Lullabies for Suffering
Addiction starts like a sweet lullaby sung by a trusted loved one. It washes away the pains of the day and wraps you in the warmness of the womb where nothing hurts and every dream is possible. Yet soon enough, this warm state of bliss becomes a cold shiver, the ecstasy and dreams become nightmares, yet we can't stop listening to the lullaby. We crave to hear the siren song as it rips us apart.Six stories: three novellas, three novelettes, written by a powerful list of talent, all featuring the insidious nature of addiction--damaged humans craving for highs and wholeness but finding something more tragic and horrific on the other side.FEATURING:Caroline Kepnes author of You and Hidden BodiesKealan Patrick Burke, author of Sour Candy and KinMercedes M. Yardley, author of Pretty Little Dead GirlsJohn F.D. Taff, author of The FearingMark Matthews, author of Milk-BloodGabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs

Lullabies for Suffering Details

TitleLullabies for Suffering
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 10th, 2020
PublisherWicked Run Press
ISBN-139780578588841
Rating
GenreHorror, Short Stories, Fiction

Lullabies for Suffering Review

  • Dita
    January 1, 1970
    Depressing, dark, all too realistic, this powerful collection is unlike anything I've ever read.Is "addiction thriller" or "addiction horror" a genre? If not, this anthology collection brought it to fruition with a bang.Thank goodness for Caroline Kepnes's contribution. It is darkly humorous in the same way Joe's observations are; this time in the form of a 12 year old boy, obsessed with his mom's addiction and his own virginity. His thoughts and observations on someday receiving what I like to Depressing, dark, all too realistic, this powerful collection is unlike anything I've ever read.Is "addiction thriller" or "addiction horror" a genre? If not, this anthology collection brought it to fruition with a bang.Thank goodness for Caroline Kepnes's contribution. It is darkly humorous in the same way Joe's observations are; this time in the form of a 12 year old boy, obsessed with his mom's addiction and his own virginity. His thoughts and observations on someday receiving what I like to call The Gift of The Vagi are fantastic...**Thank you to Goodreads for selecting me as a winner!!**
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  • Michael Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    My review of LULLABIES FOR SUFFERING can be found at High Fever Books.For his follow-up to Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror, Mark Matthews has once again put together a line-up of indie and small-press horror A-listers for Lullabies for Suffering. This antho features six long short stories and novellas, all of which focus on the theme of addiction. Even though heroin features heavily here, the stories are far from repetitive and the surrounding plots are creative, forceful, and, at My review of LULLABIES FOR SUFFERING can be found at High Fever Books.For his follow-up to Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror, Mark Matthews has once again put together a line-up of indie and small-press horror A-listers for Lullabies for Suffering. This antho features six long short stories and novellas, all of which focus on the theme of addiction. Even though heroin features heavily here, the stories are far from repetitive and the surrounding plots are creative, forceful, and, at times, painfully engaging.Kealan Patrick Burke kicks things off with two strangers discovering one another on a bridge known for its suicidal jumpers. Calvin is an alcoholic and drug addict with the ability to look at a piece of art and know the story of the artist behind it. His lover, too, sees things and was drawn to him because of it. While “Sometimes They See Me” is a tragic love story about two addicts finding one another, Mercedes M. Yardley’s “Love Is A Crematorium,” is a tragic love story in which addiction divides two young lovers. These two stories make wonderful bookends to the collection with their plays on themes that are both similar and opposite.In between is “Monsters,” from Caroline Kepnes, a dirty, messed up little story about dirty, messed up people. We’ve got coke addicts and alcoholics here, along with a sexually precocious 12-year-old girl trying to rile up her 18-year-old male babysitter, and all are addicted to misery in one form or another. I loved the human drama in this one and the way these character’s stories zigged and zagged, and I was never sure what direction it would go. I’ve been hearing for a few years now about how great a writer Kepnes is, and this was certainly a hell of an introduction for me.Mark Matthews’s novella, “Lizard,” deals with Lizabeth, a drug court probation officer, making a home visit to a new addict she’s been assigned. Lizabeth and Becca, a recovering addict, have recently been denied adoption due to their pasts and sexual orientation. Lizabeth, though, has some secrets of her own thanks to a traumatic injury as a child to junkies that left her cranium shattered. “Lizard” is a deeply dark story that pulls no punches, and Matthews doesn’t shy away from taking you into a seedy drug den in search of a high, or illustrating the heartbreaking nature of a child growing up with parents who are addicts. Not being a fan of needles myself, there were a few scenes in this story that made me pretty damn antsy!In “The Melting Point of Meat,” John F.D. Taff delivers one of my personal favorites of this anthology, as well as probably one of the best story titles ever. This one’s a really cool work of cosmic horror involving a young woman’s addiction to cutting, and the pain she receives from her self-mutilation allows her to see things beyond this realm. She becomes hooked on not just the pain, but whatever the pain is trying to show her, and so she seeks to satisfy these dual needs in anyway possible, through various rounds of self-harm. Taff goes to some dark and extreme places here, leading to some gut twisting, squirm inducing scenes, that left me itching for more. He’s recently announced on Twitter that he’s working on a collection of four cosmic horror-themed novellas, and if this is any indication of what to expect with that book, sign me the hell up immediately.Gabino Iglesias draws on Lovecraftian lore to tell a crime story about a drug deal gone wrong in “Beyond the Reef.” Sea creatures, paranoia, the competing weights of addiction and fatherhood, and impending violence make this another stand-out entry in an already wickedly strong anthology. Although the narrators of these disturbing lullabies oftentimes romanticize their addictions, like Adam in Iglesias’s story comparing heroin to “the hand of God inside you, as if he reached his palm into your chest, caressed your heart, and nothing but his good grace and beauty pumped through your veins,” these horror stories most decidedly illustrate the negative consequences and potential for worst-case scenarios in the drug scene. Taff’s Livy possess a keen sense of self-awareness when she tells readers “Everything that becomes an addiction leads to death,” and we experience the full scope of these addictions and the damages that go along with it. As Matthews notes in his introduction, which helps lay the groundwork for the stories that follow, “The ecstasy and dreams become nightmares,” but for the addict, “We crave to hear the siren song as it rips us apart.” Whether self-inflicted or because the addiction is a gateway for monsters, we become privy to the resultant terrors of one’s own body turned against it, or the external manifestations of addiction made real. Lullabies for Suffering presents some gruesome stories of addiction horror, but even in its darkest moments there are still rays of hope to be found for those strong enough, and brave enough.
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  • Steve Stred
    January 1, 1970
    ** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **Mark Matthews returns with seven stories to inflict emotional suffering. His previous effort (Gardens of Fiends) has been recommended to me a number of times. It is sitting on my TBR waiting to be read.I read this collection over the course of a week, reading a new story each night. Matthews opens up with an introduction and within he says that each tale is novella length, allowing for each author to have the space to let their story grow and ** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **Mark Matthews returns with seven stories to inflict emotional suffering. His previous effort (Gardens of Fiends) has been recommended to me a number of times. It is sitting on my TBR waiting to be read.I read this collection over the course of a week, reading a new story each night. Matthews opens up with an introduction and within he says that each tale is novella length, allowing for each author to have the space to let their story grow and develop, which is a fantastic thing. Sometimes in packed collections, the stories feel stifled, unable to breathe.I’m going to do a quick run-through of each story and then finish with some overall thoughts.‘Sometimes They See Me’ by Kealan Patrick Burke. I enjoyed this story, but parts of it almost felt subdued. As though Kealan took his foot off of the gas pedal a few times instead of ramping things up. This story follows a pair of addicts as they navigate through a specific stage of life. I wished Burke would have gone super horrific in this, but overall, the story had a nice flow to it.‘Monsters’ by Caroline Kepnes. This story was one of two stories here that I felt didn’t click. We get two POV’s between an older teen and a younger teen. The older teen is a boy and the younger a girl and the boy is asked to babysit out of the blue one evening. There is a lot to unpack here and Kepnes did a fantastic job of unravelling the ‘other’ parts to this story, but I found some of the internal dialogue stuff jumbled the story a bit.‘Lizard’ by Mark Matthews. Outstanding story with a thoroughly engrossing narrative. I really dug this one. Matthews filled this story with a ton of emotion and as the story played out, I found myself wanting to yell about the decisions made by the main character.‘The Melting Point of Meat’ by John F.D. Taff. Great story following an individual who is addicted to the euphoria she experiences while in pain. She connects with a researcher and things take a bonkers turn from there, flying into Barker land with some Lovecraftian landscapes. I think I would have enjoyed this story a bit more if it didn’t remind me in places of Taff’s story ‘Just a Phone Call Away’ that was in his last collection, ‘Little Black Spots.’‘Beyond the Reef’ by Gabino Iglesias. This story was a lot of fun, even if it felt a bit disjointed between the main characters back story and the ‘twist’ that ratcheted this into creature horror. There was a great emotional element to the story that I felt let me connect with it a bit deeper.‘Love is a Crematorium’ by Mercedes M. Yardley. If you thought this collection was going to end with a whimper instead of a bang – big time wrong. This story starts out innocently enough and then just grows and grows and morphs and morphs and before you know it you are bawling, your heart hurts and then it ends and you’re just crushed. Just a brutal look at young love. My only confusion from this story was at first I thought the characters were older than they actually were, so once that got sorted in my reading brain, things clicked.Overall, a really devastating mix of stories that deliver a variety of takes on the theme of addiction. It works well that none of the stories really cover any of the same terrain.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Lullabies for Suffering was my first venture into addiction horror, and I’ll definitely be seeking out more stories like those in this anthology. This book includes six novella/novelette-length tales, and it begins with a brief introduction by Mark Matthews, which provides the reader with a bit of information on the authors and their story topics. I thought that the introduction was a nice touch, as it gives the reader some background on addiction horror, and also prepares you for the story Lullabies for Suffering was my first venture into addiction horror, and I’ll definitely be seeking out more stories like those in this anthology. This book includes six novella/novelette-length tales, and it begins with a brief introduction by Mark Matthews, which provides the reader with a bit of information on the authors and their story topics. I thought that the introduction was a nice touch, as it gives the reader some background on addiction horror, and also prepares you for the story topics, should any of them be too sensitive. I enjoyed all of these stories, so I’d like to share some thoughts on each: SOMETIMES THEY SEE ME—Kealan Patrick Burke: This was a great start to the anthology. It’s a creative and touching story from start to finish, with a stellar ending. Matthews mentioned that it “begs to be read twice”, and I have to agree with this. MONSTERS—Caroline Kepnes: This was actually my first introduction to this author’s writing, and I can see why her stories are so well-loved. It’s a heartbreaking tale about addiction and abuse, and how it affects the family, especially children. This one is all about human monsters—no supernatural or other aspects of horror needed to make this tale frightening. LIZARD—Mark Matthews: This was also my introduction to Matthews’ writing, and it did not disappoint. It’s a powerful and memorable story, and by the time I reached the end I was adding all of Mark’s work to my wish list. THE MELTING POINT OF MEAT—John F.D. Taff:Another excellent offering from this author, who has been called, “The King of Pain” by others in the horror community. I was fully invested in the main character and couldn’t stop turning the pages on this one. I can’t wait to read more of his work. BEYOND THE REEF—Gabino Iglesias: This author’s writing is just beautiful—I found myself tearing up a few times early on in this story. There’s so much heart to this one, yet it’s also dark and gritty. I loved how the author portrayed the main character—we not only see his addictive behavior, but we also get a glimpse into the person behind the addiction, viewing the goodness that co-exists with the darkness. It’s a nerve-wracking tale with Lovecraftian vibes (I clearly need more of this in my life), and not to be missed. LOVE IS A CREMATORIUM—Mercedes M. Yardley:I won’t say too much, but this story made the whole anthology go out with a book-hangover inducing bang. A story about the lengths that some go to in order to save those they love, sometimes leading to their own addictions and demise in the process. This one left me in tears and yearning for more of Yardley’s writing. Thankfully, I had a collection of hers on my shelf, and immediately bumped it to the top of my pile. This is a collection that will move any reader, and I’m sure each story will affect people differently. Despite the central theme, these stories vary in topic and scope of horror. If you’ve ever been personally affected by addiction in any way, you’ll find bits of each story that you can relate to. Like me, you might find that the words in these stories not only sting at times, but provide some sense of solace.
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  • Amanda (readlingoctopus714) Turner
    January 1, 1970
    Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror was a new type of horror for me. I didn’t know what to expect from “addiction horror” going into this one. The stories contained in this beautifully dark book explore the devastating desperation of various types of addictions. I am sure in some way we have all been affected by addiction, whether we have a loved one who struggles to overcome the stranglehold of substances or obsessions or maybe an acquaintance who took a dark path years ago and Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror was a new type of horror for me. I didn’t know what to expect from “addiction horror” going into this one. The stories contained in this beautifully dark book explore the devastating desperation of various types of addictions. I am sure in some way we have all been affected by addiction, whether we have a loved one who struggles to overcome the stranglehold of substances or obsessions or maybe an acquaintance who took a dark path years ago and grapples to get back to the light. I think that anyone, not solely horror fans, who has had experience with or an interest in addiction and the addict’s mind would truly enjoy this book.The pure rawness of the approach to the subject matter in the stories is to be appreciated. There is absolutely no sugar coating anything. My overall impressions:💀 I thought the Kealan Patrick Burke story was a step away from what I normally read of his work. It was a bit tamer than what I’m used to, and therefore wasn’t a favorite. 💀 Lizard by Mark Matthews was a standout in this collection! The story line grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I felt invested in the characters, and anything that involves a kid dealing with a parent’s addiction just tears me up. 💀 Beyond the Reef by Gabino Iglesias was my first story by this author, and I loved the “creature” elements. There was one dream scene involving a baby that had me holding my breath. I thought the topic of addiction and it’s different facets was covered phenomenally in this collection. No two stories were alike, but all had their own unique takes on the topic. 🖤🖤🖤🖤 I am giving this one 4 black hearts ONLY because collections are tough, and every story wasn’t love for me, but I’d TOTALLY recommend you picking it up when it’s released in Jan. 2020. Special thanks to Wicked Run Press for providing an ARC for me to read and review!
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    These tales of addiction are heartbreaking and will wreak havoc with your emotions. My review is posted here ---> https://wp.me/p5t5Tf-1Rk
  • Aiden Merchant
    January 1, 1970
    LULLABIES FOR SUFFERINGEdited by Mark Matthews (Feat. Gabino Inglesias, Kealan Patrick Burke, Caroline Kepnes, John FD Taff, Mercedes M Yardley, Mark Matthews)If you haven’t really considered it before, consider it now: addiction is pure horror.Prior to Lullabies for Suffering, I thought of addiction as a staple ingredient in literary drama; horror hadn’t really occurred to me. After reading this collection, it seems like such an obvious overlook on my part. How did I ever miss it? Addiction is LULLABIES FOR SUFFERINGEdited by Mark Matthews (Feat. Gabino Inglesias, Kealan Patrick Burke, Caroline Kepnes, John FD Taff, Mercedes M Yardley, Mark Matthews)If you haven’t really considered it before, consider it now: addiction is pure horror. Prior to Lullabies for Suffering, I thought of addiction as a staple ingredient in literary drama; horror hadn’t really occurred to me. After reading this collection, it seems like such an obvious overlook on my part. How did I ever miss it? Addiction is pure horror. It manipulates and twists and breaks a person. It destroys their world, makes it something else, dark and starving. Lullabies for Suffering captures these feelings (and more) with competence and ease. The six stories contained within will make you reposition, twitch, and wince. It’s as much an uncomfortable experience as it is chaotically poetic. Honest and gut wrenching, these stories tell a warning, one that many cannot find themselves to heed.“Sometimes They See Me” is a ride through euphoria at times, but ultimately unnerving and cracked as a whole. Its conclusion is unique and artistic. It leaves the reader with a dull ache, something becoming familiar with me and Burke’s work.“Monsters” introduces me to Kepnes in short form for the first time, and while it feels a little cockeyed at times in its storytelling, the narratives are personal and well-developed. You’re not going to get a contestor to You, but this is also clearly a Kepnes story (which is a wonderful thing on its own).“Lizard” - written by the editor of this collection, Mark Matthews - is probably the deepest entry, with tragic character development and a feeling of full-arc in its telling.“The Melting Point of Meat” was probably the most disturbing and bizarre story, but in a good way. It frequently made me cringe and exhale stilted breaths. Being new to Taff, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the cosmic conclusion was as awesome as it was weird.“Beyond the Reef” and "Love is a Crematorium" both felt a little weak at times, but were also ripe with possibilities. Despite the issues I had with these two entries, there were still some excellent theatrics and drama to be found. None of the work in this collection failed.Ultimately, Lullabies for Suffering delivers time and again. There’s a lot to fear in these stories and a lot to learn. Rarely do you come across a collection so well-versed in its life lessons and realistic horrors. - by Aiden Merchant
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    First, I want to thank the publisher for an early copy to review! Ok! Let's start with the fact that this is a collection of novellas/novelettes by quite some talented writers (some new to me and some familiar to me) This book comes with heavily armed trigger warnings in the intro, as it's a sub-genre of horror called addiction horror. Now, this is the very first time I've ever read this kind of horror and OUCH did it hurt like Hell! This kind of horror is not your average bloody, gory, slasher First, I want to thank the publisher for an early copy to review! Ok! Let's start with the fact that this is a collection of novellas/novelettes by quite some talented writers (some new to me and some familiar to me) This book comes with heavily armed trigger warnings in the intro, as it's a sub-genre of horror called addiction horror. Now, this is the very first time I've ever read this kind of horror and OUCH did it hurt like Hell! This kind of horror is not your average bloody, gory, slasher horror- it's more of a realistic desperate soul breaking reality check of real-life horror. I can describe this in one word, desperation. Gut-wrenching desperation! The real horrors that are out there every day that we either don't see or choose not to see. It cut me very deep reading these stories and they left their mark on me forever as a reader. For me, it could've been a quick read, but I had to set it aside a few times to close up and stitch the wounds that were tearing at my very core. This kind of horror is amazingly creative and unique on its own, I suggest you read it if you crave realistically every day "behind the curtains" kind of horror....just be mindful that it's tragedy at its finest!!
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  • ⭐ Roxie |The Book Slayer| Voorhees ⭐
    January 1, 1970
    My anthology drought is over! This collection of six novellas is an intense depiction of the real horror surrounding addiction. Most of these stories tell of heroin and other opioids abuse; a serious and real problem in America today, then others depict alternative addictions. Whether it is pain, drugs, or the need to take care of someone, it is evident that nearly anything can slip into the tragic cycle of addiction. SOMETIMES THEY SEE ME BY KEALAN PATRICK BURKEAlthough not as horrific as other My anthology drought is over! This collection of six novellas is an intense depiction of the real horror surrounding addiction. Most of these stories tell of heroin and other opioids abuse; a serious and real problem in America today, then others depict alternative addictions. Whether it is pain, drugs, or the need to take care of someone, it is evident that nearly anything can slip into the tragic cycle of addiction. SOMETIMES THEY SEE ME BY KEALAN PATRICK BURKEAlthough not as horrific as other works I have read by this author, this one does not disappoint. We meet the narrator and Calvin, the melancholy, lost, artist at a bridge, both pondering the depths below. Instead a whirlwind romance of flesh and euphoria take us by storm. By the time the origin of Calvin is revealed, you will be exposed to the messy, ugly, gross force that is addiction.⭐⭐⭐ for being entertaining*mild suicide scene*MONSTERS BY CAROLINE HEPNESCaroline spoiled me with Joe-the monster we all hate to love, and this story is up to par. She once again shows us that most monsters live on our block, even in our homes. ⭐⭐⭐ for being entertaining⭐ for an accurate depiction of co-dependency*co-dependency, sexual child abuse theme*LIZARD BY MARK MATTHEWSHoly. Fucking. Shit. The first time reading Mark and certainly not the last. An emotional ride of heartbreak and heroine-ism. When is a mistake a habit?⭐⭐⭐ for being entertaining.5 ⭐ for the eyeball scene.25 ⭐ for ending*lesbians, needles, and child abuse-OH MY!*THE MELTING POINT OF FLESH BY JOHN FD TAFFFuck you, John. I have never, ever hated a story that I loved so much. My revolution and fear crept in slowly and attacked full force at about 70% in this cosmic horror selection. My anxiety almost didn't allow me to finish. I survived.Well done, Sir. This doesn't happen often. ⭐⭐⭐ for keeping me hooked⭐⭐ for freaking me the fuck out*cutting, lesbians, S and M* BEYOND THE REEF BY GABINO IGLESIASI have a fondness for sea to land creatures (Hi Aquaman. Call me!) So this cute Puerto Rican Selkie captured my heart. In this journal style story I was left to wonder who was the real victim.⭐⭐⭐*baby eating, corpse eating*LOVE IS A CREMATORIUM BY MERCEDES M. YARDLEYGreat addiction piece that really shows the depths we go to for love. ⭐⭐⭐*prostitution*Overall rated: ⭐⭐⭐⭐Thank you Wicked Run Press for gifting me an advanced copy of Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    “We crave to hear the siren song as it rips us apart.”Sometimes They See Me By Kealan Patrick Burke - It’s not blood. It’s paint. I needed red. Monsters by Caroline Kepnes - She wants to slide. She doesn’t want to stick. Lizard by Mark Matthews - Seduced by a sweet lullaby full of promises but finding only suffering.The Melting Point of Meat by John F.D. Taft – I saw everything. Each time I saw more clearly.Beyond the Reef by Gabino Iglesias - Smells like cigarette smoke, wet carpet and broken “We crave to hear the siren song as it rips us apart.”Sometimes They See Me By Kealan Patrick Burke - It’s not blood. It’s paint. I needed red. Monsters by Caroline Kepnes - She wants to slide. She doesn’t want to stick. Lizard by Mark Matthews - Seduced by a sweet lullaby full of promises but finding only suffering.The Melting Point of Meat by John F.D. Taft – I saw everything. Each time I saw more clearly.Beyond the Reef by Gabino Iglesias - Smells like cigarette smoke, wet carpet and broken dreams.Love is a Crematorium by Mercedes M. Yardley - The darkness is deep and horrific and hungry.A solid offering of dark addition tales and not downer in the bunch. These stories are cut with pure pain and suffering, blood and the bleak. Disturbing and tragic stories that compliment each other while retaining their own uniqueness. 4.5 Stars and as solid an anthology as they come.
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  • Lisa Mancini
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing
  • Becky Spratford
    January 1, 1970
    STAR review in Library Journal January 2020 issue: https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detai...
  • Will Blosser
    January 1, 1970
    Lullabies for Suffering is the second addiction themed anthology edited by Mark Mathews. The six stories within these pages tell of the life-destroying effects of addictions of all varieties. These stories are personal. They are brutal and hard to read. If you have ever been touched by addiction, either your own or that of a loved one, you will find something here that resonates deeply with you. These authors give a blunt and honest peek into the mind of those battling with addiction. The lies, Lullabies for Suffering is the second addiction themed anthology edited by Mark Mathews. The six stories within these pages tell of the life-destroying effects of addictions of all varieties. These stories are personal. They are brutal and hard to read. If you have ever been touched by addiction, either your own or that of a loved one, you will find something here that resonates deeply with you. These authors give a blunt and honest peek into the mind of those battling with addiction. The lies, the justifications, the slippery slopes and the compromises they lead to. They paint a picture of addiction and all its ugly truths, including the physical and psychological effects that it has on the innocent people who get caught in the crossfire. Every single story here is an absolutely powerful take on this dark topic.My Favorite StoryMonsters- Caroline Kepnes: This story is told mostly through the rambling internal monologue of Vince, a young college student whose mother is a cocaine addict in and out of rehab. Kepnes excellently illustrates the debilitating self doubt that can come from being raised by an addict. Vince’s internal thoughts are fraught with self-loathing, sexual frustration, and doubt. It’s clear he cares so much about his mother, but her habit and behaviours continually crush him. The other segments of the story are told in third person, centered around Ariel, the twelve year old girl down the street from Vince. When Vince babysits Ariel, some of her own personal demons come out.The Rest of Them, in Order of AppearanceSometimes They See Me- Kealan Patrick Burke: This story begins with two strangers meeting on a bridge one night, and instantly connecting. They both went there to commit suicide, but instead, found comfort in each other. As they spend time together, they talk about their pasts and what has led them to this point in their lives. Things take a dark and bizarre turn as we discover the true nature of the two characters. Burke crafts a strange and intimate tale with an extremely unexpected ending.Lizard- Mark Matthews: Lizabeth “Lizard” Baker is a parole officer who specializes in mothers with drug charges. After receiving another in a long line of rejections from adoption agencies, Lizabeth heads off to her first home visit in her new position. Matthews flips between the present and Lizard’s childhood, slowly shedding light on her parent’s addictions and the terrible things it led to. All of Lizard’s inner demons come to a head in the shocking and surreal climax of the story.The Melting Point of Meat -John FD Taff: It was very tough to pick a favorite of these stories, and The Melting Point of Meat was an incredibly close second.This story introduces us to Livy, a young girl who’s addiction is pain. Told in alternating first and third person, Taff walks us through Livy’s life as she discovers her love for pain and her growing need for more of it. When she learns of a secret scientific study being conducted on pain, she knows that she has to find a way in. I love the delivery method Taff uses here. The passages through Livy’s eyes show her thoughts on her own addiction, and on how addiction progresses and transforms a person. With a terrifying cosmic theme and a dynamite ending, The Melting Point of Meat is an absolutely thrilling read. I’ll definitely be looking into more of John FD Taff’s work.Beyond The Reef- Gabino Iglesias: Locked in a hotel room, our protagonist Adam frantically records the story of how he got here for his daughter Angelica. He hopes to explain why he did the things he did, and what led him to this point in his life. With ominous overtones of some mysterious impending doom, Adam relays the tale of how he became hooked on heroin, and the series of poor choices and chance happenstances that led down a slippery slope and into a pool of danger. Iglesias does a wonderful job of showing just how fast things can snowball, and how easily addiction can get on top of you and have you doing things you never thought you would.Love is a Crematorium- Mercedes M. Yardley: Kelly and Joy are two young kids in love. Joy’s father viciously abuses her, and when she has finally had enough, the two lovers run away to the big city. Their plans quickly turn to ash as they struggle and starve, homeless and penniless. As their situation becomes more and more dire, compromises have to be made. This is truly a story of just how quickly things can completely fall apart, and how one compromise of character leads to another and another.Each of theses stories tackles a different aspect of addiction. They are all so different, but the themes of desperation, destruction and pain are universal. For those familiar with addiction, these stories might be an uncomfortable glance in the mirror. For those who haven’t seen addiction up close, these stories serve as a dark, terrifying and realistic warning. Editor Mark Matthews has brought together an amazing and intimate collection of stories that hit on a very personal level.
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  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever read a book that simultaneously horrified you and broke your heart? Well, Lullabies for Suffering does exactly that to its readers. When I first received this book, I had no idea what addiction horror was. I mean, I had some idea of what to expect, but I wasn't quite prepared for all of this. The stories, as the theme suggests, are all tied together by one common topic: addiction. Each novella is written by a different author, and they all deal with the subject matter in a Have you ever read a book that simultaneously horrified you and broke your heart? Well, Lullabies for Suffering does exactly that to its readers. When I first received this book, I had no idea what addiction horror was. I mean, I had some idea of what to expect, but I wasn't quite prepared for all of this. The stories, as the theme suggests, are all tied together by one common topic: addiction. Each novella is written by a different author, and they all deal with the subject matter in a different way. The short story collections I usually read are all by the same author, so I wondered if I would find harmony within these pages. And boy, did I ever find that! No matter how different these stories were, they all worked together to make for one great book.I won't summarize all of them, and they were all good, but these stories stood out to me from the rest:Sometimes They See Me, by Kealan Patrick Burke, is a surreal journey into addiction. We follow two addicts, that meet each other on a faithful night and stuck together since. As the story progresses it turns this normal setting into something quiet different. I loved this story. I admit it wasn't quiet as creepy as some of the author's other works, but I loved it nonetheless. Lizard, by Mark Matthews, has to be my favorite novella of them all. I've never read anything by this author, and what I found was perfection. In the space of about 50 pages, he made me feel a wide range of emotions. His main character, Lizabeth, had an extremely rough go at life due to her parents' habit, and now tries to help others in the same predicament. I felt like I knew this character, and was rooting for her until the end. The Melting Point of Meat, by John FD Taff, deals with a different kind of addiction. Livy, the young lady who narrates this story is addicted to pain. What starts out as a normal story, quickly turns into something quite out of this world. To me, this novella had a certain science fiction feel to it. It was extremely well done. Now we come to the weirdest story of them all. And I mean weird in a good way. Beyond the Reef, written by Gabino Iglesias is both a story about a heroin addict, and also a Lovecraftian journey into addiction. At first, the Lovecraft vibes were quite subtle, until they almost hit me in the face. You will understand what I'm talking about, as soon as you read it. Seriously, buy this books once it releases. You won't regret it. Four out of five stars! I received an ARC from Wicked Run Press in exchange for an honest review.
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  • D.K. Hundt
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5.0*‘Lullaby aims to portray this affliction with honesty, empathy, and understanding.’The tears began and refused to stop as I read ‘Love is a Crematorium’ by Mercedes M. Yardley, the last story in this anthology, one of many I will never forget. Not many genres other than Horror, in this reader's opinion, can so effectively tackle the harsh dark reality that is addiction for so many. One of whom I hold dearly in my heart, always, lost their battle from addiction so many years ago - in my 4.5/5.0*‘Lullaby aims to portray this affliction with honesty, empathy, and understanding.’The tears began and refused to stop as I read ‘Love is a Crematorium’ by Mercedes M. Yardley, the last story in this anthology, one of many I will never forget. Not many genres other than Horror, in this reader's opinion, can so effectively tackle the harsh dark reality that is addiction for so many. One of whom I hold dearly in my heart, always, lost their battle from addiction so many years ago - in my mind - this book is for him. Thank you, Mark Matthews and Wicked Run Press, for providing me with an advance eBook copy of Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction in exchange for an honest review
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    The beautiful thing about horror is it is all-encompassing. You can have supernatural scares like ghosts and demons; reality-based terrors like serial killers; or real-life traumas like addiction, the theme for the anthology, Lullabies for Suffering.To be fair, though, I should clarify two things. First, while the overall theme centers on addiction and its impact, there is definitely supernatural otherness running through most of the tales found within. In addition, this is a bit of unique The beautiful thing about horror is it is all-encompassing. You can have supernatural scares like ghosts and demons; reality-based terrors like serial killers; or real-life traumas like addiction, the theme for the anthology, Lullabies for Suffering.To be fair, though, I should clarify two things. First, while the overall theme centers on addiction and its impact, there is definitely supernatural otherness running through most of the tales found within. In addition, this is a bit of unique anthology in that rather than it being chock full of stories, its pages contain just six authors and their tales are novellas.You can read my full review at Horror DNA by clicking here.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve never been this obsessed with an anthology. I can’t wait to write more about this stunning and horrifying collection. Review to come!!
  • NB NB
    January 1, 1970
    My emotions are exposed and raw, my stomach tangled, my shoulders sagged. This open-veined collection tore me up. When Lullabies for Suffering began circulating social media, I knew I wanted to review it and my expectations were high. I hoped for a hauntingly gritty, yet delicate portrayal of various addictions, not just alcohol and drugs. I hoped for stories that illuminated without romanticizing. I wanted to experience the disease fester in the character’s minds while longing for a happy My emotions are exposed and raw, my stomach tangled, my shoulders sagged. This open-veined collection tore me up. When Lullabies for Suffering began circulating social media, I knew I wanted to review it and my expectations were high. I hoped for a hauntingly gritty, yet delicate portrayal of various addictions, not just alcohol and drugs. I hoped for stories that illuminated without romanticizing. I wanted to experience the disease fester in the character’s minds while longing for a happy ending.I wanted to read this and feel addiction.I got what I wanted.Six unique short stories make up this collection, and each one left a mark. While alcohol and drugs are prevalent, the anthology includes some lesser represented addictions such as pain, people and even hope. When combined, Lullabies for Suffering becomes a dramatic and intense array for tales that burrow under the skin. Each time I finished a story, I thought ‘That’s my favorite. No story can top it,’ and then the next one did just that. Each writer exhibited a thoroughness and compassionate understanding of the subject matter, weaving together reality and fiction in such a way that addiction gets a worthy platform in which to enlighten readers about the true nature of the disease. I’m grateful that nothing was held back, that the characters contained realism both in action and dialogue, and that the lure of drugs/alcohol was presented in such a way that didn’t glamorize the topic. But let’s not forget this is a horror collection. If you’re after blood, you’ll get it. Eerie tension? Yup, you can check that box. What about mysterious creatures? Sure thing. There’s plenty of dark elements to keep you glued to the pages.Usually when I review a collection, I single out a few stories, but I’d rather not do that for Lullabies for Suffering. Each one created a captivating story world that sucked me in and led me on a dark and twisted ride. There wasn’t one that shined over the other. They all lit up the pages.But it wasn’t just curiosity that led me to request this book. I’ve had my own struggles, faced my own demons, and been tortured by my own mind. I dream of writing my own story one day, but I’m not ready, and that’s okay. It was important to me, as someone who lived with heavy darkness shadowing her every move, to read this and tell the world whether the authors got it right. Rest assured, they did, and in doing so, gave a powerful voice to the victims of addiction, no matter what that addiction may be.*Thank you to the editor for a free ARC in exchange for a review
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  • Jennifer Soucy
    January 1, 1970
    Won't sleep easy after these lullabies!I've been so looking forward to this collection, and it definitely did not disappoint. Addiction and it's regular horrors are something I'm sadly familiar with, but I really wanted to see what some of my favorite authors might do with the topic. Horror is cathartic, after all.Sometimes They See Me by Kealan Patrick Burke is a tale of two lost addicts clinging to each other during a surreal bender, alone and unwanted in a cold and uncaring world.Monsters by Won't sleep easy after these lullabies!I've been so looking forward to this collection, and it definitely did not disappoint. Addiction and it's regular horrors are something I'm sadly familiar with, but I really wanted to see what some of my favorite authors might do with the topic. Horror is cathartic, after all.Sometimes They See Me by Kealan Patrick Burke is a tale of two lost addicts clinging to each other during a surreal bender, alone and unwanted in a cold and uncaring world.Monsters by Caroline Kepnes is a fearless and heartbreaking journey through the eyes of one painfully lonely young man & a sad little girl. Adventures in babysitting indeed, as we discover the "perfect" family is anything but.Lizard from Mark Matthews is a shocking story of a probation officer with a tragic past and a kind heart, trying in her own way to save victims of addiction before it's too late.The Melting Point of Meat by John FD Taff is a wild "slice of life" (pun intended) with a college-aged cutter who just can't get enough...or, will she finally meet her match?Beyond the Reef by Gabino Iglesias focuses on an addict with a conscience, a father&husband desperate enough to work with dealers in exchange for heroin. One job results in more than he bargained for.Love is a Crematorium by Mercedes M. Yardley is the grand finale, a beautiful tale of two teenage runaways in love who struggle to stay afloat when it seems everything in the world is against them.There is something here for everyone. Each story approaches addiction in different ways, and the types of horror also vary. Every character is written so well, it's impossible not to connect or sympathize. Several times, I even had tears in my eyes. Well done to all, and thank you for this exquisite work!
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    Dont let the first word fool you, Lullabies is anything but soft and sweet. I cannot think of a subject that lends itself to horror so fully and completely than addiction. The slow creep in, the taking over, the complete and utter destruction of any and all relationships..it almost writes itself. Almost. Lucky for us, Instead we get some of the best current names in horror coming together to bring a devastating and nail biting look at addiction. (Full disclosure, Partrick Kealan Burke is a Dont let the first word fool you, Lullabies is anything but soft and sweet. I cannot think of a subject that lends itself to horror so fully and completely than addiction. The slow creep in, the taking over, the complete and utter destruction of any and all relationships..it almost writes itself. Almost. Lucky for us, Instead we get some of the best current names in horror coming together to bring a devastating and nail biting look at addiction. (Full disclosure, Partrick Kealan Burke is a personal favorite. For me hes one of those authors I one click the second I see a new title up without pause.) Do not take this to mean he's the only contributor worth reading. Mark Matthew's does a superb job setting the tone and mood for this book in the foreword that had me banging a U-ey and flipping right back to the beginning. (Ok yeah, I tend to give those a sentence or two to grab me, and then I'll move on to the good stuff.) He's also got a short story as well as a brief visit to the Milk-Blood bookiverse worth checking whether you are a new or established fan. At the risk of sounding crass or insensitive, every contributing author has either been personally touched by addiction or has done enough research to capture it and all its subtle and not so subtle nuances. From a little boys scribblings being both his strength and his downfall, to a strange little dip down a Lovecraftian rabbit hole to a cautionary tale about how far reaching what we put in our bodies really can be.. Lullabies is a difficult read, to be certain. I had cute kitten videos lined up for between stories. Call me weak if you must. Addiction is an ugly heartless beast that cares for no one. I'd worry about my sanity if I could just jump from story to story without a small break. This is a dark subject and there is no hand holding here.(I was personally very impressed and thrilled that included was a story about addiction that wasnt chemical in nature. There are many forms.) The sooner we take away the taboo nature of discussing such topics, the sooner misinformation will be a thing of the past. With One in every Three adults suffering from some form of mental illness and/or addiction we definitely can no longer afford to be ignorant or polite. I was afraid of this.. time to put the soapbox away Haha Whoops, almost forgot to add that I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Horror DNA
    January 1, 1970
    The beautiful thing about horror is it is all-encompassing. You can have supernatural scares like ghosts and demons; reality-based terrors like serial killers; or real-life traumas like addiction, the theme for the anthology, Lullabies for Suffering.To be fair, though, I should clarify two things. First, while the overall theme centers on addiction and its impact, there is definitely supernatural otherness running through most of the tales found within. In addition, this is a bit of unique The beautiful thing about horror is it is all-encompassing. You can have supernatural scares like ghosts and demons; reality-based terrors like serial killers; or real-life traumas like addiction, the theme for the anthology, Lullabies for Suffering.To be fair, though, I should clarify two things. First, while the overall theme centers on addiction and its impact, there is definitely supernatural otherness running through most of the tales found within. In addition, this is a bit of unique anthology in that rather than it being chock full of stories, its pages contain just six authors and their tales are novellas.You can read Steve's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here.
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  • timj26
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent collection revolving around addiction From a chance meeting at a bridge to a heartbreaking tale of two childhood soulmates this holds your attention till the very endFantastic narration from linda like always Dark stories that will stay with you highly recommended I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review
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  • Angelica
    January 1, 1970
    Not leaving a rating because, to be fair I didn’t read the whole book. I read the first 3 stories and decided I couldn’t go any further because these are definitely graphic and cringy! To me it was like watching the first 15 minutes of an episode of intervention on AMC when you watch an addict shooting up or binge drink. What got me interested in this book was because Caroline Kepnes (author of You and Hidden Bodies) wrote one of the short stories and in a way it kept me at the edge of my seat Not leaving a rating because, to be fair I didn’t read the whole book. I read the first 3 stories and decided I couldn’t go any further because these are definitely graphic and cringy! To me it was like watching the first 15 minutes of an episode of intervention on AMC when you watch an addict shooting up or binge drink. What got me interested in this book was because Caroline Kepnes (author of You and Hidden Bodies) wrote one of the short stories and in a way it kept me at the edge of my seat wondering what’s going to happen next. This was a new genre for me, I’m happy I got through half of it!
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  • Karrie
    January 1, 1970
    These are some hard hitting Lullabies!Wow! Each take was beautiful, raw, brutal and painful in a variety of ways! I loved the Garden of Fiends collection a great deal, but this one pushed past the level of the beloved first collection to a place only those intimate with addiction can truly understand. Not that it isn't fabulous reading for anyone - just that it really hits home. All of these authors are incredibly talented and must be in the know of true addiction in one way or another. Bravo to These are some hard hitting Lullabies!Wow! Each take was beautiful, raw, brutal and painful in a variety of ways! I loved the Garden of Fiends collection a great deal, but this one pushed past the level of the beloved first collection to a place only those intimate with addiction can truly understand. Not that it isn't fabulous reading for anyone - just that it really hits home. All of these authors are incredibly talented and must be in the know of true addiction in one way or another. Bravo to each of You! And to Mr. Mathews, I will never forget our conversation. You inspire me with your truth and honesty. Write on dear friend. Xx
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  • Catster
    January 1, 1970
    This was depressing.
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