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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

on November 6, 2002
I love Poppy. I really, really love Poppy. She's an awesome writer when she really gets going, and her new stuff is amazing. She's writing about very, very human things, which are just so much scarier than the subjects of her first few books. Take Zee, in "The Crystal Empire." She doesn't get what her boyfriend sees in this singer--she's a little scornful of the whole situation. However, she still openly believes that what he says, goes. That's SCARY. I've known people like that, who are willing to sacrifice their own will to another.
"Onion" is actually the best CRK story I've read since reading "Souveniers" in The Dreaming series. However...she still needs work. I had to read and reread "Onion" to figure out just what was going on. It's better than Silk or Threshold, but not by much. Oh well.
"The Rest of the Wrong Thing" was GREAT. PZB and CRK are fabulous collaborative writers. It brought back that wonderful small-town creepiness that I loved about Drawing Blood (and, to a lesser degree, Lost Souls. I just didn't like LS very much).
All in all, a B+ effort from two great writers.
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Poppy Z. Brite and Caitlin R. Kiernan, Wrong Things (Subterranean Press, 2001)
The title of this small collection seems rather redundant, really. Readers of the books of either of these authors should know well by now that nothing, in the world of either, is ever right, per se.
Wrong Things collects three long stories; one each from the two ladies, and a third that is a collaboration between them. The collaboration was originally supposed to be in Kiernan's From Weird and Distant Shores; at a guess, no one who reads the afterword in that book will be able to resist traking this down and reading "The Rest of the Wrong Thing." It's worth it. The story is set in Brite's fictional town of Missing Mile, taking two tangential characters and a tangential event and making them the focus of a creepy story about, as Kiernan puts it, "urban archaeology." Lovely stuff.
But the real gem here is Kiernan's solo story, "Onion." It's impossible to describe "Onion" without making it sound purely idiotic, but it comes off anything but. You'll just have to trust me on this one; "Onion" did more for raising a sense of dread in me than any story I've read since, probably, my first experience with the story "Slime" still trying to track the author of that one down) back in 1980.
You want to read this. Honest. ****
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on October 6, 2002
Caitlin Kiernan and Poppy Z. Brite, the two masters of short horror fiction, join forces to bring us this one-of-a-kind collection that surpasses all levels of expectations. Short stories aren't as loved as they once used to be. These two authors (who have also written great novels of gothic horror) make us open our eyes and wonder why the short stories have become a lost art form. They are able, in a very few words, to make their readers care for the characters and for the things they feel and do, something that many authors aren't even able to do in a full-length novel.
The collection opens with Brite's The Crystal Empire, about a man who falls in love with a musician and who's only way out is to murder the signer. The story is dark and atmospheric, everything you'd expect to find in a Poppy Brite story.
Kiernan's Onion is the best short story I've read in a long time. Here, we have a couple who saw things in their young age, other worlds, places that were never meant to be seen by the naked eye. Salvation time has come for this troubled couple. Verging the lines of dark fantasy, Onion is a very unique story that masterfully blends emotions, terror and drama. It makes you stand on the very edge of sanity.
And then we have the collaborative work, a story called The Rest Of The Wrong Things. This story takes the best of both authors and puts it to full use. Three people are brought to an old factory where (what else) dark things abide. And one of them holds the key to their awakening.
I loved every moment I spent reading Wrong Things. This anthology proves once and for all that Kiernan and Brite have perfectly mastered the art of short fiction. If you are a fan of either authors, or if you enjoy dark fiction, then do not let this one pass you by!
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on July 18, 2002
"Wrong Things" contains an original story each by Brite and by Kiernan, as well as the collaboration "The Rest of the Wrong Thing", which has some connections to Brite's novels "Lost Souls" and "Drawing Blood". Poppy Brite's "The Crystal Empire" is a dark, seductive story about what's done under the thrall of love as a guy named Matthew asks his girlfriend to help him kill someone. Caitlín Kiernan's "Onion" is an enticing tale about a couple who've both had visions of other worlds in their past and about how they are bound by this, as well as driven apart by it. Kiernan also includes a little afterword about where the idea for "The Rest of the Wrong Thing" came from. Fans of either or both will delight in this collection. I just wish it were a less expensive edition...
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on January 29, 2002
Kiernan and Brite have achieved a remarkable milestone with this collection of stories. It is frightful in a delightful way. Keep the lights on as you read!
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on December 16, 2001
I didn't think something could be so orgasmic. Poppy Brite and Caitlin Kiernan in one place. Almost can't fathom it, but there it is. Wrong Things, just like everything else each of them has written, is incredible.
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