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The Poison Eaters: And Other Stories Paperback – March 22, 2011
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Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Black (the Good Neighbors series) proves equally adept at urban fantasy and more traditional fairy tales, and her stories often feature the edgy sexuality and angst that have become her trademarks.”
"Black's got all the supernatural bases covered: vampires, fairies, an elf, a unicorn, wolves, the devil, and a spell-wielding high school Latin club.... Although they are often centered on bleak, dark characters, the pieces inspire hope, are touching and delightful, and even turn the most ghoulish characters into feeling beings."
School Library Journal
"Compelling, rich and engaging."
Bulletin of Ctr for Child Books
"Gritty, grim, and fabulousHolly is a master of dark magic and dark reality!"
Tamora Pierce (author of Bloodhound)
"Holly Black is the Real Thing: a gifted writer with a solid grounding in what matters. Her stories are dark and splendid blooms rising from roots sunk deep in myth and tradition."
Ellen Kushner (author of The Privilege of the Sword)
"Simply put, Holly Black is one of our best writers. Enchanting and edgy, yes, but it's the big heart in her stories that brings me back to her writing, time and again. Reading a new book by Holly is like meeting up with an old friend. They might be a little messed up from the last time you saw them, they might have some serious drama going on in their lives, but the connection is immediate, and when they're packing up to head off again, you don't want to let them go."
Charles de Lint (author of The Blue Girl)
Praise for Holly Black’s books:
Black’s series [is] considered to have kick-started the fairy trend in young adult fantasy.”
New York Times Book Review
"Black has an eye for the telling detail that brings the most minor character to life."
Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Dark, edgy, beautifully written, and compulsively readable, this is sure to be a word-of-mouth hit with teens, even a few usually unmoved by magic and monsters."
Top Customer Reviews
The collection of stories includes:
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
A Reversal of Fortune
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
The Night Market
The Dog King
In Vodka Veritas
The Coat of Stars
Paper Cuts Scissors
The Land of Heart's Desire
The Poison Eaters
Most of these stories were previously published, but there are two new stories specifically crafted for this collection. These stories have an extremely dark edge and yet a poetic and often amazing sense of what it is to be human, and an assessment of humanity. If readers can be victimized by books, then they will be by this one. It will be an addiction that they cannot put down and one that will leave them wanting another fix.
However, if things like typos, extra words, tense switches, and stories that can't keep their characters' names straight from one paragraph to the next drive you crazy, you might want to give this one a pass. I don't think I've ever seen such bad editing, even in some of the self-published books I've read. It's even less forgivable since this is a compilation of previously published stories. It looks like nobody could be bothered to give the book a basic once-over before it went to press. That's a shame, because it makes me think the publisher doesn't care... and if they don't care enough to do a basic edit to fix the mistakes, why should I care enough to give them my money?
--The Coldest Girl in Coldtown:
I loved this story, Coldtown is exactly the kind of place I do not want near and this story puts the scary back in vampire lore. It's not Edward waiting for you on the other side doll, it's a kick ass vamp who will lie to you this way and that for your blood.
--A Reversal of Fortune:
Oh how I wouldn't love to have an eating contest with the devil, however I am almost positive that I wouldn't have the luck or ingenuity of Nikki. Little Boo, I loved you!
--The Boy Who Cried Wolf:
This story reminds me to not take everything I read in books seriously and sometimes a great curiosity is better left alone rather than investigated.
--The Night Market:
Easily one of my favorites in this book, and it is darn hard to pick a favorite. I loved the fae in this story and I loved Black's vivid descriptions of the night market.
--The Dog King:
Take it from me kiddies this is not the one to read right before bed. It is super scary stuff and fantastically filled with lore. By far my most favorite of this collection.Read more ›
I teach at the high school level and am now considering using one of Black's stories in my classroom.
In the fifth story "The Dog King" is about castles and dangerous wolves who attack whole towns in packs and a King and a mysterious boy who lives in the castle. The next story "Virgin" is about kids who live on the streets and how one boy lives in the woods and says a unicorn is in this woods where he lives. The next story "In Vodka Veritas" is about a prep school where 2 not so popular boys are worried about who to take the prom, when one of them gets a date and the other doesn't. The one without a date wanders into the Latin Club having a secret meeting and gets sucked into it and it's very interesting what happens when the Latin Club goes to the prom and spikes everyone's drinks. A very entertaining story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What makes Holly Black a master at revamping conventional fairy tales is that she spans all lifestyles, times, serious topics, and presents them in an unbiased, wickedly creative... Read morePublished 21 months ago by YA Book Madness Blog
I enjoyed this book very much. My favorite stories were the first and last. The Coldest Girl In Cold Town short and The Poison Eaters. Tho every story in this book was enjoyable. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Chell
I bought The Poison Eaters by Holly Black as a birthday gift for my daughter and she absolutely loved it, she had been looking for it for about a year. Read morePublished on June 21, 2014 by F0XX
I am a fan of Holly Black's dark creepy writing, where characters find themselves in very sad dark places. Read morePublished on March 24, 2014 by Lina-From the Verge
Holly looks at the dark side of youth; mainly, the side that encounters creatures from fairy tales that haven't been Disney-fied. Read morePublished on March 14, 2014 by Barb Lawrence