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Publisher's Summary

Austin poet and author John Baltisberger (Artifice of Flesh, The Configuration Discordant) makes his St. Rooster Books debut with a powerful kaiju novella full of Jewish mysticism, death, and destruction.

When a good man is senselessly murdered during Chicago's Gay Pride event, Satan summons a horrifying monster of old, releasing both his anger and the monster in defiance of heaven and humanity.

Blood & Mud includes an essay on Jewish occultism and mythology, revealing the rich tapestry of mystery and history that inspired Baltisberger and this harrowing novella.

©2020 John Austin Baltisberger (P)2021 John Austin Baltisberger

What listeners say about Blood & Mud

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dark Jewish-Based Horror

Blood & Mud pulls deeply from Jewish Mysticism to tell modern dark horror stories. I love the crwtivity at play here. Not being Jewish myself, I found the blending of horror and Jewish lore both intriguing and informative.
The narrator reads perfectly to the dark mood of the stories. I had a particular fondness for the Golem story.
At times, I stopped listening because some of the storylines become too soul crushing but never off-putting.
This book is a great accomplishment in horror. Perfect for horror fans of any religious persuasion.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting Take

Well written and researched. Most focused on the supernatural beings, the human characters get a bit lost and therefore hard to connect to. Interesting take on ancient beings.

1 person found this helpful

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Odd but entertaining

"Blood & Mud" (2020, 2021) by John Baltisberger is an odd contemporary novella about Satan, fed up with humankind’s sins, creating a giant Golem to kill and destroy everything in its path. Satan’s actions are countered by his fellow angels and independently, a Jewish soldier named Jacob. I learned a few things about Jewish culture and myths from the book while still being entertained, but making the Golem a seven-story-tall giant removed some of the meaningful drama for me. Sean Duregger’s narration held my interest. Recommended. At my request, I was given this free audiobook and have voluntarily left this review.

Kelvin L. Reed
Author of "Guilt by Association"

1 person found this helpful

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captivating story!

I was provided a review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I really enjoyed this story. It was a different take on good and evil. I was drawn into the story from the start. The story is fast paced and action packed.

Narration was excellent. Kept my attention and pleasant to listen to. Overall 4 stars for me.

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Angels and Action

If you enjoy religious-themed man versus monster stories, this might be right for you. Plenty of blood and guts, as well as stylish characters. It's Godzilla meets The Prophecy.

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Great Horror Story and Educational

This was a really interesting story. Quite unique in both the story line and the way the author tells the story. It took me a bit to get used to it and get a good understanding of what was going on, but once I did it became a really neat story that I couldn’t stop listening to. The one thing that I’m on the fence about recommending, is whether or not you should listen to the author’s notes first. It definitely provided further explanation of characters and motives, but also helped to explain the story a bit that I almost felt would have been better upfront versus at the end. Your choice.

Hands down the best aspect of this is the mythic creatures that the story revolves around. Some may sound familiar, but as we learn in the author’s notes, aren’t exactly what everyone thinks they are. They are quite dynamic characters that don’t always fit the typical role we place them into. You can tell that the author has done a lot of research into Mythic Judaism and that allows him to write such a complex story using that research. I don’t believe the point of the story was the plot at all, but more to tell a story about the characters and their interactions with both humans and other demons and angels. My only complaint about the story is that I would have liked it to be a bit longer with further explanation about the characters in the story itself. Think I will listen again after hearing the author’s notes.

Sean Duregger did, as always, an excellent job with the narration. I really enjoyed his character voices and felt that his tone and energy set the mood for the story as a whole and provided the depth needed. I think he read this book exactly as it should have been read and could have led the listener down the wrong path if he had a different tone and cadence.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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It was ok

The story was not as well developed as it could have been. If the audiobook was longer & better developed it could easily been 5 stars. Narration was excellent.

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  • Debbie McLean
  • 03-07-21

good

a good short story but feel that I'd love to know more about the story xxxxxxxx

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  • Janalyn
  • 02-14-21

OMG, what a book!

When I first started reading this book and the Nazi racist gets murdered the first one, I thought oh this is going to be A good book! Then another racist gets murdered and I thought oh this is really good… And then the book takes a turn and OMG I did not see that comment and yes I did read the summary, but I don’t think I was prepared for this book. It is only three hours long but man does it pack a punch! If you like originally don’t plots and a nemesis you’ve never seen before with an awesome narrator you need to get the spot. This is horror done right! Whenever I see that Sean Dreger Who is now writing a new book I automatically know it’s going to be great. Not to mention the author has a great imagination and I can’t wait to read more from him. An awesome freaking book!

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Profile Image for Ryan Pascall
  • Ryan Pascall
  • 02-10-21

A truly original, and macabre, Kaiju horror.

Blood and Mud

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review.

It was with great interest that I listened to this tale as it brought together two things I love, Kaiju stories, be it in book or movie form and the mythology of different religions.

I've read a lot about the Jewish faith and their beliefs surrounding Satan and sin, and it is very interesting, and so to experience this in a horror-novel setting was really interesting.

I was pleased with how short this book was as there was little meandering around and we hit the horror pretty quickly after the senseless death of anhonest man at a gay-pride parade and before long people are being killed and the Golem starts to grow.

What follows is a battle between both man and monster as well as goodness and evil with battles wages both with weapons but also faith and it was this juxtaposition that I really enjoyed. Throughout the book, the Narrator does a great job of keeping the pace moving forward while adding real punch to the action and horrors that occur throughout the books 3 and a half-hour running time.

Short, interesting but equally horrific and with some wonderfully macabre moments I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of religious horror and Kaiju alike.