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Publisher's Summary

This collection of 18 short tales, a novelette, and a short novel takes the listener inside the dark imagination of Elizabeth Engstrom, author of acclaimed horror classics like When Darkness Loves Us.

In these stories, you will hear about a woman asked to be complicit in her own mother’s death, a grandmother with a macabre hobby, a bizarre, phallic-shaped flower that portends evil for a married couple, a father whose son is caught up in a sinister government experiment. These are weird and unsettling tales that will linger with the listener.

In her introduction to this new edition, Lisa Kröger declares, “There are true horrors that await readers in all of Engstrom’s works...reminds me of another giant of horror literature, Shirley Jackson.”

©1992, 2020 Elizabeth Engstrom (P)2020 Valancourt Books LLC

What listeners say about Nightmare Flower

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Book Review

Wasnt a bad listen. I got the book for doing a review of it. while it started out kind of slow there were a few stoires that gripped me in there and a few I didnt. Around about 3 to 4 hours into the book some of the stories really got good. The books namesake, Nightmare Flower, was particularly unsettling in a delightful way. the Narrator, while using mostly her voice for the good majority of the stories, had moments where she pulled me in and got me to see what was going on in the story as if I was there. especially with the last two stories. overall this was a pleasant read, not something I might go back and listen to often. but if you like a mix of horrifying, melancholy, and sometimes bittersweet stories it is worth a listen

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A pleasant surprise from a long time fan.

I enjoyed reading this book when I was younger and being able to hear it in audio form has brought to life a lot of the palpable feeling I remember experiencing back when I bought the book.

A book club I used to visit argued that Elizabeth Engstrom is stronger with long form works but I wholeheartedly love her short stories. She has a delicious way of defining an emotional moment through the details that matter without the weight and time spent on heavy world-building. And every story I read (or excitedly hear in this re-released audio version) has kept me thinking about the possible worlds that each story lives in, what dark tales are left untold by the neighbors and acquaintances that knew characters involved.

The first story, "The Old Woman Upstairs" showcases this in a strong and relatable way. Engstrom guides us through the thoughts of a daughter torn in two by a simply worded but not-so-simple request of her mother; her own decision flipping back and forth while reminiscing over the memories of their relationship and our objective decision flipping in kind as we read and relate to the daughter.

It is worth saying that many of Engstrom's stories are fantastical, and you might not enjoy them if you cling to the physical explanations of our own world. However, if you are able to suspend your disbelief and dive head first you see that many of the people within embody those little secrets we vow to never tell, the thoughts that we dare not indulge for too long - and what we experience through their eyes creates a strong and lovely sense of dread that I find unique to Engstrom's writing.

As said in another of her incredible books When Darkness Loves Us: “Because in this world there is always a monster. And often, the monster is you.”

Now for the audio narration... I was afraid from my own past experience that the narrated version would underwhelm me - or worse - make me regret picking up this version of the book I loved when I was younger. However I was not only pleasantly surprised but I felt transported into the emotional world within through Karly's expert use of tone and timing. It is clear that she is taking this seriously as an actor rather than a flat narrator as I've experienced with other titles.

This is the first of Engstrom's books I've bought on audible but it is only a matter of time before I have the rest.