories themselves.
Some of the highlights for me include "Black Mary", a haunting story of child molestation. Horrible by nature, but beautifully told.
The opening line of "The Boy Who Hangs the Stars" was particularly beautiful...
"Once there was a girl who was sitting by the river. She liked to watch the water, and listen to what it had to say. Usually it was nonsense, but every now and then it came up with something important."
This was one of my favorite stories and had a fable-like feel to it.
Then there's "Untied" an unlikely tale of a suicidal man and the woman inside the window he's threatening to jump from.
Another story with a suicidal theme was "Music To Jump By". I'm generally not a fan of stories without an ending, but damn if this wasn't a perfect tale.
Mercedes M. Yardley's tales are small slices of life with pieces of the souls around us. Although I enjoyed the many melancholy stories in Beautiful Sorrows, I loved the comedic horror in "Axes". Can you imagine death as your roommate? Imaginative, funny, and totally entertaining. Followed immediately by "The Quiet Places where Your Body Grows." One minute she's making you laugh and the next she's tearing your heart out. And that's a good thing.
And then there's "Stars," a wonderfully fanciful story. It's the little things that make a Mercedes story work for me. Like the dog who's name changed weekly. I can relate. My wife and I have two dogs, one I would never consider changing her name and the other I try to change every few weeks, but my wife won't let me.
I can't leave without mentioning "Big Man Ben" another of my favorites, the longest story in the collection and one that just left me devastated.
Expect the unexpected in these stories, many of the tales are downright inexplicable. Recommended.
Beautiful Sorrows is available from the Apex book company in both paperback and e-book formats.
From the author's bio - Mercedes has three kids, a husband and no time to write, although she tries her very best. She is the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the “serial killers in love” novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, the BONE ANGEL trilogy, Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy, and the Bram Stoker Award winner Little Dead Red. She specializes in the dark and beautiful.
I often ask my students what supernatural ability they would want to have, given the opportunity. I used to think it would be the ability to fly--to have wings. Having read this book, I think I would rather have the ability to be aware of my surroundings and the people who touch my life. To be conscious of the shadows and nearly ghost people that are fading, because no one notices them until they are gone. We miss too much.
It has been noted that Mercedes Yardley writes horror. I believe that the horror she writes is not the supernatural kind, but rather, humanity gone empty kind. Mixed in with the horror tales are fantasy stories that are pure magic; boys who have wings and girls who have sharks for pets. I was enchanted by every story in this collection. This book will stay close to me, because some days I might need to reread a story or too, just to remind myself that some of my experiences really are shared by a woman I have never met, but who knows my heart in ways I have yet to discover.
Her writing is flawless .
Beautiful Sorrows features twenty-seven stories, ranging from paragraph long micro-fictions to a single novella length. It’s a mix of the fantastic and the dark . But it’s the sheer exquisiteness of these stories that provides the through-line that holds them all together.
Some of these stories are heartbreaking and will leave you in tears. Others are breathtakingly jarring and will make you want to look away for a moment to remind yourself you can leave the confines of her world, even if just for a moment. All are unforgettable. All will haunt you long after you turn the last page... There is humor and sadness, flights of fancy and dull, gray reality. Yes there is horror that goes deep down to your bones, but there is also hope the floats up with the clouds. After putting this book down and wiping my sticky fingers and still watering mouth, I can honestly say that Beautiful Sorrows offers a little bit of everything.
Most recent customer reviews
This compilation of short stories is very conceptual and emotional.Read more