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Where You Live Paperback – November 28, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary McMahon is the acclaimed author of nine novels and several short story collections. His latest novel releases are BEYOND HERE LIES NOTHING (the third in the acclaimed Concrete Grove series, published by Solaris) THE END (an apocalyptic drama published by NewCon Press) and THE BONES OF YOU (a supernatural mystery published by Earthling Publications), and his short fiction has been reprinted in various “Year’s Best” volumes. Gary lives with his family in Yorkshire, where he trains in Shotokan karate and likes running in the rain. Website: www.garymcmahon.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing; paperback / softback edition (November 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 099221825X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0992218256
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,438,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. P. Miskowski on October 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
As the publisher's note states, "horror is everywhere." Gary McMahon has a gift for spotting the discarded toy on the lawn that indicates something sinister is going on inside the house. His use of highly recognizable settings and situations is designed to draw the reader in, but also to leave us no critical distance, no safe place in which to process and objectify (and neutralize) our fear.

Usually when readers praise a writer's imagination they're impressed by the number of whimsical places and creatures he can describe. But it requires a powerful imagination to explore our dread of mortality within the common spaces of modern life--between the office and home, or on a weekend drive in the country--and to make the exploration compelling. McMahon has imagination to spare. He visits seemingly ordinary people just before they encounter or admit something terrible. More often than not, the horror they face corresponds to inner turmoil. Husbands and wives all but wreck one another with love. Fathers are so afraid of failure and vulnerability, they become the monsters their children dream about.

If the settings and characters seem, at first glance, mundane, remember that these are only starting points. The explicit dangers of the actual world, where everyone must die, are woven together with the mysterious and the numinous, often in magnificent patterns.

McMahon clearly aims to get us "where we live," offering familiar guides with nametags askew, to lead us into something horrific. And maybe home again.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
WHERE YOU LIVE is a horror collection that stirs emotions and provokes thought. These aren't simple riffs on overused horror motifs, rather they are tales examining this complex, confusing, often disturbing thing called "the human experience." McMahon's tight, precise prose cuts to the bone with surgical precision, laying out the common fears that plague all of us. Not to harp on the title overmuch, but these horrors don't live in dank caves or moldering, Gothic castles or moonlight cemeteries. These horrors hit close to home, sometimes too close.They hit us where we live.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Fear can be many things: an early warning system, a false alarm, a cheap thrill, or even the sublimation of stereotypes you’d never admit to believing in. The question is, how do you know when it’s real?

In “Just Another Horror Story,” a couple in the middle of a torrid love affair check into a hotel room for a night of debauchery. Little do Terry and Nancy know what actually awaits them. This tale was a great introduction to Mr. McMahon’s work. While I was able to anticipate some of the twists and turns in it I was pleasantly surprised by how often he made me second-guess my predictions about what would happen next.

“Trog Boy Ran” is by far the best story in this collection. Shortly Niles Reedman responds to a recent, painful breakup by stalking his ex-girlfriend and very odd things begin to occur around him. The pacing in this piece is so well done it felt almost cinematic. As disturbing as it was for me to step into the mind of a chilling and extremely dangerous protagonist, I couldn’t stop reading until I reached the end of Niles’ adventure.

I desperately wanted to like “The Chair.” In it a boy named Ben battles with despair, loneliness and an undisclosed malaise as his mother struggles with her own mental illness. The introduction caught my attention right away, but I had trouble understanding the symbolism of certain objects in Ben’s life and well as what was happening in the final scene. The sequel to this tale, “The Table,” answers some questions before asking the reader to sort out a brand new batch of them. The concept is alluring, but given the subtlety of what is happening these particular stories may have worked better as a novella.

This pattern repeats itself a few other times in this collection.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Thoroughly frightening, often surrealistic and with a great deal to think about, Where You Live takes the reader into the frightening world of pure horror and dark fantasy. A school trip gone horribly wrong, scary, mythical sea creatures and the monstrous nature of all consuming love are just some of the horrors you will encounter in this book.

Not only do these stories contain descriptions of hauntings, nightmarish apparitions and violently insane individuals, it also takes an in-depth look at the darkness in the minds of people. Most of these tales explore the extent to which the human mind can be warped by despair, disillusionment, depression and truly negative circumstances.

I liked the fact that most of the main characters were thoroughly, and often disgustingly flawed, thus making them scarily realistic. In some of the stories I had to wonder what was really happening to the character and what was simply horrors conjured up by the person's own fearful, desperate or vengeful psyche.

"I had nothing else to give, nothing left to offer up as a sacrifice. The best of me had withered long ago; all that remained was dust and shadows."

The author is a master at creating atmosphere; from sleazy to menacing to the suspense created by severe hatred and revenge; while the message remains:

"Beware the darkness. It is watching. It knows where you live..."

As the whole book is set in England, these stories are all so totally and uniquely British that it felt as though I was walking the streets and lanes of English towns and cities with the characters. The vivid descriptions of rainy weather and seedy circumstances added to the depressed tone of the book. Fortunately this collection contains one story with a happy ending.
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