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Horror Story and Other Horror Stories

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The first published work of acclaimed Canadian author Robert Boyczuk.


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The first published work of acclaimed Canadian author Robert Boyczuk.

30 review for Horror Story and Other Horror Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    karen

    i guess i am someone who reads short stories. it's what i do now. so, to celebrate the short, i am going to make this review a series of pithy one-sentence... summaries? commentaries? of/on each story. this is not me being lazy; it is actually quite difficult. especially with stories like these, which frequently have little twists in them that i want to avoid destroying. so some of these sentences might even be misleading, a little. who knows, i haven't written it yet. come with me on my tiny jo i guess i am someone who reads short stories. it's what i do now. so, to celebrate the short, i am going to make this review a series of pithy one-sentence... summaries? commentaries? of/on each story. this is not me being lazy; it is actually quite difficult. especially with stories like these, which frequently have little twists in them that i want to avoid destroying. so some of these sentences might even be misleading, a little. who knows, i haven't written it yet. come with me on my tiny journey. query some publishers will work harder for you than others. gaytown sorry, kids, apparently it actually doesn't get better. home obsession and paranoia in space just makes it hard on everyone. assassination and the new world order congratulations on being elected; now watch your fucking back. when fat men love thin women i would for you jazz threnody self-scrutiny is no fun, is it? doing time would you like some poetry with that justice? falling when your life flashes before your eyes, it can take ages, man... object of desire you'd think it would be nice to have everyone love you... the death artist like kafka, only more committed shika for some reason, i have nothing to say about this story. tabula rasa worst party ever the back shed ah, the muse, she is destructive.... the uncertainty principle love triangles in space are hard!! monster a brief and clever reversal of a familiar story the love clinic oh, god, people - just talk to each other before you make decisions!!! pirates well, how do you like it, fazellas? cure for cancer it seemed like a good idea at the time... horror story i started something... i realize now that this was probably a bad idea, and this "review" is too reductive to give any sense of the true impact of the stories, and it makes it all sound a little silly. but i'm not good at covering my tracks when i make mistakes, so i'll just plow on into an overview of the collection. most of it was great - i wasn't crazy about the sci-fi/military ones, but that's a me vs. genre thing. these are highly original and stunning stories about the destructive force of love and obsession and the horrible decisions we make while in their throes. i think the only one i didn't like at all was shika. there were some that were okay, but the ones i loved i really really loved, so this was a more successful collection than most, and considering it took me almost two years to be able to get it into the store, i would say it was definitely worth waiting for. spooky month continues... come to my blog!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Charity

    A friend bought this for me, I think because of the hours we devoted in our misspent youth to discussing horror films. Since having kids, I'm not as enthusiastic about horror as I once was (I seem to be more easily scared than I used to be), but I still enjoy the genre and the tingle of being frightened every once in a while. And I was pleased to find that Boyczuk isn't going for the easy scare with the stories in this collection. The stories touch on very basic and universal human issues (which A friend bought this for me, I think because of the hours we devoted in our misspent youth to discussing horror films. Since having kids, I'm not as enthusiastic about horror as I once was (I seem to be more easily scared than I used to be), but I still enjoy the genre and the tingle of being frightened every once in a while. And I was pleased to find that Boyczuk isn't going for the easy scare with the stories in this collection. The stories touch on very basic and universal human issues (which is a good part of what makes them so scary), and they have literary merit to boot. Boyczuk explores issues of love and the intricacies of relationships while giving his readers the willies. His characters find that issues in their subconscious with which they haven't dealt become manifest in the outside world. Love is portrayed as a kind of addiction, and sex as a way of taking something from another person (most literally in the story "Doing Time," which the notes at the back say was first published in the book Erotica Vampirica, which should give some sense of what sort of story it is). I found it enjoyable (if disturbing) to see how Boyczuk makes the inner workings of his characters' psyches part of their external worlds. I found the last story in the collection, "Horror Story," to be the scariest. I read it after everyone else was in bed and it took a great deal of bravery on my part to turn out the lights all over the house before I turned in for the evening. I'm glad I didn't read it while my husband was out of town.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Wonderful set of stories. A mix of classic horror stories (monsters, supernatural beings, serial killers), sci-fi (with a thriller/horror twist), and just some great thrillers. As the back cover says, the primary themes of the stories are love and loss. Many of them go in directions you don't expect, and it keeps you guessing what the next story is going to bring. There are so many rehashes of the same old themes in modern literature, especially in the horror genre, that this book was wonderfull Wonderful set of stories. A mix of classic horror stories (monsters, supernatural beings, serial killers), sci-fi (with a thriller/horror twist), and just some great thrillers. As the back cover says, the primary themes of the stories are love and loss. Many of them go in directions you don't expect, and it keeps you guessing what the next story is going to bring. There are so many rehashes of the same old themes in modern literature, especially in the horror genre, that this book was wonderfully refreshing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    A collection that calls itself Horror Story better have at least one damn good horror story, lest you think it a parody of the genre such as Scary Movie. Plus, it better be better than Scary Movie. No problem here: Robert Boyczuk (whose novels Nexus: Ascension and The Book of Thomas prove him a master of both the short and long form) has put together a collection that rivets you to your seat even as it pulls the rug out from under you. “Cure for Cancer” is a nightmare of twisted love, and “Query A collection that calls itself Horror Story better have at least one damn good horror story, lest you think it a parody of the genre such as Scary Movie. Plus, it better be better than Scary Movie. No problem here: Robert Boyczuk (whose novels Nexus: Ascension and The Book of Thomas prove him a master of both the short and long form) has put together a collection that rivets you to your seat even as it pulls the rug out from under you. “Cure for Cancer” is a nightmare of twisted love, and “Query” is a masterpiece of literary insanity that anyone in the publishing industry will connect with. The story “Horror Story” would make such a terrific movie, I’m surprised no one has done it yet. Find the full review at my website.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Love

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ariana

    I was disappointed with the stories I read in this collection. There were some stories that were good, some that had potential, and others that were boring or confusing. Confusion was something I felt often when reading some of these stories, and I feel like it may have been more to do with what it tried to accomplish more than what I didn't understand. I didn't get anything out of most of the stories, and I didn't like the confusion; if I didn't understand it would be my own fault, but some sto I was disappointed with the stories I read in this collection. There were some stories that were good, some that had potential, and others that were boring or confusing. Confusion was something I felt often when reading some of these stories, and I feel like it may have been more to do with what it tried to accomplish more than what I didn't understand. I didn't get anything out of most of the stories, and I didn't like the confusion; if I didn't understand it would be my own fault, but some stories ended too abruptly and it just made me want to forget the story instead of thinking it over and reflecting on it. The few stories that I did like were enjoyable, and they have the potential to be fleshed out and made into novels with the content and characters that were in them. It's too bad the other stories has unmemorable characters and annoying plots, because the collection would've been more enjoyable for me had all the stories been similar in the way they were told. Unfortunately, this collection has put me off reading short stories. Perhaps I was influenced by my experience with "typical" Canadian short stories, but I expected something different and was greatly disappointed with the way these stories were told.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pat Gracey

    Some of the stories in here aren't very scary and I put it down, though I noted that the writing is quite good. I picked it up again and was quite impressed by a story I read at random "Tabula Rasa" that I'm upgrading my rating and reconsidering my first impressions of the other stories. It's got some real silly and surreal moments and the first couple (while I would have loved if I was in a Don B mood) disappointed me from what I thought I was getting. (I'm always hoping to be scared shitless) Some of the stories in here aren't very scary and I put it down, though I noted that the writing is quite good. I picked it up again and was quite impressed by a story I read at random "Tabula Rasa" that I'm upgrading my rating and reconsidering my first impressions of the other stories. It's got some real silly and surreal moments and the first couple (while I would have loved if I was in a Don B mood) disappointed me from what I thought I was getting. (I'm always hoping to be scared shitless) I picked it up recently after a few years of neglect and read another story that really did impress me. Tabula Rasa. Not a believer in giving things away it's a psychologically driven story with a kind of horror that is not so much in your face as nagging and pervasive. I liked it not because I lost any sleep, but it's the sort of horror that works by being believable (not so much circumstances as behaviour) and I just saw something darker about my fellow human beings.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Daniella

    I picked this up at Ad-Astra, with slight hesitation on my part as I'm very easily scared and that fear generally lingers for ages. I delved into this collection of short stories expecting classic horror and that sure isn't what I got. These stories feature a fear that slowly insinuates itself into your thoughts, grows, and refuses to leave. They all seem to deal with love and/or obsession in some form, and quite a few of them feature the supernatural or have a sci-fi setting. There were times w I picked this up at Ad-Astra, with slight hesitation on my part as I'm very easily scared and that fear generally lingers for ages. I delved into this collection of short stories expecting classic horror and that sure isn't what I got. These stories feature a fear that slowly insinuates itself into your thoughts, grows, and refuses to leave. They all seem to deal with love and/or obsession in some form, and quite a few of them feature the supernatural or have a sci-fi setting. There were times when I felt that the writing seemed pretentious, but it worked well in the context of the stories, so I was easily able to overlook it. I found it extremely enjoyable to read the stories aloud. I would give this collection a solid 3.5 stars (some stories striking a 5, and others a 3), and would recommend it to readers looking for stories to enjoy slowly and to take time to think about afterwards.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    Horror Story and Other Horror Stories is a misleading title, as there's more than your standard horror stories. There's a lot of dark science fiction in here too and I would probably label the collection as a whole as weird fiction. Anyway, since I like horror and sci-fi this was a perfect book for me as I had the best of both worlds. Robert Boyczuk does a good job here, and I would have to say I liked pretty much everything in this collection of short stories. Although I will admit there is noth Horror Story and Other Horror Stories is a misleading title, as there's more than your standard horror stories. There's a lot of dark science fiction in here too and I would probably label the collection as a whole as weird fiction. Anyway, since I like horror and sci-fi this was a perfect book for me as I had the best of both worlds. Robert Boyczuk does a good job here, and I would have to say I liked pretty much everything in this collection of short stories. Although I will admit there is nothing memorable, nothing that knocked my socks off. But don't let that dissuade you, as the book was an enjoyable collection to read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bethany Ebert

    Overall, this was a good collection of horror stories. Body horror, grotesque imagery, and psychological horror are a few of the types you will find in this book. Boyczuk's use of language is skillful - he says a lot in only a few words, just enough to give the reader an unsettling feeling. Gay and straight pairings are treated with the same approach; Boyczuk never meanders over his gay/bisexual characters or tokenizes them, which I appreciate. I gave this book three stars because I felt some of Overall, this was a good collection of horror stories. Body horror, grotesque imagery, and psychological horror are a few of the types you will find in this book. Boyczuk's use of language is skillful - he says a lot in only a few words, just enough to give the reader an unsettling feeling. Gay and straight pairings are treated with the same approach; Boyczuk never meanders over his gay/bisexual characters or tokenizes them, which I appreciate. I gave this book three stars because I felt some of the stories weren't really as good as the others.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    It's better than three stars, but that would mean I really liked it, and I admired it more than I liked it. It's very subtle, off-kilter horror rather than in-your-face horror, which I appreciate, but a lot of it is just too abstruse for me. Also, the typesetting of the story titles couples with the lack of finality in the endings made it hard to tell when a new story was beginning. When it's good it's very very good. When it's bad it feels like it's trying too hard to be sophisticated.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rachelccameron

    I didn't find many of the stories in this book to be compelling, entertaining or scary. Many of them were weird and for some I could see what the author was trying to convey, but I did not love the execution of the final product.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    Excellent short stories!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    This is copy 96 of 100 signed and numbered by the author and illustrator.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Xii

    Actual Rating: 1.9 Couldn't finish it because it bored me. That's the real horror.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    This is an odd collection of short stories. Not exactly what I call horror, this collection was definitely on the creepy side. Lots of sci-fi elements. I liked it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brett Savory

  18. 4 out of 5

    FenixPVZ

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rhealyn Macaraeg

    its a nice story

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark Henrry

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  22. 4 out of 5

    Merzbau

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kali

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jack Haringa

  25. 4 out of 5

    ANNA MAY L. GAKO

  26. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Fraser

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Kasturi

  28. 4 out of 5

    Magnus

  29. 4 out of 5

    RazoDrn10

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vivek

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