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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel. See more
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Joseph Andrew Konrath’s first novel, Whiskey Sour (2004), introduced Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels. The books combine hair-raising scares and suspense with laugh out loud comedy. Under the name Jack Kilborn, Joe wrote the horror novel Afraid (2009). Joe's been nominated for several awards, including the Anthony, Macavity, Gumshoe, Dagger, and Barry, and has won the Derringer, Bob Kellog, EQMM Reader's Choice, and two Lovie awards. Joe is married, has three children and three dogs, and currently lives in a suburb of Chicago.
J. A. Konrath broke into the writing scene with his cocktail-themed mystery series, including Whiskey Sour, Bloody Mary, and Rusty Nail―stories that combine uproarious humor with spine-tingling suspense. Since then, Konrath has gone on to become an award-winning and best-selling author known for thriller and horror novels. He is also a pioneer of self-publishing models and posts industry insights on his world-famous blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. He lives in Chicago with his family and three dogs.
I enjoyed this collection of horror stories. Some of the stories verged more into the territory of "torture porn" than classic horror, but were enjoyable nonetheless. The Santa Claus story was incredibly clever and definitely worth a read. It does appear, however, that the book was rushed. There's a couple of typos and grammatical errors. At one point, it appears that a note from a reviewer or editor still remains in the story. I think if the copy were cleaned up a bit, I'd give the book another half a star.
If you've enjoyed other Kilborn/Konrath stories (many of which I read from the author's website some time ago) and have a stomach for gore, torture and squirmy situations, you'll enjoy these stories.
I've only read about 8 of the numerous stories in this book so far and am really impressed. Myself, my mom and wife agree that the story "Forgiveness" is easily worth the purchase price of a regular novel. It is one of the most clever stories I've ever read. It was brilliant. As simple as the story sounded, I was blown away. Ever since I read Trapped by Kilborn, I've been a huge fan. For mine and my Mom's taste, he's the best writer of horror novels easily. Yes, the best and I've read many. Several other stories and very good and creative as well. The coming of Age story is great! Again, I was blown away. I can't read these stories fast enough. Kilborn is the man! Keep writing - Please!!
This was a great collection of short stories - some only 2-3 pages long, while others averaged around 20 pages; some of them more humorous than scary, and others were downright gross and freaky; but one thing is for sure, every last one was worth reading! There's everything from a desperate family in a fallout shelter after WWIII, to a man stranded on an alien landscape doing what it takes to survive as he slowly goes mad, and a little of everything in between.
The best part of this read was the fact that no matter if you have 5 minutes to kill or a couple of hours there is a story the perfect length for any situation. If you enjoy the horror genre then you should love this collection of horror stories, but I should warn you that there are a few that are certainly not for the squeamish.
I cannot wait to read other titles by this particular author (or is it authors?). Luckily, he has plenty more out there! Now I just have to decide which great title or collection will be next.
It's been said numerous times that one of the greatest moments for an up-and-coming author is when he realizes that he is already producing work that is consistently better than those who are already being paid and published for what they do.
Then there are the times when the aspirant stumbles across someone that he very much wants to emulate.
As a writer who's just started making his first successful insertions into the publishing industry, J.A. Konrath is one of those latter examples to me.
Konrath is excellent at creating stories that are short and effective, with easy language that makes for quick pacing. "Mr. Pull Ups" was easily one of the most original and disturbing pieces I've read in a long time, while his flash-fiction is lunchtime reading at its best. Konrath's use of humor to both dilute and enhance the content of his stories is very unique and well-done, with "Shapeshifters Anonymous" being my personal favorite.
A word of caution, as Konrath does on occasion - and he admits it himself - stray into some territory that is in very poor taste. Installments such as "Trailer Sucks" and "The Confession" are not there to be read by just anyone, and can dip into details that may even be considered ethically irresponsible to print. But that is a debate for another venue.
On the whole, Kilborn/Konrath presents a consistently original and witty collection of work. To anyone who's become jaded with the poor quality of today's ghoulish stories, or if you're like me and looking to be inspired to hold your own work to a higher standard, then his collection of Horror Stories is for you.
I really enjoyed this book. The stories were extremely creepy and creative, and I've read them several times over because they are so well written. The stories are also very disturbing as well as disgusting. The descriptions are so accurate, that I could practically feel myself in the character's shoes. It's a must read if you can handle very gorey, graphic, and creepy stories.
This book is a collection of short stories that vary in quality. Mr. Kilborn does have a good imagination, but some of the stories are not developed enough or just not scary. I might read one of his novels to see if his writing is better in a full length format, since of these stories are from his early career. This book was entertaining, but don't expect any real scares or great writing.
What do I think? I don't know WHAT to think! Some of the short stories leave you cringing and speechless! I don't know WHERE Jack Kilborn/JA Konrath gets his ideas from......... I can't get enough of his books! I already have 4 more of his books (both writing as JA Konrath, and Jack Kilborn)downloaded on my Kindle...the hard part is picking ONE of them to read next! I LOVE short stories...and some of the stories in this collection took me 5 minutes to read - start to finish! And I am a slow reader! Once you get into his stories, it is extremely difficult to put them down. I actually ONLY put them down, because I have to return to work. (I do the majority of my reading while on break at work!). Highly recommend this book if you enjoy unbelievable HORROR.
I think at different times I like different types of books; however, never do I like love stores. At the time I purchased this book I was in a rather dark mood. Everything seemed to be going a little bit wrong and I needed to find something to read that would help me realize maybe life wasn't so bad after all. Boy, was this it. These stories were terrifying, and extremely graphic. I kept saying to myself, "geez, I never could have handled that............" Not everyone reacts like I do. I guess for me when things are going bad I like to find someone who's worse off. And every one of these stories had someone who was worse off....................