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Publisher's Summary

2019. The year certainly made its mark on the world - and more than its share of scars. It also made for a bounty of good horror stories of the extreme kind, the best of which the tales herein serve to illustrate. 

2019 was the year Year's Best Hardcore Horror went global. Not by design but because the stories inside just happened to have been written by authors hailing from various parts of the globe. From Australia by way of South Africa, to Italy, Scotland, Norway, Taiwan, North America and India - the common denominator being that their tales come from darkest regions of imagination.   

Table of contents: 

"Going Global: Introduction" by Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax 

"Feast for Small Pieces" by Hailey Piper 

"Goddess of Gallows" by Kristopher Triana 

"Late Night Incident at the White Trash Motel" by Duane Bradley 

"A New Mother’s Guide to Raising an Abomination" by Gwendolyn Kiste 

"Upper Crust" by Michael Paul Gonzalez 

"Redless" by Annie Neugebauer 

"A Touch of Madness" by Tim Waggoner 

"Paradisum Voluptatis" by Joanna Koch 

"Radix Malorum" by Sean Patrick Hazlett 

"Lackers" by Leo X. Roberson 

"Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear?" by Rajiv Moté 

"Darjeeling" by Syon Das 

"Mrsa Me" by Alicia Hilton 

"What Did You Do to The Children?" by David L Tamarin 

"Have a Heart" by Matthew V. Brockmeyer 

"Swings and Suspensions" by D.A. Xiaolin Spires 

"Kirti" by Alessandro Manzetti 

"The Tea and Sugar Train" by Deborah Sheldon 

"Screams for Stargirl" by Ben Pienaar 

"Queer Weather" by Scáth Beorh

©2020 Red Room Press (P)2020 Red Room Press

What listeners say about Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 5

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

Loved it

One of my favourite series is back and better than ever
The stories goddess of gallows, what did you do to the children, and the tea and sugar train are some of the best stories in the entire series
Huge step up in narration and production quality this year compared to vol 4
Overall fans of the series or extreme horror in general are going to be happy with this offering
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

4 people found this helpful

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Much stronger than the previous volumes.

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

This review is really hard to write without contrasting the previous volumes. In the past, this series has had minor pacing problems due to its juxtaposition of strong stories with similar story beats degrading the original stories due to them 'spoiling' eachother by setting the reader up to anticipate the twist based on the previous story. This problem is completely solved here and there's a great variety of good horror on offer with very little thematic repetition. The stories themselves have matured too - you still get your smattering of gore, but it's not constant and overwhelming and other definitions of 'hardcore' get their time to shine. Excellent work from both the editors and writers. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good Anthology

This is one of the good anthologies around but enjoyed volume 1and 2 more. It does contain disturbing, sexual, gore, bizarre and even a ghost. It was hard to choose one favorite one as enjoyed several, David Tamarin, Hailey Piper, Tim Waggoner, and Joanna Koch to name a few good authors. As with any anthologies there are good ones and others not that good. Recommend to anyone who enjoys short horror stories. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you!!

2 people found this helpful

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The standard by which all should follow

The stories: superb, narration: exquisite and sublime

Well worth buying at any cost. This sets the bar high for me, for there is one story in particular that actually made me cringe. That has never happened, another, the farm story, made me pause and forced me to take a moment to gather myself.

1 person found this helpful

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Solid Mix of Visceral and Thoughtful Horror

I've enjoyed the year's best hardcore horror anthology each time it's been released and was looking forward to this which was no different. However there are some differences between this and the previous releases and that's not limited to the inclusion of more diverse authors, the anthology is shorter and the number of "weaker" or "filler" stories essentially eliminated. Throughout the listening process I found myself impressed by the number of ways that authors attacked the "hardcore horror" without falling into super straight forward gorefests (there's one of those, and I'll give it credit for grossing me out, but it almost seemed out of place among the others).

A few of my favorite stories are Radix Malorum, Mrsa Me (though in current times, eek), and Lackers. And just by those three it shows a wide range of horror.

I received the review code for this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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I am impressed

Some of these stories certainly pushed the line in horror.

I really liked the authors notes because sometimes somethings alluded me.

I will be honest that I didn’t care for all of the stories but they ARE art none the less.

Cheryl May’s narration brought these stories to life. Her smoky sounding voice added just a small amount of grit these stories needed!

1 person found this helpful

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GOOD READ!

I really enjoyed it. The narration was good and kept me entertained. These authors did a great job with the characters and their stories. I have read all the books in this series and enjoyed them all. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The volumes are getting weaker and weaker.

I loved the first 2 or 3. For my taste in horror and I realize this is my tastes only, they just aren't too horrific. I guess Im in lover with old school boogeymen and murderous psychosis. So much of this volume borders on surrealism and for me departs from horror. As far as "hardcore" I didn't find any in this tome.

Please don't get me wrong there are some talented writers featured it just wasn't that satisfying for my tastes.

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very sexual!

it more disturbing that anything not really scary however it's good for the background I guess it's not bad just not scary.

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good but not all winners!

just like usual anthologies not all are winners...but overall pretty good. I recommend definitely for all!

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  • Stephen Gott
  • 08-29-20

An Interesting Collection Of Hardcore Horror.

Although I'm no expert on hardcore horror in book or film form (my tastes are more gothic and supernatural).I did find this international anthology of short stories, an enlightening read.
The stories were a mixed bag, but the best ones were very good and at times (for me!) very shocking. The narration by Cheryl May was well done, although I think an anthology by different authors, would be better narrated by different voices.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Adilah Y.
  • 07-12-20

ACTUALLY made me dry retch (which is great!)

This year's collection is one of the better ones in the series. Narrator has a sexy voice no matter what she's saying (not being a pervert, just an observation).
Some stories were so gross it LITERALLY made me dry retch, which made the other drivers around me concerned, as I listened to the book while driving. But that's good, coz you know when stories are good when they evoke some sort of reaction from you.
Some stories are more poems than anything, which confused me, but it's not the writer's fault that I'm an idiot :)