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Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles Paperback – September 19, 2012
About the Author
Adrian Ludens lives and works in the historic Black Hills of South Dakota. Magazine appearances include Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Morpheus Tales, Big Pulp and Over My Dead Body. Anthology appearances include Blood Lite III: Aftertaste, the Bram Stoker award-nominated Slices of Flesh, Blood Rites, Zombie Kong, and The Mothman Files. For more information visit curioditiesadrianludens.blogspot.com/
Top customer reviews
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Any fan of the genre should respond to the vibe given off by this collection of thrillers. Mr. Ludens pays appropriate homage to the great writers of the pulp fan magazine days as well as the top writers of today by creating this unique set of thrillrides. He delivers a fine selection of scary tales, dark excursions and shifting vistas, each with a payoff that raises the hairs on your neck.
While I enjoyed all the stories, I was personally drawn to two of the longer history-based tales in the collection. "You Don't Know Jack" is a harrowing journey through western gunslinger legend and myth, while "The Restoration Room" begins as a haunting antebellum gothic, and becomes a ghost story of the deep south that stays with you long after you've read it.
And the stories "There's No Word For It" and "Waiting For Inspiration" are two of the most rollicking absurdist rides that any story has ever taken me on.
This is the first collection of tales I've read by this imaginative author, and allow me to say, it's a pleasure to hear the writer's voice so clearly. Having read a number of different top authors, and a the great body of work of a choice few, I'm minded of the importance of the consistency of "voice" in writing. Surveying an author's total output, it's instructive to track their journey toward mastering their art, and marking the strength of their writing 'voice' along the way.
Here there is most definitely a clear, steady and solid voice, with the promise of yet stronger works to come. Well done, Mr Ludens, and keep the fire burning.
Find your own favorites. Order, buy, receive, hold, read and enjoy "Bedtime Stories For Carrion Beetles" for yourself.
This was the first book of his I have read, and I since purchased Gruesome Faces, Ghastly Places. Any more books and/or short stories he does, on my Kindle app it goes!
I like the title a lot. It makes me think of someone being eaten alive by bugs and being told bedtime stories while they are being eaten alive, though by definition, carrion beetles would be dining on dead flesh. I am immediately thinking, creepy, bizarre and darkly humororous. The words sick and twisted come to mind also. I already like it, even before I start reading the stories. All these stories are really short and they end with a quick scare. A lot of them are really funny. Some of them are creepy with a bigger buildup, others are more of a kind of Wham Bam! I enjoyed reading these short stories, since they are really short, I could easily read them between doing other things. I would set it aside then pick it up again and get back into them. 4 stars.
In A Good Game, Rocky wakes up without any knowledge of where he is or how he got there. Rocky is stuck in a gory game that he has no control over. This is a short, creepy little tale. It is very affective at immediately grabbing your attention and sticking with you.
You Don't Know Jack is a ghost story.
Carrying On is a really short dystopia.
Swollen Tick is about an emotional vampire who feeds on negative emotions.
Tomorrow's Headline is a really interesting read. I thought it was affectively written. Another really short story but an interesting premise about a person who switches bodies with a ordinary woman.
Solitary Man is about a writer in prison. This story ends very abruptly and strangely.
Wind, Winter, Wendigo was my least favorite story. This writing was all over the place and I was getting confused.
Cold Feet is about a couple of morticians and a tape worm. Reading this one grossed me out.
Transformations is about a couple digging up a body in a cemetary. This one was really weird.
Incident on Alkali Road is another one with writing all over the place so I was getting confused as to what exactly was going on at first and then it got strange and disturbing.
The Red Patch in the Snow is a psychological horror story. I thought the pacing and development of this story was really good. I liked this one, kind of made me think of Poe's Tell-Tale Heart.
The Restoration Room is about a pair of women during the Civil War. I thought this story was taking a while to get to the good stuff. And then it ends right when I thought it was getting interesting.
Hydrophobia is a creepy little ghost story. I thought this one was really good.
A Story About Monsters was a really clever one about good and bad monsters. I liked this one a lot too. It made me smile.
The Artist and His Subject is the story about Cassie who is poor and sees an ad at the grocery store for an artist's subject. She goes to check it out and gets more than she bargained for. The artist is a fan of literature and this story is rather shocking.
There's No Word For It is about a man who unintentionally swallows insects to the point that the bugs intentionally fly down his throat. This is a really clever story. I liked it a lot too. It ends with a very funny one-liner that had me chuckling.
Bootlegs From Boston is about Clint who collects bootlegged recordings of concerts where something violent happened.
The Biggin Hill Duel is a steampunk story.
Waiting for Inspiration has a lot going on. Lots of horror archetypes as a writer struggles with writer's block. Very tongue and cheek.
"Review by Kami Bryant of Fae Books"