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Flowers in a Dumpster by [Gunnells, Mark Allan]
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Flowers in a Dumpster Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Length: 314 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"... hilarious and horrifying, as all great satire must be." - Clive Barker

"Mark Allan Gunnells' imagination is as vivid and varied as his characters, and the shocks his tales deliver are all the stronger for the restraint of his storytelling. A collection of considerable range and depth, Flowers in a Dumpster showcases an eloquent new voice in horror." - Ramsey Campbell

"What I love about Mark Allan Gunnells' stories isn't just the chill factor, or the wit, or the dramatic turns - although those things are all present - but the compassion inherent in the storytelling. Whether it's a couple touching hands as they approach an ominous house or a gruff husband giving in to his wife's kindness, the rich humanity is what makes these stories so effective and memorable." - Lisa Morton, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of GHOSTS: A HAUNTED HISTORY.

"Gunnells' work is brave, bold, and surprising, and as far as I'm concerned, "The Support Group" is worth the price of admission alone. If, like me, you adore short story collections, you could do a hell of a lot worse than this one. The breadth and scope of horror on display here is delightful, and marks Gunnells as one of the bright stars in the dark sky of our genre." - Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award winning author of THE TURTLE BOY, KIN, and SOUR CANDY

"Mark Allan Gunnells is an under-rated writer. He's been that since long ago when I first discovered some of his early writing for Sideshow Press. He should be better known just on the basis of the output of high quality  fiction. Part of the problem (and really the strength of Mark's writing), I think, is well demonstrated in this present collection. The stories are very diverse, each told in a distinctly different voice. These pieces are stylistically and thematically different. None have predictable endings. Often the stories end with the reader left with an unsettling moral ambiguity. Rather than relating his work to a more well-known horror writer, I think his stories may be closer in tone/feel to the work of Raymond Carver, a mainstream writer, who wrote a lot of dark fiction. The present collection contains surprises from story to story, rewarding the good reader. All a joy to read." - Gene O'Neill, THE HITCHHIKING EFFECT and THE CAL WILD CHRONICLES

"Flowers in the Dumpster is filled with solid stories from an author who knows his craft. I was thrilled to find surprising gems sprinkled throughout. Highly recommended." - Kate Jonez, Bram Stoker (R) and Shirley Jackson Award nominated author of CEREMONY OF FLIES and CANDY HOUSE

"Flowers in a Dumpster is a collection of short stories with dark hearts. Alternate worlds, living statues, paranormal's all in here and none of it will turn out well for the characters. It wouldn't be horror if the shit didn't hit the fan!" - Mass Movement Magazine

Product Details

  • File Size: 2776 KB
  • Print Length: 314 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing (December 4, 2015)
  • Publication Date: December 4, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B018OJOJ3C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,801 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a great collection! Surely, had I read this when it came out at the end of last year, it would have made my list of best books for the year. I'm a sucker for good short story collections, but my problem is that I read a few, move on to a new book, and forget to come back to the collection. That didn't happen with this one. I would finish a story and want to keep on reading to see what the next story was.

Here are the stories:
Past Lives: 5 out of 5 Stars: (Second best of the collection) It's the end of the world. A couple and their child are hiding out when a stranger appears. He's weak and looks like he might not survive the night. Do they trust him? Would you in their situation? This story, like its name, deals with who people were before the breakdown of society. This story was one hell of a way to start the collection.

The Support Group: 4 out of 5 Stars: This is a humorous short about some cities that seem to take on the attributes of those of live in them. I read that it was written for Clive Barker and it shows. It reminded me of one of his short stories from his Books of Blood.

Welcome: 5 out of 5 Stars: This is a hard story to write a synopsis to without spoiling it. A couple’s car breaks down and they need help. What they find is unique and horrifying. There is a part two to this story later.

Transformations: 5 out of 5: A gay man wishes to be straight. He’ll do anything. He goes as far as finding a spell book that promises him results. There are huge consequences and the ending is pretty twisted.

The Bonadventure: 5 out of 5 Stars: A group of ghosthunters search for paranormal activity in a graveyard. This one had great characters and went off in a totally different direction than I could have ever imagined.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read a lot of horror and it took me awhile to actually get into single author compilations from new authors. A lot of them seemed to consist of one or two good stories and the rest would be filler that was just thrown in to boost a word count. It happens a lot more than you would think and it makes it extremely difficult to invest in a full length novel. A shorty story collection is a great way to show off your range and depth unless you suck and then you have nothing going for you except for a book full of short stories that are mediocre at best. These collections are a crap shoot at best and not too many writers can pull this off.

As I began to read Dumpster I could tell that I was reading something unique. This is a guy that knows how tell a great story and style wise he's all over the place. He's a horror writer that you can't pin down. He has a style all his own and he has this ability to drag you into the stories he's writing. This is a horror writer that takes risks and doesn't care about rules or what subject you shouldn't write about. The guy has balls and in horror that's important. Each of these stories is unique and there's nothing that can prepare you for the onslaught that is Flowers In A Dumpster.

This is one collection that truly delivers. It's dark, it's a bit grungy and there were a few places I couldn't help but laugh but when you're reading a story about freeing Jesus from the cross and you realize that he's not coming back you can't help but chuckle. As I always do I'm judging this on the strength of each story. These are well written and there's no filler. Some do end quite abruptly but they're supposed to. This is a horror writer that I plan to read more of. If you're looking for something dark and different this is one that you should definitely pick up
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Flowers In A Dumpster is my first experience with Mark Allan Gunnells. Since Crystal Lake Publishing has proven itself to be a pretty reliable source of new and original horror, and with that cover looking all posterific, I could not resist.

Mr. Gunnells exceeds expectations with his tales of disturbing menaces cohabitating with a sense of humanity that compels you to keep reading. His characters seem real; some are quite likable. Others... not so much. His stories will take you down dark paths where you will encounter post-apocalyptic madness, dark humor in a support group you'll need therapy for after reading, a house too bad to be true, and a bit of pregnancy horror.

Not to mention all of the other stories that will surprise and shock. Mark leads the reader through a bit of familiar territory but still manages to captivate as you realize that Rod Serling could be narrating these very stories in a perfect alternate universe where the Twilight Zone is still being produced. If that is a bad thing, I don't know what to tell you. You can't account for taste all the time, and I don't want to argue with someone who could be anti-TZ.

If I have to pick a favorite story in this addictive collection, I would say The Locked Tower. Don't you know you always want to go where you're not allowed...

If you like some weirdness and fun, the hype is real. If you don't want to take my word for it, go see what Clive Barker has to say.
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Wow, where do I start?! Amazing collection of shorts here, very fast paced and enjoyable. My standout favorites were 'the support group,' 'transformations.'
'Welcome' and 'Welcome Back,' were my absolute favs, I was so pleased to find 'Welcome Back,' towards the end of the collection. Really great creativity and I will read more by this author. Recommend to all fans of modern horror.
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