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Publisher's Summary

Excerpt from the introduction: 

Editors Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax put the call out to horror writers and editors of extreme stories, the hardcore stuff that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos, the transgressive tales you can't "unread" (as Chuck Palahniuk says). We staked out our territory and nailed this to the wall to guide us: 

Year's Best Hardest Horror 

Not your mama's best-of horror annual. This stuff comes from the edge of the abyss, stories you read at your own risk because you feel the abyss looking right back into you through the tainted lens of each twisted tale. 

Some of the stories you'll find here are loaded with very graphic descriptions of violence, sex, and depravities, while others may contain only one shocking moment of brutality. In others, the hardcore aspect may be less graphic and subtler than you might expect. Some of these quieter tales offer the listener some time to recover from the more disturbing ones preceding. 

Most of the stories collected here are from small and specialty press anthologies, with a few from periodicals, like the prestigious Splatterpunk Zine in the UK and Thuglit here in the US. Bizarro is also represented with a couple of tales from the unlikely anthology Blood for You: A Literary Tribute to GG Allin from Weirdpunk Books. (If you're not familiar with the late GG Allin, you can find snippets from some of his outrageous and obscene punk shows online, which will increase your appreciation of those two tales.) 

So for now, forget about that neighbor you suspect is a serial killer, don't worry about the drunk driver that could take you out on your next trip to the store, push those troubling news stories to the back of your mind, and immerse yourself in the imaginary horrors at hand. 

But don't be surprised if you sense something dark staring back at you from between the lines. That is to be expected when you enter these forbidding realms. With any luck, you may find something useful to help you survive the approaching Apocalypse. 

Full list of authors includes Adam Howe, Robert Essig, Adam Cesare, Clare de Lune, David James Keaton, and Monica J. O'Rourke.

©2016 Comet Press (P)2016 Comet Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly horrifying

I'm a big fan of extreme horror, and these are some of the most vile and disgusting stories I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. I actually had to space this out over several days because some of the conjured imagery was so nasty. Super happy with the narration. A lot of times,anthologies have different narrators for each story, and sometimes it's appropriate, but in this case, I'm glad they stuck with just one.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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

More violent than scary

It wasn't my cup of tea just because I prefer the supernatural/bump in the night sub-genre, this is more literary slasher porn.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

OH BOY. ANYTHING (AND EVERYTHING) GOES HERE.

Any additional comments?

I was provided this audiobook through Audiobook Boom at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.

It's taken a bit of time to get this review out because I had to stop between stories... often. This has a bit of everything. Horror in fear, to the horror of disgusting vileness. Supernatural, apocalyptic and way to real. All there. A story for every (dis)taste. IMO, some stories were very engrossing and others were just gross. LOL.

Joe Hempel is very talented and does an outstanding job.

If edge-hanging horror is your genre, don't miss this large selection of shorts!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Weak Year for Horror

The majority of what I listen to is horror and not just mainstream horror; but, real psychological and messed up stuff. This was mostly light horror but I still enjoyed some of the stories. Much of what was "hardcore"about it was the gratuitous gore which seemed to be used for the sake of being gory, which becomes boring. The other stuff often was just plain lets be as ridiculous as possible and see how that works, which becomes sophomoric. The narration was great and I would be happy to listen to more books by Joe Hempel.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kept me glued and drawn in....

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book has it all for horror fans. It's not for the faint of heart. Great collection of stories which define the depths of craziness. Great job by Joe as always.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it really got me through long drives to work with great ease.

Any additional comments?

"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Visceral - not for the faint of heart

All in all this was a very well done collection of short story horror. The narration was well done too. For me, the strong sexual narratives were a bit over the top, but each story appealed to me in some way. That in itself is not common. I enjoyed the fresh perspective brought out by these writers. Some stories completely original, others had excellent twist on existing themes such as zombie apocalypse. I would recommend this collection to anyone who likes this genre especially in short story. Well done.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gross, Disgusting, Sick --- but Cool !

Any additional comments?


As anthologies go for hardcore horror, this is one of the better ones. Because of the intense subject matter, it's best if digested in small, bite-sized (body) parts! Are all the stories killers? No, but the ratio of "OMG!" reactions to "meh" or "yawn" is very high. If you don't like taboo-breaking defilement of bodies (not dead, near-dead, or dead) and graphic, in-your-face descriptions of oozing or spewing bodily fluids in all forms, you best avoid this book. The narration is fine and never detracts from the stories. I look forward to Volume 2.

This audiobook was given to me for free by AudiobookBoom in exchange for an honest review. Bile [sic] the way, the gift did not effluence [sic] my opinions here in any way.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Years Best hardcore horror Volume 1 review.

Where does Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

High among favorites.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Downtown Dixonville Dismemberer.

Which character – as performed by Joe Hempel – was your favorite?

The same answer to the previous question.

Any additional comments?

Enjoyable and exciting to listen to.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Years Best Hardcore Horror

I have this book all 5 starts because the story and performance exceeded my expectation. This book does discuss death, gore and sex. I do not recommend this book to children but an adult horror fan will love it. It's pretty raunchy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Horror is the Freaking Best

Any additional comments?

At first I thought I wouldn't like the format of a series of short stories. Boy, was I wrong. That is exactly what I liked most about this book. I could finish a story while finishing the dishes and be ready for the next one tomorrow. Perfect! The stories are all different and run the gamut from bizarre to completely gruesome.

Joe Hempel breathed life into each and every one of the characters. The stories weren't just narrated, but performed. It was like listening to an old radio show; I absolutely loved his work. I would listen to his books any day!

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • alexandra wassenaar
  • 12-23-16

Hard hitting

For fans of horror definitely a good buy. Range of story's covering a vast array of topics but all equally harrowing. Not for the faint of heart

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-08-18

crap/ no good/ boring/low energy/very slow voice/<br />

crap no good boring low energy very slow voice still have no idea why I bought that crap.
never again.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Dean Thornton
  • 08-14-18

Useless

Took ages to download and then when I tried to listen to it it did not even work

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Cannibal
  • 10-26-17

If you’re a sensitive wee flower with a nervous disposition... move along. Nothing to see here!

On the other hand... if you’re a depraved fiend like me, look no further for your next read. Packed with explicit sex, offensive language and Themes. Plus plenty of gratuitous violence. It does just as advertised on the box. Both volumes, 1 and 2, are equally capable of scratching even the deepest horror itch.
Daniel Inwood.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful