Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review | Ugly Little Things by Todd Keisling

Ugly Little Things is a collection of horror stories by Todd Keisling.

Ugly Little Things by Todd Keisling


The eleven stories in Ugly Little Things explore the depths of human suffering and ugliness, charting a course to the dark, horrific heart of the human condition. The terrors of everyday existence are laid bare in this eerie collection of short fiction from the twisted mind of Todd Keisling, author of the critically-acclaimed novels A Life Transparent and The Liminal Man.

Travel between the highways of America in “The Otherland Express,” where a tribe of the forsaken and forlorn meet to exchange identities. Witness the cold vacuum of space manifest in the flesh in “The Darkness Between Dead Stars.” Step into the scrub of rural Arizona and join Karen Singleton’s struggle to save her husband from a cult of religious fanatics in “When Karen Met Her Mountain.” Visit the small town of Dalton in “The Harbinger” and join Felix Proust as he uncovers the vile secrets rooted at the heart of Dalton Dollworks. And in the critically-acclaimed novella “The Final Reconciliation,” learn the horrifying truth behind the demise of the rock band The Yellow Kings.

With an introduction by Bram Stoker Award-winner Mercedes M. Yardley and illustrations by Luke Spooner, Ugly Little Things will be your atlas, guiding you along a lonely road of sorrow, loss, and regret. This is going to hurt—and you’re going to like it.

After reading and loving Todd Keisling's The Final Reconciliation earlier this year, I was excited to have the opportunity to read more stories by Keisling in Ugly Little Things.

The first thing I want to mention is The Final Reconciliation is included in this collection. You can read my full review for that here. It's my favorite novella I've read so far this year.

I didn't realize that several of the stories in Ugly Little Things had been previously published. This was fine for me as I hadn't read any of the other tales, but your mileage could vary on that.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a few of the tales fell into the novelette/novella range. I'm a big fan of that format when it comes to horror, and I think these longer works are also the best of this collection.

I highly recommended The Final Reconciliation earlier this year, and with Ugly Little Things you get that novella and more. It's kind of a no brainer if you are interested in checking out Todd Keisling's work. He's an author I keep on my radar, and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

8/10: Great Read

Review copy provided by publisher


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  1. I've never been a big fan of short stories but short horror stories have always been more tolerable. The cover of this one disturbs me.

    1. I think horror just really lends itself to the short format. (Not that I don't love the chunky ones, too.)

  2. Nice, I can see checking this one out. The cover is kinda freaky.

  3. Like Jenny above - I don't tend to read a lot of short stories but I think horror can probably get away with short stories a little more easily. That cover is so freakishly creepy too. Glad you enjoyed these - definitely a book of stories that feels appropriate for this time of the year.
    Lynn :D

    1. I agree! The summer has been so great for horror, I can't wait to see what fall brings.


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