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Publisher's Summary

Where is the real Leeds? How does one get there? Is it floating on the air—words and music you can almost reach out and grab like wriggling worms of sound and ether? Is it in the carnival that seethes under the corrupted church, drawing the lost along shadowy corridors and through the strangely angled funhouse doors to the place where the city fathers perform secret rites with the goat-headed masters of the dark? 

Do you seek the Real Leeds? Venture out to a secluded spot, turn on your radio, and spin that dial down to the murky low numbers, somewhere just around 87.9. That music, that voice calling on the edge of static and distortion—it might lead you to that blasted and damned path toward the Real and Truest heart of Leeds, Massachusetts. 

This is WXXT. It's the witching hour, when shadows take wing and nightmares stalk. Turn your radio up. Point your antennas to the infinite sky. And stay tuned for Weather on the Sixes. WXXT. The bubbling blisters on the tongue of the Pioneer Valley.

©2016 Matthew M. Bartlett (P)2018 Matthew M. Bartlett

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What listeners say about Creeping Waves

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The perfect accompaniment for a nighttime drive on unfamiliar rural roads

Surely you can’t be far now. The directions on the invitation looked simple enough, but your confidence has evaporated in step with the other cars as you venture further from the highway. Let the grotesque stories of devil-haunted Leeds, Massachusetts keep you in a state of vigilance as you navigate unfamiliar, poorly lit roads. Let the gallows humour distract you from your growing unease, as you realize that you’re not only lost, but that this entire trip can be read as an uncomfortable metaphor for your life. Let WXXT, the murmur in the heart of Leeds, talk you through what comes next.

7 people found this helpful

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Destined to be a timeless classic

I enjoyed listening to this book more than any other audio book I've heard. I didn't believe that the sophomore effort from Bartlett could be better than his brilliant debut collection. I was wrong.

5 people found this helpful

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Sexual dysfunction + alcohol abuse are not horror

I was looking forward to a carefully written, eerie collection of stories, since the description reminded me of Welcome to Nightvale – or possibly Lovecraftian suspense.

The book is not similar to the description. There is very little atmosphere about the town or radio station – it is stark and abruptly dives into murder. It is more reliant on visceral and unfortunate characteristics (alcohol abuse, cultish vulnerability, conventionally "ugly" animals like goats, sexual dysfunction - including incest) associated with poverty. It seems "messed up" for the sake of shock, and entertaining those who are used to shelter.

1 person found this helpful

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You've Never Heard Anything Like This

Matthew M. Bartlett writes the kind of creepy, haunting stories that get under your skin and stay with you in the dark. Creeping Waves is an exceptional mosaic of a book, stitching together the damned and the damnable souls of Leeds, MA. I promise if you're a fan of the frightening or unnerving, you've just found the gem you're looking for. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

1 person found this helpful

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Reader ruins book for me

After reading “Gateways to Abomination” (twice) , I could not wait to devour this book. The author seems to deliver again, but the reader just ruins the book for me.
This is subversive, visceral writing, but it’s read in the manner of an Econ lecture.

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You're listening to WXXT...

Bartlett is good. Damn good. I dug everything about this one.

“The sun was a ghost trapped in quicksand made of clouds.”

The dread within is brilliantly woven throughout all the works (large and small) and somehow assembled into a piece much larger than the mere sum of its parts.

Coffee, cankers and cabbage, rigorous rogerings, anti-itch cream for the male undercarriage, sautéed Regina ring fingertips with cherry wine, painting the asphalt red and descended black nipples with thick wiry toe hair.

You’re listening to WXXT…

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Delicious book...

...but is it to much to ask that, before you hire someone to read an audiobook, maybe make sure they can read? I dunno, maybe I'm just an awful elitist, but I feel like knowing words should be a prerequisite for the job.

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Bartlett Dazzles and Horrifies

This collection serves as a sequel to “Gateways to Abomination” as many characters and stories continue on in this volume. Bartlett has created a fascinating mythos wherein I could read twelve more books. This is a great showcase of literary fiction in the vein of Barron and Langan. He’s breathed new life into self-published horror fiction and in doing so inspires many. 4.5 stars.

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Don't touch that dial...

Transgressive is a word that can become meaningless if overused, but it's truly the best word to describe Matthew M. Bartlett's work. Matthew's prose walks up to that imaginary line we label "too far" and happily stomps over it. Name your taboo, and the stories in Creeping the Waves stares unblinking at them. With the stories told in the framework of the imaginary (or is it?) radio station WXXT, audiobook is the perfect format for these stories. It also seams together the various lengths and styles of the prose so that the variation seems organic. I can't say you'll be the same after you listen to this, but I can assure you that it will stay with you for a very long time.

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  • Spencer
  • 03-18-21

Amazing!

Across his books Matthew Bartlett has crafted an intricate mythology of the town of Leeds and its strange inhabitants and Creeping Waves ties some of the dismembered parts together. I’ve never read anything like Matthew’s work before; a grotesque patchwork composed of the surreal, unnerving, violent and with splatters of exceedingly dark humour.
It's a brilliant example of his talent and imagination, I can say with certainty that I will be reading this again and again!