Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 3

Narrated by: Angel Leigh McCoy
Series: Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Book 3
Length: 15 hrs and 4 mins
4 out of 5 stars (112 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It was a killer year for horror fiction of the harder kind. Authors, editors, and publishers presented readers with some startling works of horrific imagination, stories graphic in the extreme yet with subtleties suggesting larger meanings, tales that explore humanity by plumbing depths of soulless inhumanity and, in some cases, outright depravity. The stories here represent the best of them, disturbing tales that dig deep and take you into the dark heart of horror itself, unrelenting and unapologetic. 

  • “So Sings the Siren”, by Annie Neugebauer, takes us onto a dark fantasy stage for a one-night-only performance of mythological torture. 
  • Ryan Harding’s “Junk” gets right to the hardcore stuff with the ultimate dick-pic horror tale. 
  • Robert Levy’s “The Cenacle” is a literary cemetery feast you may have a hard time stomaching (Tums won’t save you). 
  • Luciano Marano made his first pro sell when he sold “Burnt” to DOA III, and the tale has its own fiery fetishistic twist. 
  • Tim Waggoner’s “Til Death” is Lovecraftian post-apocalypse horror at its absolute best. 
  • “Letter from Hell” comes with that special delivery you only get from Matt Shaw. 
  • Dani Brown gets down and very dirty in her “Theatrum Mortuum”, which may be the most extreme thing you hear all year. 
  • In “Bernadette”, Ramiro Perez de Pereda gets medieval in his tale of a djinn summoned by a desperate priest. 
  • Brian Hodge takes you on a trip to Mexico you will never forget in “West of Matamoros, North of Hell”.
  • Bracken MacLeod’s “Reprising Her Role” takes us behind the scenes of a porno snuff film for a gut-wrenching reprisal and unexpected bonus footage. 
  • A real-life death threat inspired Doug Ford’s “The Watcher”, and we think it shows. 
  • “Scratching from the Outer Darkness” showcases Tim Curran’s descriptive prowess and gives you a tale of hardcore Cthulhu mythos. 
  • Brace yourself when Adam Howe’s “Foreign Bodies” takes you deep into the bowels of a nasty abyss. 
  • Sean Patrick Hazlett introduces us to “Adramelech”, an ancient demon with a taste for broiled children. 
  • Scott Smith (A Simple Plan and The Ruins) wraps up this year’s fat package of the hard stuff in a big bloody bow with “The Dogs”. The canines in this tale are not "man’s best friend" variety, nor are they woman’s besties, as you will see. 
  • And many more!

Thanks for coming along into this year’s heart of hardcore darkness. We hope to see you on the other side. 

©2018 Comet Press (P)2018 Comet Press
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great collection

One of the best in the series
Plenty of great stories with my top picks being
Burnt one girls pursuit of love
Letter from hell a letter written Albert fish style
Reprising her role about an actress in a snuff film
Ultra a VR gamers addiction
The dogs a dog sitting job from hell
Well narrated and a great way to discover new authors highly recommended
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

More hits than misses in this collection

I know that when I read/listen to short story compilations, I won't enjoy every single story. I call it a win if I can pick out a half dozen that resonate. In this audiobook, I'm happy to have found several stories here that I really enjoyed: "Burnt", "Til Death", "Bernadette", "Reprising Her Role", "Treehuggers", "West of Matamoros, North of Hell", "Ultra", and "The Dogs" were the ones that stood out for me personally. Everyone has different preferences and thresholds when it comes to hardcore horror, and I"m not sure that I'd classify all of my favourites here as hardcore. Of my handful of favourites, I'd consider "Burnt" and "West of Matamoros, North of Hell" to definitely align with my internal definition of hardcore horror, and maybe also "The Dogs".

When I see a book titled "Volume 3", my subconscious grades the content as somehow inferior to the stories that would make the cut in "Volume 1" or "Volume 2". That's why I suppose I was pleasantly surprised to find that some of these stories were so compelling (in a hardcore horror sort of way).

I really enjoyed the narrator - I'm a fan of alto female voices for narrators and I liked her dispassionate tone as she was narrating. It seemed to fit well with this genre of audiobook because it shifted the focus to the stories and let the words speak for themselves. A hyper-emotional narration would have been overkill, I think. It occurred to me as I was listening to the audiobook that the narrator does good accented voices, too. I'm not sure how authentic they are to the specific regions where the stories took place, but I found them to be quite compelling. I didn't give five stars for narration because I felt that the pace was a bit too slow; once I increased the playback speed to 1.25x, I hit a sustainable comfort zone with the narration.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

4 people found this helpful

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Angel Leigh McCoy

This collection of stories seemed short for some reason, But Angel Leigh McCoy is a great treat to listen to. Maybe that’s why this set seemed short; because I wanted to hear more from her!
Thank for getting away from the flash fiction which was too prevalent in the previous volume. Keep up the great work. Maybe doing audio versions of extreme novel-length stories could be in future plans as well ... with Angel?

3 people found this helpful

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A Great Horror Collection!

In this collection you'll find a story or several to make your skin crawl and your mind want to hide. I didn't care for all of the stories but enough of them to make it worth having. If you enjoy extreme horror stories then you really should add this collection to your library! Narration was well done and added to each story!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

3 people found this helpful

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Definitely some great ones

so, I bought this book and was a little scared to start it. I knew I would have some trouble with some based on the prologue, and I did have to skip one actually. (the one the narrator suggested to skip if you cant handle 'down and dirty'.
"Jerry" was a little much, and I literally went from almost puking to laughing out loud at the end. The Dogs caught me totally off guard as well, so be ready for some unpleasantness!
Some kind of bored me, and some were bananas.

Over all,.it was a good read, kept me totally entertained and I'm excited to read volume I & II!

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome collection!

As with any large collection of short stories, some are good, some are average and a few are fantastic. This narrator does a wonderful job. I'm sure you'll enjoy this one as much as I did.

2 people found this helpful

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Year's Best Hardcore Horror 3

A great collection of horror stories. There are numerous plots and characters in this collection that there is bound to be more than one story to your liking. This collection does Includes some very intense and graphic plot lines. I enjoyed them all but as with any anthology there were ones that I enjoyed more than others. These stories come in different lengths and different levels of angst and horror. Some stories come with an author’s note that gives you a little more insight into the story as well. Each author does a good job of bringing their world and characters to life. Narrator Angel Leigh McCoy does a wonderful job of keeping the narrative flowing and transporting the listener into each and every world. If you enjoy horror and well-developed plots and characters than you will be pleased with this collection.

I received this audiobook at my request and I voluntarily wrote a review.

2 people found this helpful

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  • DB
  • 11-04-18

Horrifying

Disturbing, disgusting and delightful, I really enjoyed this collection.

Let me warn you before you run out and purchase this audiobook, it’s supplies what the title implies, hard-core horror. There are some extremely disturbing stories in here that contain violence, mutilation, pornography and a little beastiality thrown in for good measure. The easily triggered or offended should stay away.

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author in exchange for my unbiased review.

Excuse me now, I need to search for volumes one and two.

5 people found this helpful

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Some good ones.

I'm a fan of horror amongst other genres. I am familiar with this team, I listened to volume 1 and it was good. In This volume, the stories Burnt and Letter from Hell were interesting and of course, sinister.

I will say that those who don't like or can't handle hard core or deeply sinister horror shouldn't listen to or read this book.

With that said, some.of the stories seemed to stretch or reach for the hardcore horror aspect in that they just seemed pointless. I won't say which, I'll let you decide.


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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  • TU
  • 10-18-18

A solid horror short story collection

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This was a great collection of horror short stories. I thought they were well narrated and very entertaining. I didn't love all of the stories, but I found I enjoyed more than I disliked. All in all, if you you want a good horror anthology, this would be a good one to go with.

2 people found this helpful

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  • pointlessgods
  • 10-20-18

better than expected

while I'm not a fan of short stories and I was dubious about the narrator, but I should not have worried as it's dark like really really dark and i love it and the narrator is great a soothing tone which is enjoyable to listen to give it ago.

I was given this book free for a honest review.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 12-25-19

If Horror's your thing!

This is very much in the vein of the Pan Book Of Horror books. If you like them you'll probably like this. I was unsure of a female narrator to start with, (expected Vincent Price!), but she grew on me, and after the first couple of stories didn't notice anymore. She is a good narrator. A recommended listen for horror fans. Bite size chunks of horror you might say! I was given a copy of this audio book by the author to review.

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  • Helen
  • 08-09-19

amazing

glad it was all short stories yes scary but very good
have bot listen to vol 1 or 2 yet but I will get to it soon

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  • Adilah Y.
  • 06-09-20

Excellent as always

Fair bit of sci-fi, Tree Huggers was a bit meh, but all else excellent as per usual

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  • Cannibal
  • 05-09-19

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 myself, 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. Each of the volumes: 1;2 and 3, are equally capable of scratching even the deepest horror itch.
Daniel Inwood. New Zealand.

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  • Ben
  • 04-16-19

I guess 'Hardcore' should have given it away

Haven't read any kind of horror for years and stumbled across this more or less by accident. I loved horror as a teenager, even when the nightmares came and eventually went. Still do, as a matter of fact. But I'm ignorant of what contemporary stuff is available, which is why this anthology caught my attention.

It has plenty to offer: mutilation, humiliation, torture, scat porn, bestiality, snuff, cannibalism. Plenty to fascinate and repel. There was one problem, it didn't leave me scared.

For me, I can only conclude that this particular niche genre has too much of the same old extremes. Some of it I glossed over, some of it I engaged in for the fascination of it, but the imagery seemed tired, tawdry, even the points where disgust made me skip forward. That said a few stories stood out as original and interesting for me. 'The Senacle' started well and ended satisfactorily. 'The Better Part of Drowning'was my definite favourite, in its own way reminiscent of the tone and delivery of Donald Kingsbury's 'Courtship Rite,' one of my most thumbed SciFi books. I thought 'Burnt' was by far the best executed of the unashamedly descriptive offerings, with 'The Maw' running a close second.

As a blind person myself, the trope of the blind hearing what others hear not as some kind of compensation is one that refuses to die the death long due. We don't, and we don't go around feeling people's faces either. I was sighing 45 seconds into 'Scratching from the Outer Darkness' as a result, though I accept it might not have spoiled it for others. Query why a genie from a Basque witch's spellbook would choose early modern English to speak to medieval Spaniards. Finally, as a reader of thecrimelibrary.com in the late 90s, I read Albert Fish's letter to Mrs Budd (Bud? Budd? Can't remember). 'a Letter from Hell'is, sadly, a slightly expanded paraphrase of it, including the signature sentence. Very disappointing.

So an unremarkable pack in the middle, with four outstandings and three complete floaters. My opinion only. Will I pull down the other volumes in the series? It didn't scare me, but probably, actually.