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Tales of the Unusual  By  cover art

Tales of the Unusual

By: Luke Smitherd
Narrated by: Luke Smitherd
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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 listeners say about Tales of the Unusual

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

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.

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6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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...

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5 people found this helpful

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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.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

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1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Decent

As an avid reader and audiobook listener, I am always trying to find something interesting. If this was OK, one or two of the stories makes the book worth buying, but I do not understand the reviews that say “outstanding “or “unbelievable.“ I would say, if you have trouble sleeping at night this is a perfect book to put on to help you get to sleep.

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

amazing!

I love this guy so much. I found him with his other anthology weird dark and this is just as good. I love that his ideas are intentionally so unique. so worth listening to.

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

I loved the stories, but..

the last "sample" was an unnecessary tease. not cool. since this is a short story book, I was expecting the last 13 minute part would be a bonus story. instead, it was just a snippet.

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

3¾ Stars

Didn't quite make "Great" but it is very good. The last story was my favorite but liked them all to varying degrees. This is my second book by LS but it won't be my last. He has an unusual style with twists other authors don't seem to master. I am always looking for books that can offer more than the mundane hashed out old stories I've already heard 100 times. LM seems to hit the mark in that area, and originality is hard to find.
If you are searching for the "little something different" for you collection I recommend you give his books a try, but probably not for youngsters.

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great collection of stories!

Another fine release from Luke Smitherd. Five rather different stories:
1) Closure: Slightly creepy, with a few twists. Typical Smitherd story (that's a compliment).
2) He waits: Creepy and reminiscent in part of his book "In The Darkness, That’s Where I’ll Know You".
3) The Jesus Loophole: All about remorse and sin. I'm probably not religious enough to really appreciate this story.
4) Your Name is in the Book: Love this one! Part growing-up story, part boy-meets-girl-loses-girl, and part what-the-heck-is-going-on (again typical Smitherd!).
5) Keep your Children Close: The true gem of the collection. This horror story gets under your skin. Tension is built perfectly and to very high levels in this story. This is Lovecraft stuff. Masterful!

Luke Smithered narrates his own book here, as in many of his other releases. To me he has the perfect voice for his stories. Very enjoyable! Keep it up, Mr Smitherd!

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