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Tales of the Unusual Audiobook

Tales of the Unusual

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the Audible #1 bestsellers The Stone Man, The Physics of the Dead, and In the Darkness, That's Where I'll Know You.

Five more stories from Luke Smitherd to keep you intrigued, shocked, and asking what you would do...

HE WAITS: Quite literally, no escape. Because he's always with you. And in the real world - the world of you, the listener - "He Waits" will stay in your mind in a way that you won't expect...

KEEP YOUR CHILDREN CLOSE: A campsite. A family holiday. A broken down car. And an approaching breakdown truck that is just the start of Shelley's nightmare. By the time the sun sets, someone in that field will be dead, and Shelley must somehow make sure it isn't one of her children.

THE JESUS LOOPHOLE: Published here for the first time, in any format. Obsession, revenge, and a very big question: can God's system of sin and redemption be played to your own advantage?

CLOSURE: A winter walk in the woods seemed like a great idea to Gary and his wife, Carla. But when another version of himself appears and kidnaps Gary's wife before his very eyes, Gary must decide whether or not to use the strange mechanical devices his duplicate has left him...and then live with the choice.

YOUR NAME IS IN THE BOOK: When 11-year-old John Diner comes home to find an immense, mysterious book lying on his bed - its cover torn off, every page an endless list of names, some of which even belong to people he knows - he assumes its some kind of phone directory. It has to be, right? Even when the only numbers inside are single digits; solitary and curious scores printed next to each person listed. A puzzle, for sure...and a warning. A desperate message from an unseen stranger, a man trying to explain a terrible truth. John will find himself uncovering a darker reality than he can ever imagine, and the beginning of his road towards an impossible choice.

©2015 Luke Smitherd (P)2017 Luke Smitherd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (12 )
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4.5 (12 )
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4.8 (12 )
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  •  
    JoanneG Chicago, IL 01-15-17
    JoanneG Chicago, IL 01-15-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
    ratings
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    11
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    Story
    "Great Collection-Eerie Stories That Make You Think"

    I read each of these novellas separately when they came out; now it's nice to have them all in one place for when I want to read/listen to them again. And I definitely want to read them again.

    All the stories in this collection have one thing in common: they put you into the characters' shoes and leave you wondering what you would do in their place. The characters are real people, very well-defined, so you know what they are feeling as the stories progress. You are invested in what happens to them.

    The characters go through fear, horror, and disbelief, but they also care about each other very much. Sometimes that love is the driving force behind the story and that's why the stories are so relatable. You don't want bad things to happen to the important people in your life, but that is a possibility in all these stories. That heightens the tension and the feeling that you can't turn the pages fast enough to find out what happens (or have the narrator talk faster).

    Very briefly,

    1. He Waits - Probably the scariest story written by Luke Smitherd. Don't start it before you go to bed.

    2. Keep Your Children Close - A family on vacation faces an unknown evil.

    3. The Jesus Loophole - Filled with symbolism, the story asks if you can get around God's rules.

    4. Closure - A happy couple goes for a walk in the woods and nothing is ever the same. Or is it?

    5. Your Name is in the Book - Can you win against a system that is set up for you to lose?

    I originally rated all five of these stories as Five Stars, so I am obviously rating this collection the same way. These stories are original, well-written, and beautifully told as the characters struggle with the situations they find themselves in--and you struggle right along with them.

    I highly recommend this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally P. 01-29-17
    Sally P. 01-29-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I adore Luke Smitherd"

    Both his books & short stories are thought provoking & unusual. This collection didn't disappoint & I look forward to hearing Weird. Dark. next.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DobieChuck Colorado 01-28-17
    DobieChuck Colorado 01-28-17 Member Since 2017

    Blind listener reading everything, especially mystery/thrillers and sf&f. Restricted to audio so picky where credits spent. #BooksRule

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "OUTSTANDING!!"

    An awesome collection of shorts... The least of the stories is very good, and the best are simply excellent... Bit of worlds other than this theme... Stories that'll make you think, not to mention check to see if the lights are on;). Superbly wrought tension, and some fantastic, and disturbing, reveals and reversals... Right up there w/ my fave short fiction writers like King and Ellison... I particularly enjoy the subtle, and not so subtle, linkages and interconnectedness of these tales specifically, but also w/ the author's other works... The puzzle becomes even more intriguing... The narration is superior... If you like short fiction, enjoy the occasional heebie jeebies, or appreciate chewing over what you've just read you'll love these offerings... Worth the price/credit...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan 01-21-17
    Megan 01-21-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved each story, as always"

    Luke's writings always give you just enough answers to keep you happy with the outcome, and not enough answers to keep you from wondering and wanting more. Those questions lead to more questions... but the beauty of his style is that there are no real answers to those questions. What do YOU think? How do YOU feel after this particular story?

    Plus, he reads his own work, so you get to listen to his voice. Not half bad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wheels South Riding, VA USA 04-20-17
    Wheels South Riding, VA USA 04-20-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Another great one by Smitherd"

    The author always manages to draw me in. I think the fact that he narrates his own work takes it to another level because he is keenly aware of the tone, inflections, and emotions of the characters since he is the one who creates them.

    Getting ready to download more of his works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bree Salyer Ocala, FL 04-18-17
    Bree Salyer Ocala, FL 04-18-17 Member Since 2016

    Looking for the next best horror, ghost, paranormal, apocalyptic book out there. Especially if it has a full cast.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Snoozefest"

    Narration wasn't too bad for an author self-reading his own works, but I found the stories boring and couldn't finish listening to more than half the book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mark Ledsom
    2/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The ideas just keep flowing :)"

    Luke's stories and story telling continue to evolve - his latest collection is excellent and compliments his previous works well. Thank you and I'm looking forward to what's next from Luke as it's guaranteed to be very good ( no pressure!!)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    1/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great collection of distinctive stories"

    Up to Luke Smitherd's usual high standards, this collection hovers around fantasy and sci-fi without ever losing sight of reality.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Joy Murphy
    1/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "couldn't stop listening"

    couldn't stop listening. I usually listen to audiobooks to fall asleep to at night but that was not going to happen with this one. really kept my interest. refreshing new stories. looking forward to more. narrator - very pleasant voice and was very easy to listen to

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kathryn W.
    UK
    1/16/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Blown Away By This Audiobook"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would highly recommend this to a friend. The stories and narration are both top-notch.


    Which character – as performed by Luke Smitherd – was your favourite?

    I enjoyed them all, Luke is a wonderful narrator.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was absolutley blown away by both "Your Name Is In The Book" and "Keep Your Children Close".


    Any additional comments?

    I would also recommend The Stone Man by Luke Smitherd. It's one of my favorites stories.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • TerryF
    1/16/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved every minute!"

    Listened to this pretty much in one go (mostly sitting on a train, so I was kind of a captive audience!) Although I had read a couple of the stories before, it was nice to listen to them being narrated by Luke - there is always something a bit special when the author is also the narrator. I am most definitely a fan of Mr Smitherd and that dreaded day when I read something of his that is not as good as, if not better than his previous stuff is a long, long way off I think!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bev carmody
    1/15/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This man can write."

    I have devoured all of Lukes work. The book is brilliant. His second short stories, two of which I want, yes, want to hear more from.
    I ended up going to bed far to late, as I could not turn the darn book off.
    Each Story well thought out and written. I was very pleased when I discovered Luke narrated the book Don't get the man big headed :) but he is very good, and you never know exactly what your gonna read. Brilliant.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Waterlooville, UK
    1/15/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Little Nuggets of Smitherd-fuelled Craziness!"

    I don't usually go for short story collections. It has always felt like I'm getting the left overs that the author(s) didn't feel were worth making into a full meal. This is of course unfair as telling short stories is an art form in itself. However having listened to the likes of "The Stone Man" and "The Physics of the Dead" I've come to recognise that Smitherd is a very interesting author and decided to give this one a go.

    I am glad that I did. These are very enjoyable little insights into Luke's writing approach. They contain some of what are becoming Smitherd motifs like the mysterious stranger who knows more than the lead character and of course the little carrots of dread such as the announcement that someone will finish up dead at the very start of "Keep Your Children Close". In fact the visit to the house by strangers in "Closure" almost feels like a dry run for a similar visit in "Kill Someone". The absolute highlight for me was actually "He Waits". A real chiller and mind-bending concept that grows in menace the more that you think about it.

    As a genuine bonus there are some excellent brief thoughts from the author at the end. To someone who has never been through it the writing process can be fascinating so getting some insight into it from an author like Smitherd is a real boon to me. There is also an excerpt from one of Luke's other short story collections "Weird Dark".

    I'm rating this as five stars based very much in the context that it's one of the very best of the relatively small number of short story collections that I've read myself. Personally I'd always recommend one of his full-length novels like "The Stone Man" or "Physics of the Dead" as a starting point with Smitherd books but as a collection these stories give a good indication of his style. Each of them contains interesting ideas but also manages to squeeze in enough character development to make the people interesting. Smitherd has a great way of painting ordinary people into extraordinary situations.

    In short, a thoroughly good read.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • T
    4/25/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really great ideas from a creative writer"
    What did you like most about Tales of the Unusual?

    The stories are all from original ideas and even though they are "short stories" they hold the readers imagination and develop into a full story, the characters are believable and you are able to form a relationship with them, you get involved.


    Any additional comments?

    Read many of Luke's books, must admit, this one is another "good book" highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • WhaleFish
    4/23/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brilliant, refreshing and dark"

    just can't get enough of this chap, binge listening all his work right now and they just keep getting better and better

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Haddock
    England UK
    4/14/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well, *that* was different"
    Where does Tales of the Unusual rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I listened to this initially with some reserve. I'm not a fan of short story compendiums, I've had difficulty with Lovecraft and J G Ballard ones, so this was a risk, but I'm glad I took it. Luke sets his stories up well, doesn't linger too much on a theme and works really hard to keep you engrossed. Sure some of the subject matters weren't for me, but you can't please everyone all of the time. I think the stories were suitably innovative to be entertaining and keep you wanting to listen on, but weren't too 'out there' or off the wall.
    Luke makes a statement about religion before one story, and I don't think he needed to, to be honest. I didn't think he was trying to put religion down, merely question faith and its grounding in the human psyche, so the preamble was a little superfluous, but the story was great, they all were. Nice that the author narrates as well, as he puts that little something into the book reading which a voice actor might not.
    This is definitely worth listening to, and then (like me) you'll probably want to listen to more of his work.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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