The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan
"One of our essential writers of dark fiction."―New York TimesCaitlín R. Kiernan is widely acknowledged as one of dark fantasy and horror’s most skilled and acclaimed short fiction writers. Here in this retrospective volume is her finest work, previously only collected in sold-out limited editions. Kiernan’s tales are visceral, sensual, devastating, and impossible to resist: a reporter is goaded by her girlfriend into watching people morphing into terrifying art; a critic interviews an elderly model from a series of famous mermaid paintings; a moviegoer watches a banned arthouse film only to discover exactly why it has been banned.

The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan Details

TitleThe Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 18th, 2019
PublisherTachyon Publications
ISBN-139781616963026
Rating
GenreHorror, Short Stories, Fantasy, Fiction

The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan Review

  • Robin Bonne
    January 1, 1970
    3.475 Stars. I rated my enjoyment of each story and found the average to come up with my overall rating for this anthology of Caitlín R. Keirnan. This was my first time reading Keirnan, and I did not know what to expect. This was marketed to me as horror, but there are a broad range of stories in this anthology, and the majority of them do not have horror themes. Andromeda Among the Stones- 2/5La Peau Verte- 4/5 Houses Under the Sea- 3/5Bradbury Weather- 3/5A Child’s Guide to Hollow Hills- 5/5 T 3.475 Stars. I rated my enjoyment of each story and found the average to come up with my overall rating for this anthology of Caitlín R. Keirnan. This was my first time reading Keirnan, and I did not know what to expect. This was marketed to me as horror, but there are a broad range of stories in this anthology, and the majority of them do not have horror themes. Andromeda Among the Stones- 2/5La Peau Verte- 4/5 Houses Under the Sea- 3/5Bradbury Weather- 3/5A Child’s Guide to Hollow Hills- 5/5 The Ammonite Violin- 3/5A Season of Broken Dolls-2.5/5In View of Nothing- 5/5The Apes Wife- 4/5The Steam Dancer- 3/5Galapagos- 4/5Fish Bride- 4/5Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean- 4/5Hydrarguros- 2/5The Maltese Unicorn- 2/5Tidal Forces- 2/5The Prayer of Ninety Cats- 4/5One Tree Hill- 3/5Interstate Love Song- 5/5Fairy Tale of Wood Street- 3/5Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an unbiased review.
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  • Sheila
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars--amazing collection. I've been reading Caitlin Kiernan since her babygoth horror days in the '90s. Her early collection, Tales of Pain and Wonder, is one of my favorite books.This collection contains 20 of Kiernan's short stories (and she's quite prolific as a short story writer--which is, in my opinion, her strongest form). About half of them I've read before in other places. Each story is fabulous, and it shows how far she's come as a writer. The threads of horror are still there, but 5 stars--amazing collection. I've been reading Caitlin Kiernan since her babygoth horror days in the '90s. Her early collection, Tales of Pain and Wonder, is one of my favorite books.This collection contains 20 of Kiernan's short stories (and she's quite prolific as a short story writer--which is, in my opinion, her strongest form). About half of them I've read before in other places. Each story is fabulous, and it shows how far she's come as a writer. The threads of horror are still there, but she's fully embraced weird fiction and dark sci fi as well.I especially enjoyed "The Prayer of Ninety Cats," which I hadn't read before, and "Fairy Tale of Wood Street." Both are (horror?) stories about movies, which is a genre I particularly enjoy. "The Ape's Wife" is like nothing you've ever read, and "Interstate Love Song" is disturbing and sad at the same time. Highly recommended for lovers of horror, sci fi, and dark fantasy.The collection includes:* Andromeda Among the Stones* La Peau Verte* Houses Under the Sea* Bradbury Weather* A Child’s Guide to the Hollow Hills* The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4)* A Season of Broken Dolls* In View of Nothing* The Ape’s Wife* The Steam Dancer (1896)* Galápagos* Fish Bride (1970)* The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean* Hydrarguros* The Maltese Unicorn* Tidal Forces* The Prayer of Ninety Cats* One Tree Hill (The World As Cataclysm)* Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)* Fairy Tale of Wood StreetI received this review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review; I appreciate it!
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  • Mommacat
    January 1, 1970
    Review CopyIf you're looking for the fantastic, the strange, something out of the ordinary, stop right here. Caitlin R. Kiernan is one of the very best and this is volume collects just some of the very of her short stories stories.She will drop you into a scene, guide you around and then exit. Was that stage left? Who knows? And best of all, none of her stories seem alike. That's what sets her apart from the pack. Did I mention she's smart? She's a gifted author as well.If you've never read Cait Review CopyIf you're looking for the fantastic, the strange, something out of the ordinary, stop right here. Caitlin R. Kiernan is one of the very best and this is volume collects just some of the very of her short stories stories.She will drop you into a scene, guide you around and then exit. Was that stage left? Who knows? And best of all, none of her stories seem alike. That's what sets her apart from the pack. Did I mention she's smart? She's a gifted author as well.If you've never read Caitlin Kiernan before this would be an excellent place to begin.
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  • Irene
    January 1, 1970
    My first DNF of the year
  • Nick Cato
    January 1, 1970
    These are 20 previously published stories, so this might not be of much interest to long time fans. But for this newbie, it has made me a fan, and a big one at that. Kiernan is easily one of the best writers of weird fiction working today. Full review 1/28/19 at thehorrorfictionreview.blogspot.com.
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  • Joe Karpierz
    January 1, 1970
    One of the things I've tried to do in recent years is expand my reading horizons. Yes, the bulk of my reading is science fiction, but even within that genre I've been branching out to works that in the past I would not have had an interest in reading. Many of these works are much more literary in nature, and while I don't necessarily seek them out, I don't shy away from them either (It could be argued that science fiction has been heading in a literary direction for years, and I don'tdisagree).A One of the things I've tried to do in recent years is expand my reading horizons. Yes, the bulk of my reading is science fiction, but even within that genre I've been branching out to works that in the past I would not have had an interest in reading. Many of these works are much more literary in nature, and while I don't necessarily seek them out, I don't shy away from them either (It could be argued that science fiction has been heading in a literary direction for years, and I don'tdisagree).And while I prefer science fiction, I've discovered that every now and again I like to stick my toes in the water of horror and dark fiction. A few years ago one of the stories in this collection, "Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8) appeared in one of Jonathan Strahan's Best of the Year anthologies, so when I was presented with the opportunity to read this collection of Kiernan's work I decided it was time to dive in (rather than just stick my toes in the water).Kiernan's work is...stunning. It is dark and disturbing. It is horrifying and frightening. The characters are at once both repulsive and fascinating. And the stories are unconventional, in the sense that there isn't always a traditional story structure. Some of the stories are just scenes out of people's lives, a snapshot if you will. And they are all beautifully written and intensely compelling. And they *all* make you want to know just what it is that is going on inside Kiernan's head.It took a while for the book to percolate within me before I wrote this review. I can tell you that I knew only that one story, so I didn't know what I was getting myself into. Once I finished, I wasn't sure what I'd just read, or whether I liked it or not. So it took a week or so to gestate. And after all that, I realized that I had been blown away."The Prayer of Ninety Cats" tells the tale of a movie critic watching an art house movie about the infamous Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess. I was completely unaware, until I'd read the story, that Bathory was an actual historical figure. Apparently the movie told us things about her that aren't in any of the official accounts of Bathory's life. The previously mentioned "Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)" follows a pair of twins as they travel the country, leaving butchered people in their wake. And yet, there is a sadness to it that makes the reader almost want to feel for the characters. "One Tree Hill (The World as Cataclysm)" follows a science journalist to a remote section of New Hampshire (as with "The Prayer of Ninety Cats", there is an element of realism with this story, as Kiernan provides latitude and longitude coordinates that actually exist in New Hampshire - I checked) who is investigating a weird occurrence of a lightning strike on a cloudless night up on a hill. What she finds is unsettling.Those are three of the last four stories in the book, and they're all terrific. But outstanding stories are scattered throughout the rest of the book as well. "The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean", one of the non-horror stories in the book, follows an art critic as he interviews an elderly woman who was a model for a series of mermaid paintings. "A Season of Broken Dolls" is one of the most disturbing stories (to me, anyway) in the collection. A reporter, at the urging of her girlfriend, goes to an "art" display of disturbing and grotesque pieces made of living humans. "The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4) (which leads me to wonder if Murder Ballads 1 through 3 and 5 through 7 have been written as well) is a fascinating look at a demented serial killer who creates violins from the remains of his victims. The collection leads off with "Andromeda Among the Stones", a Lovecraftian tale of what can best be described as a dysfunctional family. And "The Ape's Wife" just possibly gives you the answer to "whatever happened to Fay Wray?". "Galapagos" is a science fiction tale of a woman sent to investigate what happened to the ship Pilgrimage after it abandoned its mission and stopped responding to communications efforts. It is a combination of Alien and The Expanse that I found fascinating.As I go through the collection I find that I want to summarize all the stories. "The Maltese Unicorn", "Fairy Tale of Wood Street", and "Hydrarguros" are fascinating tales - and quite frankly, I just love the titles. There are 20 stories here, and each one of them has something has something different to offer the reader. One thing that's true is that every last one of them is compelling and thought provoking.However, I would state that it is clear from reading this book that Caitlin R. Kiernan's work is not for every one. It's very different in tone, style, and substance. Readers looking for traditional horror or dark fiction probably won't find what they're looking for here. However, if you're willing to stay with this stuff (and it isn't necessarily easy to do so), I'm pretty sure you'll come out the other side as a changed reader, a reader who will never be the same.
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  • Alexis
    January 1, 1970
    In all fairness, I was already a fan. If you are one who has never read CRK, this is the book I would recommend to get you to join me.This is essentially the definitive collection for me. There's no shortage of collections of her short fiction work but this one absolutely delivers on the "Very Best of..." promise and, despite being the type of fan who complains that his favourite story isn't in the bunch, the picks are as good as you could hope for. All of the stories included are Kiernan at the In all fairness, I was already a fan. If you are one who has never read CRK, this is the book I would recommend to get you to join me.This is essentially the definitive collection for me. There's no shortage of collections of her short fiction work but this one absolutely delivers on the "Very Best of..." promise and, despite being the type of fan who complains that his favourite story isn't in the bunch, the picks are as good as you could hope for. All of the stories included are Kiernan at the top of her craft but the reader would be advised to forget labelling what field that craft concerns. If you approach this book as a collection of 20 horror stories, you may be confused or disappointed. If you approach it as this or that, expecting to find 20 stories of a singular style that conform to the borders set by each other, you're going to be disappointed. These are stories of different styles and plots and so on from a career that, like everything else, spans time. Time changes the artist, which may change the art. What you hope for is that the artist, regardless of changes in theme or style, maintains their quality and this collection, even if you were to discard the considerable literary value of the story, stands as a testament to Kiernan's ability to change without losing, move without dropping, build without skipping. Grotsqueries, melancholy, ennui, imposter complex, inadequacies, dread on an imperially cosmic scale, the uncouth, the beautiful and the profane, the agony & the ecstasy...all are present and in formation throughout this collection. If you crave the weird in the good sense of the weird, the dark in the sensual sense, the painful in the way of unsatisfying purification, or the grotesque stretched into the deliciously mundane, you'll find this collection worth owning.On a purely personal rabid fan note, I am much more a fan of Caitlin R. Kiernan's more recent work. Not that I don't enjoy Silk and Low Red Moon (the latter was my first CRK book) but once she wrote "The Red Tree", I was hooked and I've been very pleased to find that I'm absolutely in love with the direction most of her work has taken since then. I've said it before in other places of the internet but her work since Red Tree (and particularly starting with and since "Agents of Dreamland") has a very David Lynch (Blue Velvet/Wild at Heart), Dunsany, Project Itoh (Harmony/Genocidal Organ), and Angela Carter vibe to me. This collection is particularly fun for me as a fan as it allows me to watch all the writhings and growths of the work as it's changed shape. It's fun to see what's become different and what's stayed the same. I'm enjoying it all.
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  • Melise
    January 1, 1970
    This book reminded me why I don’t like reading short stories; but I don’t mean that in a negative sense.I have always tried to put my finger on why I don;t enjoy reading certain short stories, but love others. I have read and enjoyed all of Stephen King’s short story collections, love Shirley Jackson”s stories and one of my favorite books ever is I Robot, by Isaac Asimov. I have read countless other short story collections and enjoyed then immensely. But, hand me a copy of The New Yorker Short S This book reminded me why I don’t like reading short stories; but I don’t mean that in a negative sense.I have always tried to put my finger on why I don;t enjoy reading certain short stories, but love others. I have read and enjoyed all of Stephen King’s short story collections, love Shirley Jackson”s stories and one of my favorite books ever is I Robot, by Isaac Asimov. I have read countless other short story collections and enjoyed then immensely. But, hand me a copy of The New Yorker Short Story edition, and I will avert my eyes and start making finger motions to ward off the evil eye.Kiernan’s collection of stories finally allowed me to put my finger on what I like and don’t like about the form. One of the things I enjoy most about short stories is that they tend to be quite direct and to the point. I can sometimes have difficulty with normal length novels that introduce a lot of plot lines, or extraneous detail, that can cause me to have a difficult time remaining focused on the main plot line. The short stories that I like don’t have any of that, and are often extremely well-written, as it seems like every word included in the story is supposed to be there.But there is another type of short story that is slightly more abstract. I think of these type of stories as “slice of life” stories. They may have a beginning, middle and end, but after finishing the story, the reader is left to wonder why the author chose to tell about that particular event. These type of stories are often very evocative, both atmospherically, and in giving the reader a specific insight into the lives of the characters, but I often finish them and am left wondering “okay, but what happens next?” For me, its like when a new TV show that I am enjoying gets cancelled early—I am left with the feeling that I have been somehow cheated.I think this feeling is probably most acute when the short story that i am reading is a good one—the author successfully draws me into the world of the story, and then finishes it before i am ready to leave that world. And that is where I get back to my review of this book. I felt that exact feeling after reading the majority of these stories—I would read them, be excited to be within the world of the story, and learning about the characters and events, and then suddenly the story would end. I almost felt cheated when each story was over. So, if you enjoy short stories in general, please don’t be put off by my only so-so rating of this book. Give it a try...you might well find yourself thinking about these stories for days after you finish reading them.Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    A bracing collection of Kiernan's dark fantasy or weird fiction (an often fantastical blend of fantasy, horror, and any other genre that works for the story). In addition to her work in comics, I previously read The Ape's Wife and Other Stories--a short story collection like this one. Several stories from it are reprised here, including the title story. Kiernan is very prolific: in addition to several novels, there have been over a dozen short fiction collections.The subjects are varied and unex A bracing collection of Kiernan's dark fantasy or weird fiction (an often fantastical blend of fantasy, horror, and any other genre that works for the story). In addition to her work in comics, I previously read The Ape's Wife and Other Stories--a short story collection like this one. Several stories from it are reprised here, including the title story. Kiernan is very prolific: in addition to several novels, there have been over a dozen short fiction collections.The subjects are varied and unexpected. "Andromeda Among the Stones" opens the collection with the story of a family guarding a demonic gateway, trying to prevent the outbreak of World War I. A writer trying to write about a cult leader she was briefly romantically involved with; a Martian government official trying to track down a lover; and "The Ape's Wife," a mind-bending meditation on the relationship between Fay Wray and King Kong. Two of the most striking stories are the "Murder Ballads," each an immersion into the mind of serial killers. "Interstate Love Song" is especially horrifying, as the narrator describes her incestuous relationship with her sister and their killing spree, and the opening finally spirals back to the ending.Kiernan's language is rich and complex. Coupled with the esoteric subjects, these stories are not a quick read. But they are consistently interesting, despite a tendency for unresolved endings.Thanks to NetGalley for early access to an Uncorrected Proof.
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  • The Captain
    January 1, 1970
    Ahoy there mateys! This author has been on my list to read for quite some time. So when I saw that Tachyon Publications had a short story collection, I was excited to read this. I wish I could say that I loved this but unfortunately I think the author's short fiction doesn't work for me. I only read 31% of the book and didn't really like any of the stories. I found some of the imagery interesting but overall was dissatisfied. I definitely believe that that this is a case of me and not the author Ahoy there mateys! This author has been on my list to read for quite some time. So when I saw that Tachyon Publications had a short story collection, I was excited to read this. I wish I could say that I loved this but unfortunately I think the author's short fiction doesn't work for me. I only read 31% of the book and didn't really like any of the stories. I found some of the imagery interesting but overall was dissatisfied. I definitely believe that that this is a case of me and not the author. I do still have her novel the red tree on me list to see if her longer works float me boat better. Many thanks to Tachyon Publications for the review copy. Arrr!Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...
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  • Reviews & Robots
    January 1, 1970
    The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan is a collection of stories that defies expectation. You’ll find fantasies to startle and impress the imagination. Horrors to shock and enthrall you. Most importantly, you’ll find a brilliant writer that gives you every detail, no matter how gruesome or grotesque. Kiernan’s talent oozes off the page, forcing itself into your mind, leaving you startled by how skilled one person could be. The stories gave me chills at times, and I was in awe of these strings of w The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan is a collection of stories that defies expectation. You’ll find fantasies to startle and impress the imagination. Horrors to shock and enthrall you. Most importantly, you’ll find a brilliant writer that gives you every detail, no matter how gruesome or grotesque. Kiernan’s talent oozes off the page, forcing itself into your mind, leaving you startled by how skilled one person could be. The stories gave me chills at times, and I was in awe of these strings of words that acted more like spells than stories. It’s a collection to be read and savored.NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
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  • Gianna
    January 1, 1970
    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.Everyone who's familiar with Caitlin R. Kiernan's works knows that we're talking about a master storyteller, especially skilled in the horror genre. For those who don't know her, prepare to get familiar with one of the best horror writers of our time.This is an anthology of Kiernan's best, atmospheric, mysterious short stories. Carefully selected, these are some of her best works. Be advised, some I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.Everyone who's familiar with Caitli­n R. Kiernan's works knows that we're talking about a master storyteller, especially skilled in the horror genre. For those who don't know her, prepare to get familiar with one of the best horror writers of our time.This is an anthology of Kiernan's best, atmospheric, mysterious short stories. Carefully selected, these are some of her best works. Be advised, some of them will highly resemble Lovecraft's works - something you'll either love or hate on the spot. Either way, this is definitely a recommended read for all fans of horror.
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  • Ab
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting collection of stories, with the general feel of hazy, historical eeriness, sometimes with a Lovecraftian feel. I couldn't get into many of them, perhaps the lengths were a bit prohibitive for me - I like a short story that gets to the point in a timely way, and doesn't do too much lingering and building, otherwise I tend to lose my focus. These stories were a bit long in the tooth - so many with multiple sections, sometimes changing times or characters from section to section, to An interesting collection of stories, with the general feel of hazy, historical eeriness, sometimes with a Lovecraftian feel. I couldn't get into many of them, perhaps the lengths were a bit prohibitive for me - I like a short story that gets to the point in a timely way, and doesn't do too much lingering and building, otherwise I tend to lose my focus. These stories were a bit long in the tooth - so many with multiple sections, sometimes changing times or characters from section to section, to where it just sort of became exhausting to keep reading on to the next story.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    I don't know why I haven't read anything previously by Caitlin R. Kiernan! Her writing is beautiful and really draws you into the stories. This book is a collection of short stories. The stories range from sci-fi to full out horror. There is a darkness to her writing style that really gives these stories an edge. I will definitely have to check out more by her!!Thank you to Netgalley and Tachyon Publications for this ARC.
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  • Hazel Evans
    January 1, 1970
    All the stories in this collection were intriguing. Kiernan's writing paints vivid pictures, and I enjoyed trying to unravel what was happening in each one.My one complaint is that I think it could have used a bit more variety; the stories themselves had plenty of variety, but the way they were structured/written was often the same, and after a few stories that began to dull the enjoyment just a little.Overall, a great collection for those who like weird, creepy, unsettling stories.
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  • Victoria Gillespie
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! I was entirely captivated from the first story to the last! Each story was completely different from one another. So much so that I forgot it was all by the same author(which is a good thing). Caitlin Kiernan has a beautiful writing style that leaves the reader wanting more. Her description of characters and their personalities is next level. I would recommend this book to anyone who thoroughly enjoys horror, adventure and fantasy. One of my newly loved authors for sure.
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  • julianne
    January 1, 1970
    I've never read anything by the author before, but this won't be last of hers that I read.This collection of short stories, thrills and scares at the same time. I highly recommend this author and book. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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  • PfromJ
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars A deliciously unsettling group of stories on a wide range of subjects -- sort of sci fi, sort of realism tinged with elements of horror... Can't wait to read more Caitlin Kiernan -- why haven't I heard about this author before?
  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    Spectacular. This really may be the BEST of Kiernan's short work, maybe. I might have added few other stories, but what I'm saying is, it's fucking spectacular.
  • Jim
    January 1, 1970
    I don't read much horror, but Kiernan has a way of making the mundane world frightening and wonderful all at the same time.
  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.5 starsRecommended for those who like fantasy and science fiction with an edge to it.This book took me a long time to read because every story was like reading a novel in and of itself. Not in that they were long, but Kiernan's rich, immersive storytelling had me coming up for air after every ending. I stepped in and out of so many worlds between these pages, and when it was done, I needed time to sit and wrap I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.5 starsRecommended for those who like fantasy and science fiction with an edge to it.This book took me a long time to read because every story was like reading a novel in and of itself. Not in that they were long, but Kiernan's rich, immersive storytelling had me coming up for air after every ending. I stepped in and out of so many worlds between these pages, and when it was done, I needed time to sit and wrap my head around everything I'd just been through.Their are skilled writers who inspire me to write, and there are skilled writers who make me step back and accept that I will just never be that talented, and Kiernan is one of the latter. The writing in this book is beautiful and captivating, even when the story is rough and full of grit.If I had to give a criticism, it is that some of the endings did not feel entirely satisfying—like a thought half-finished that trails off—although I suspect that was intentional. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection.
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  • Dorie
    January 1, 1970
    The Very Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan by Caitlin R. Kiernan due 2-24-2019 Tachyon Publishing, San Francisco 4.8 / 5.0If you enjoy brilliant written stories that are creepy, weird and dark.....in the best way.....Caitlin Kiernan is probably already an author you enjoy. This ia an excellent collection of some her best. I have been a fan since the 90's, and was so excited and pleased to receive this ARC. My favorites were "Houses Under The Sea", "A Child's Guide To The Hollow Hills", "The Ape's Wife" The Very Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan by Caitlin R. Kiernan due 2-24-2019 Tachyon Publishing, San Francisco 4.8 / 5.0If you enjoy brilliant written stories that are creepy, weird and dark.....in the best way.....Caitlin Kiernan is probably already an author you enjoy. This ia an excellent collection of some her best. I have been a fan since the 90's, and was so excited and pleased to receive this ARC. My favorites were "Houses Under The Sea", "A Child's Guide To The Hollow Hills", "The Ape's Wife" and "The Maltese Unicorn", but all are well worth the read. I love this weirdness and would recommend this engrossing collection. Thank you Tachyon Publishing for the ebook ARC for review.#netgalley #TheVeryBestOfCaitlinRKiernan
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  • Becky Spratford
    January 1, 1970
    Review on blog and in Booklist magazine here: http://raforall.blogspot.com/2019/01/...
  • Emilly The Book Scamp
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, wow, wow. Tens across the board, and I don't even like horror on my good days, much less my bad days. Surprisingly, however, Kiernan's novel of her stories really did uplift my soul on a pretty bad day. Think bear market bad days, but I digress. On a day that I needed a great book to tuck up with on my worn armchair, Kiernan's novel did not disappoint in the least. Let me explain the sheer amazingness of Kiernan's genius.I do not, on most days, enjoy horror. I hate the suspense and fear and Wow, wow, wow. Tens across the board, and I don't even like horror on my good days, much less my bad days. Surprisingly, however, Kiernan's novel of her stories really did uplift my soul on a pretty bad day. Think bear market bad days, but I digress. On a day that I needed a great book to tuck up with on my worn armchair, Kiernan's novel did not disappoint in the least. Let me explain the sheer amazingness of Kiernan's genius.I do not, on most days, enjoy horror. I hate the suspense and fear and sheer tension that runs through me whenever I watch horror movies, and this is replicated in stories, as well, but without the sound effects. She writes like she's there. Her characters feel frighteningly real, and each scene is imagined richly enough that it often feels like I'm right there...I can feel each and every crawl of an insect's legs, and I can see the shadows lengthening in my own room as I read her stories. It was disturbingly good.And her writing, oh my dear loves, her writing is sublime. Just absolutely sublime and originally twisted. Her imagination is just incredible, and quite honestly, I would've kept reading if the book had more material. Among a few of my favorites amongst the selected stories were: "Houses Under the Sea," "The Ammonite Violin," "Fish Bride," "The Maltese Unicorn," and finally, "Interstate Love Song."5 stars.
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  • Sue Blanchard
    January 1, 1970
    Thankyou to NetGalley, Tachyon Publications and the author, Caitlin R Kiernan. for the opportunity to read a digital copy of The Very Best of Caitlin R Kiernan in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.I thought these short stories provided good, quick reads. They were well written and were a creepy read. 3.5 stars.
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  • Corinne Sparks
    January 1, 1970
    Oh yes. DELIGHTFUL. Delightful how, you ask? Delightfully creepy. Unsettling. Tension in the pit of your stomach. The feeling of drowning. Deliciously dark and wonderfully ephemeral. This is everything I love in short stories. Kiernan is a master craftsman. She evokes such horror, but wraps it in such beautiful imagery and setting. Her stories are haunting, melancholy, sensual. They are best enjoyed in the evening, with a glass of fine wine, in a darkened room, where, if you really listen, you c Oh yes. DELIGHTFUL. Delightful how, you ask? Delightfully creepy. Unsettling. Tension in the pit of your stomach. The feeling of drowning. Deliciously dark and wonderfully ephemeral. This is everything I love in short stories. Kiernan is a master craftsman. She evokes such horror, but wraps it in such beautiful imagery and setting. Her stories are haunting, melancholy, sensual. They are best enjoyed in the evening, with a glass of fine wine, in a darkened room, where, if you really listen, you can practically hear the waves crashing over your head as you read through her stunning imagery. I'd snap up a full length novel in a heartbeat - and you should snap these short stories up too. They'll nestle down deep in your ribcage; like a parasite, like a heart.
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  • KatsCauldron
    January 1, 1970
    The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernanby Caitlín R. KiernanTachyon PublicationsHorror , Sci Fi & FantasyThis author will give you nightmares and disturbed feelings long after you have finished and put down the short stories compiled here. Maybe not contemporary horror and just pitch dark fantasy she drops you in the middle as in life with no beginning or end, just flashes back and forward. The most delightful of the stories for me was the model and absinthe tale and hungered for more of the tal The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernanby Caitlín R. KiernanTachyon PublicationsHorror , Sci Fi & FantasyThis author will give you nightmares and disturbed feelings long after you have finished and put down the short stories compiled here. Maybe not contemporary horror and just pitch dark fantasy she drops you in the middle as in life with no beginning or end, just flashes back and forward. The most delightful of the stories for me was the model and absinthe tale and hungered for more of the tale more than almost any other. That is one thing I noticed about every story,;like an exquisite desert in front of you you haven't quite made out about it's makeup and then it is snatched up from you before you have finished. There is something Lovecraftian about her stories in the level of distress they build up in the readier without the climaxing proof on page of the full horror which can be more horrifying. Another story drug me back to a movie in my mind: Source Code and the elements were I think the same.
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