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The End in All Beginnings Paperback – September 17, 2014
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"Imagine a series of round robin stories penned collaboratively by Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Harlan Ellison and Rod Serling, and you'll be in the general neighborhood: lush, poetic, ceaselessly imaginative, seriously affecting, multifaceted modern horror fiction." - FANGORIA
"The best novella collection I've read in years! It's accomplished stuff, complex and heartfelt. There's an attention to character and an access to feeling that's very refreshing indeed." - JACK KETCHUM, Bram Stoker Award®-winning author of The Box, Closing Time and Peaceable Kingdom
"THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS is literary, affecting, chilling, and indicative of old-school mentality meets new-school daring. Look no further than this collection for evidence that not only is horror not dead, there are new proponents of the craft more than capable of giving it the jolt it needs to carry it into the future." - KEALAN PATRICK BURKE, Bram Stoker Award® winning author of The Turtle Boy, Kin and Jack & Jill.
"Taff's deceptively simplistic prose offers deep emotional and dramatic insights into how human beings live with the burdens of the past and the inevitability of death. "What Becomes God" is a slice of Stephen King/Ramsey Campbell. "Object Permanence" is a slowly revealing Twilight Zone-like story. The setting of "The Long, Long Breakdown" is reminiscent of J.G. Ballard. "Visitation" follows in the footsteps of the works of Philip K. Dick. THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS offers genre readers much to appreciate." - HORROR NEWS NETWORK
"Definitely be in the running for one of my favorite reads of the year. This collection will not only appeal to horror fans, but could interest readers of just about any genre. Whether you are looking for introduction to the world of horror or are already a seasoned horror fanatic, you will definitely want to give THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS a read!" - THE HORROR BOOKSHELF
"Just under half a century ago, I discovered a personal "tell" that let me know when a performance had touched me deeply. That experience has recurred many times since. THe last time it happened I just finished John F.D. Taff's collection of horror novellas, THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS. Taff provides carefully nuanced, skillfully balanced components--storytelling, nostalgia, horror, human emotion--to work from beginnings to ultimate ends...sometimes death, sometimes things far worse, and sometimes something magnificent." - MICHAEL R. COLLINGS, HELLNOTES
From the Author
PRAISE FOR GREY MATTER PRESS:
"In less than two years, Grey Matter Press has managed to establish itself as one of the premiere purveyors of horror fiction currently in existence via both a series of killer anthologies--SPLATTERLANDS (2013), OMINOUS REALITIES (2013), EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED (2014)--and John F.D. Taff's harrowing novella collection THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS (2014)." - FANGORIA
"The dark, all-encompassing theme seems to be the trademark of Grey Matter Press. When asked for a referral for a good short story collection I often state without hesitation to the very press that has enchanted my reading attention." - Dave Gammon, HORROR NEWS
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Top Customer Reviews
Here they are:
What Becomes God. This one is about two boys who are best friends, one dying of cancer. It raises the question: What are you willing to sacrifice to save someone you love? The math in this story is tough, the aftermath tougher.
Object Permanence. This one is about a man who can remove things from existence and his great-aunt who can freeze things into the same existence. A struggle ensues between them over the fate of their small town. Seasons must change, life must grow and die, or we create a hell of stasis, a tyranny of sentiment. Will the young man free the town from its prison? At what cost?
Love in the Time of Zombies. This one is my favorite. Not because I feel it’s the best offering – they’re all equally strong, in my opinion – but because I love how Taff treats the theme of unrequited love in a zombie story. It’s humorous but not campy, and should appeal to everyone, because who hasn’t felt the sting of unrequited love? But it’s not all tenderness and longing. Fans of grisly zombie fiction won’t be disappointed.
The Long, Long Breakdown. All the ice caps have melted. A father and daughter have learned to live in high places that once belonged to the wealthy, their penthouse suites looking on nothing but ocean. The father struggles with his daughter’s need to step outside their circle of safety in search of new territory and other people. Like other characters in this book, he reveals a dark side in himself that shows its true face when threatened with loss.
Visitation. A widower travels to a planet where it is said you can communicate with the spirit of your loved one. What he discovers is a secret that shakes his understanding of death and threatens to explode the faith and worldview of every civilization in the Galactic Union. A profoundly moving sci-fi story.
Each of these novellas is thought-provoking, haunting and poignant. As a former obituary writer I saw the myriad ways grief can affect people. In this book Taff takes that grief and spins it into its own genre.
Now, I need to say Taff's style is quite unique. I have described it as taking Stephen King's books and throwing them in a blender with Twilight Zone scripts. When you open the blender, you have Taff's words. He is different. He is special. He is a great writer.
I tell you all of this because this novella collection, The End In All Beginnings, is his best offering to date. I loved each and every word of this collection. It was funny. It was emotional. It was painful. The moniker Taff has been given, The King of Pain, has never been on display better than in this book. Five different stories, all exploring different kinds of love and heartbreak, with horror at its core. My favorite is What Becomes God. It resonated with me, having grown up in a place surrounded by woods that are no longer there. Having a certain spot, and particular wildlife in those woods. It's a very nostalgic story for me.
I recommend this book to a reader of ANY kind, not just lovers of horror. This is one of my top five favorite books I've ever read, and definitely the best I've this year. It's worth the price, absolutely. I own two copies of it now, and will probably buy the new paperback release soon, giving me three. It's worth it. Trust me.