Friday, June 24, 2016

Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward [5 stars]


From the Description
From Bram Stoker Award-nominated publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, and the editing duo who brought you the best-selling and critically acclaimed small-town Lovecraftian horror anthology Shadows Over Main Street, comes Gutted: Beautiful Horror Storiesa disturbing journey into the beauty that rests inside the very heart of darkness.

Awe meets ache.

Terror becomes transcendence.

Regret gives way to rebirth.

Fifteen short stories and one poem span nearly every twisted corner of the horror and dark fiction genres:

A woman experiences an emotional reckoning inside a haunted house.

A father sees his daughter rescued after a cold case is solved, only to learn the tragic limits of his love.

A man awakens a vengeful spirit and learns the terrible price of settling scores.

A boy comes of age into awareness of a secret universe of Lovecraftian scale.

A young woman confronts the deathly price of existence inside a German concentration camp during the Holocaust.

And much, much more…

Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories features the most celebrated voices in dark fiction, as well as a number of exciting new talents:

Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Paul Tremblay, John F.D. Taff, Lisa Mannetti, Damien Angelica Walters, Josh Malerman, Christopher Coake, Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Amanda Gowin, Richard Thomas, Maria Alexander and Kevin Lucia. Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward.

With a foreword from Cemetery Dance magazine founder Richard Chizmar.

Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing.
Cover art by Caitlin Hackett
Interior artwork by Luke Spooner
Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward

Publication Date: June 24, 2016
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Publication Length: 380 pages
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this anthology.
Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories is fantastic! Most multi-author collections have some stories that I love and some that are just ok, but Gutted is filled with wonderful stories. The tales found here are touching and horrific, heartbreaking and full of hope. None of them are disappointing. A few of my favorites are:
The Problem of Susan by Neil Gaiman
A very dark twist on a beloved children's story.
Dominion by Christopher Coake
A girl gets help from the other side. Great ghost story!
Water Thy Bones by Mercedes M. Yardley
This is a disturbing and yet somehow beautiful tale of love and death.
On the Other Side of the Door, Everything Changes by Damien Angelica Walters
A truly heart-wrenching story about bullying and it's consequences. This one was hard to read through my tears.
Repent by Richard Thomas
A father is willing to make any sacrifice to save his son.
Cards for His Spokes, Coins for His Fare by John F.D. Taff This one broke my heart!
Cellar’s Dog by Amanda Gowin
Revenge doggy style.
When We All Meet at the Ofrenda by Kevin Lucia
A widower brings his family together for Día de Muertos. Touched my heart.
Hey, Little Sister by Maria Alexander
A man seeks revenge for his sister with unintended consequences.
Horror fans will find much to love in this superbly written anthology. A highly recommended 5 star read.


Buy the Book


Praise for Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories


"Up-and-coming writers such as Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, and Maria Alexander deliver the goods alongside Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, and other established writers. If you only buy one collection of stories this year, this should be it." JG Faherty, Multi-award nominated author of The Cure, The Burning Time, and Ghosts of Coronado Bay.

"It's a book for readers who love language as much as story, who understand that horror can be beautiful, ecstatic and revelatory as well as down-right scary." - James Everington

"Gutted will have out your liver and lights in an instant, after you give your heart willingly." Duane Pesice, Retrograde A

"All of the stories in this anthology have a beauty, whether it is in language or tone or in finessing a hard-hitting theme to disarm the reader. It’s worth picking up this collection." Eden Royce