Excerpt from the introduction:
Editors Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax put the call out to horror writers and editors of extreme stories, the hardcore stuff that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos, the transgressive tales you can't "unread" (as Chuck Palahniuk says). We staked out our territory and nailed this to the wall to guide us:
Year's Best Hardest Horror
Not your mama's best-of horror annual.
This stuff comes from the edge of the abyss,
stories you read at your own risk
because you feel the abyss looking right back into you
through the tainted lens of each twisted tale.
Some of the stories you'll find here are loaded with very graphic descriptions of violence, sex, and depravities, while others may contain only one shocking moment of brutality. In others, the hardcore aspect may be less graphic and subtler than you might expect. Some of these quieter tales offer the listener some time to recover from the more disturbing ones preceding.
Most of the stories collected here are from small and specialty press anthologies, with a few from periodicals, like the prestigious Splatterpunk Zine in the UK and Thuglit here in the US. Bizarro is also represented with a couple of tales from the unlikely anthology Blood for You: A Literary Tribute to GG Allin from Weirdpunk Books. (If you're not familiar with the late GG Allin, you can find snippets from some of his outrageous and obscene punk shows online, which will increase your appreciation of those two tales.)
So for now, forget about that neighbor you suspect is a serial killer, don't worry about the drunk driver that could take you out on your next trip to the store, push those troubling news stories to the back of your mind, and immerse yourself in the imaginary horrors at hand.
But don't be surprised if you sense something dark staring back at you from between the lines. That is to be expected when you enter these forbidding realms. With any luck, you may find something useful to help you survive the approaching Apocalypse.
©2016 Comet Press (P)2016 Comet Press
I love audiobooks!!!
I'm a big fan of extreme horror, and these are some of the most vile and disgusting stories I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. I actually had to space this out over several days because some of the conjured imagery was so nasty. Super happy with the narration. A lot of times,anthologies have different narrators for each story, and sometimes it's appropriate, but in this case, I'm glad they stuck with just one.
A good listen makes for an amazing day!
This book has it all for horror fans. It's not for the faint of heart. Great collection of stories which define the depths of craziness. Great job by Joe as always.
Yes, it really got me through long drives to work with great ease.
"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."
STORIES: 3 stars
PERFORMANCE: 5 stars
OVERALL: 4 stars
*WHY I GAVE THE STORIES IN THIS ANTHOLOGY 3 STARS*
The majority of the stories in this anthology were exceptionally well written. Most contained eloquence and graphic detail that led to a sense of believability despite how unrealistic the paranormal entity and it's bizarre behaviors were. For totally fantastical tales of things that can and will never happen in real life to be written so well that they were somewhat believable says a lot about the talented authors who contributed to this collection. I was entertained most of the time, often finding myself squirming and saying, "ewe" and, "gross" while listening to this audiobook (which I received free from the narrator in exchange for an honest review). If only the endings of the stories were as great...
*WHY I DIDN'T GIVE THIS ANTHOLOGY MORE THAN 3 STARS*
I don't care much for anthologies and this compilation is the perfect example of why that is true. The majority of the stories contained in this audiobook were captivating and entertaining.....until they reached their end. I became totally immersed in almost every story in this audiobook only to be shocked (and very frustrated) when the story ended in a totally anti-climactic way. More often than not, I would be on the edge of my seat, loving the story one moment then unexpectedly crestfallen upon realizing that the story had ended. I kept listening to one story after another, experiencing the same disappointment over and over.
I felt that the editors could've done a better job as far as where they placed each of the stories. One time I had to doublecheck to see if a new story had begun; apparently the editors didn't think it would be problematic to place two different stories about GG Allen back to back??? The editors also chose to place two different stories referring to hiding glass in food back to back. Perhaps they didn't realize they'd done this or maybe they did do it intentionally; regardless of why they placed these stories after one another, it was annoying and confusing.
Mr. Hempel is a +++++5 star performer! Despite having to read multiple stories comprised of various characters and scenarios, he rose to the challenge and thoroughly succeeded! Regardless of the story he was reading, Hempel was consistently able to adjust his tone, volume, etc., always finding just the right level to suit each situation. He spoke with a smooth, even keeled tone of voice when needed and wasn't afraid to get creative when appropriate. I loved how he occasionally used a more theatrical voice or and accent, improving the level of entertainment while also helping us listeners differentiate between characters. Whatever voice he used, it always sounded believable and flowed seamlessly regardless of whether he was reading mellow narrative or squealing like a psychotic female character! Hempel is truly an outstanding narrator! If you're new to recording audiobooks, he's who I'd recommend emulating!
As anthologies go for hardcore horror, this is one of the better ones. Because of the intense subject matter, it's best if digested in small, bite-sized (body) parts! Are all the stories killers? No, but the ratio of "OMG!" reactions to "meh" or "yawn" is very high. If you don't like taboo-breaking defilement of bodies (not dead, near-dead, or dead) and graphic, in-your-face descriptions of oozing or spewing bodily fluids in all forms, you best avoid this book. The narration is fine and never detracts from the stories. I look forward to Volume 2.
This audiobook was given to me for free by AudiobookBoom in exchange for an honest review. Bile [sic] the way, the gift did not effluence [sic] my opinions here in any way.
High among favorites.
The Downtown Dixonville Dismemberer.
The same answer to the previous question.
Enjoyable and exciting to listen to.
Dedicated Audible reader - love the average apocalyptic dystopian horror story!
All in all this was a very well done collection of short story horror. The narration was well done too. For me, the strong sexual narratives were a bit over the top, but each story appealed to me in some way. That in itself is not common. I enjoyed the fresh perspective brought out by these writers. Some stories completely original, others had excellent twist on existing themes such as zombie apocalypse. I would recommend this collection to anyone who likes this genre especially in short story. Well done.
I love audio books.
At first I thought I wouldn't like the format of a series of short stories. Boy, was I wrong. That is exactly what I liked most about this book. I could finish a story while finishing the dishes and be ready for the next one tomorrow. Perfect! The stories are all different and run the gamut from bizarre to completely gruesome.
Joe Hempel breathed life into each and every one of the characters. The stories weren't just narrated, but performed. It was like listening to an old radio show; I absolutely loved his work. I would listen to his books any day!
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.
I successfully scared myself again. Excellent collection of horror stories written by several horror writers. I recommend this audiobook who love this genre.
Cringe, Dark, Hardcore
I love the different kinds of stories found tin this collection. There was everything from possessed babies, zombies, serial killers, robberies gone wrong, drugs and even some love stories, train love in particular.
I have not but I will be on the lookout for him in the future. His range on the different stories were excellent. There were certain times when I thought that someone different was reading a story but it was all him and his great talent.
There were some stories that were gross, others that were messed up, others that were thrilling. I enjoyed almost all of them. The ones that I particularly disliked were not so much of the tone or talent of the writer but the length. It was disheartening to be involved deeply in a story only to have it end so quickly. It left a bad taste in your mouth but not because of the subject matter but because you wanted to see where else the story was going to go.
I loved the collection in this anthology and really looking forward to Volume 2. They were not all winners but the good ones outweigh the bad and the good ones have some real hidden gems that really shine. "I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom."
I would because they are good short stories, i just thought horror would have been a little more scary
I liked how short the stories were. They were long enough to convey the message the author was trying to give... except one with the abandonded building near the beginning.... but short enough that i didn't get bored
No i have not listed to any before.
I did cringe at a few parts and rolled my eyes and cringed at the same time with the story with the car wash.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
For fans of horror definitely a good buy. Range of story's covering a vast array of topics but all equally harrowing. Not for the faint of heart
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