Miracles for Masochists by Michael R. Collins and James G. Carlson
Using a combination of horror, weirdness, and humor, Michael R. Collins and James G. Carlson have created a collection of earthly and otherworldly horrors. In the pages of this book, readers meet a newlywed couple haunted by the ghost of Elvis Presley, a lonely man tormented by whispers from another realm, and an artist whose work takes on fantastical qualities. These deranged minds also tell of a cult’s creepy-crawly ritual, a traumatized soul pursued by death across a battlefield, the terrors of an archaeological dig, and the line between reality and the impossible blurring for an aging scream queen on Halloween night.
Most short story collections are hit or miss for me, but I enjoyed all of them in this book. Well written and engaging. Check it out.
Gripping Collection Of Stories!
Miracles for Masochists is a book of 7 short stories. The opening story is written as a collaboration of both authors. Then the other stories are by each author individually. This was a really quick read for me because I was captivated by the stories included. I do have some favorites and will reveal them here. The Sequined Spector is a hilarious read! This collaborative story had me in stitches the whole time. Milo calls his friend, Constance to ask for help with his little paranormal problem. She has experience in dealing with the paranormal and comes over to take care of business! She quickly realizes, she’s in over her head! More Than Human is the story of Hiram Jansen, a soldier deep in the trenches of WWI France. The stench of gunpowder and death surrounds him…literally! I was wrapped in trench warfare while reading this story. It made me feel the pain and suffering these soldiers experienced. I thought Michael Collins did an excellent job with this tale! The Queen’s Last Scream is tale about Jane Ashley, a former scream Queen who squeaks out a living on royalties from her heyday. Every Halloween she has a tradition of watching movies she starred in to reminisce of the good times. This year, the experience is a little different. Sacrament is a story that is told from the perspective of a teenager in his family’s cult. When the boys hit a certain age, they must be put forth to receive the sacrament to prove whether they are chosen or not. This was a fantastic story by James G. Carlson! I could see these events truly unfolding and are likely a reality in some parts of our country. This story grabbed me because it’s so real and enthralling! I really enjoyed all of the stories, but those above really focused my attention and ran me through multiple emotions. Miracles for Masochist’s drops on January 25th! Be sure to grab this one!!
A fantastic double team!
So, this was a great collection of stories from both authors. There are seven stories included, starting with a team effort from both, then alternating stories from each!! They are all really great stories too, not one is worth skipping! My favourites were, of course, THE SEQUINED SPECTRE and THE TRANSFORMATION OF HAYDEN CONNOR, MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN, and COPROLITE BLUES!! As always, I will write a few words for each story…. THE SEQUINED SPECTRE…. Constance is rushing to the aid of her friend Milo, but first she has to get past the geese! The consequences of calling for help to rid you of a rather cool ghostly presence, and ending up with a not so cool, and very dark presence!! This one was a Whole Lotta Fun, light hearted, laugh out loud and bloody!! WORDS OF THE FORGOTTEN…. Martin lives in a rundown, haunted apartment, he has been hearing the voices of the dead all his life. He feels forgotten, until he learns what that really feels like, from the ghosts that live in his closet, and the old gods who are wanting revenge…. Deep and emotional. THE TRANSFORMATION OF HAYDEN CONNOR…. Hayden is a controversial artist, he likes to bring out the beauty in the ugliness of the world. When a mysterious model arrives, volunteering himself for Hayden's next work of art, he couldn't possibly imagine the outcome. A beautiful, poetic tale (One of my favourite books as a child was The Magic Paintbrush (I actually bought a copy last year!) and this is like an adult version of that book! I loved it!) MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN…. So, not only is this one of my favourite White (Rob) Zombie tracks, it's now one of my fave short stories too! Horam is facing death as he fights on the frontlines of war, but it's not just the soldiers and their guns he's running from, there's something else lurking in the dark, death-filled trenches. And he soon discovers the true pain of death! The horrific atmosphere in this story was all too realistic. A chillingly beautiful story! THE QUEENS LAST SCREAM…. Jane Ashley is an aging scream queen and it's her tradition to have a drunken marathon of all the movies she has starred in, every Halloween night. A marathon that this time is all too real… This reads like a classic 80s horror movie! COPROLITE BLUES…. When you just want to be a bit different, do something a bit different, so you choose to study ancient shit….literally!! And, what could possibly be worse than unleashing an evil entity unto the world?? Maybe getting locked up with one and the hellish world it has created!! It's village life, but not as we know it!! Brutal and very funny, and had one of the best lines…. "We agreed on the theory that they were the turds from some ancient god who ate too much bad meat and took an angry shit into an interdimensional outhouse." SACRAMENT…. Twins Zeke and Luke are gearing up for that night's Sacrament, even though something feels off! But they must endure the suffering, for it is the path to their salvation! This one was disturbing and creepy, and made me itch! ️
A Captivating Horror Collection
Miracles for Masochists is a brilliant collection of 7 horror stories by authors James G. Carlson and Michael R. Collins. The first story, “The Sequined Specter,” is a fun but brutal ghost story written by both authors and featuring the ghost of Elvis and a twelve-year-old ghost-busting prodigy. Each of the other stories is written by an author individually. These stories range from haunting to horrifying and are all excellent reads in their own right. However, two of them particularly stood out for me. “Words of the Forgotten” by Michael R. Collins is about a lonely and internally tormented man who hears the voices of the dead. But at its heart, it’s a story about being discarded, being forgotten. It’s a dark tale, rich with suspense and a pervasive dread, well-paced and riveting, and the subtext may be more horrifying than the main story. I found it moving and lingering in a very uncomfortable way. “Sacrament” by James G. Carlson gutted me. It stuck a blade in me and gutted me. It’s about a teenage boy living in a cult compound and his and his twin brother’s coming-of-age ritual. The story sucks you in immediately, holds you with intrigue, and then systematically wrecks you at each turn of events. There is so much to this story. It’s dark and poignant and expertly woven with threads of fear and horror and pain. I may not ever get over the ending. There’s a great diversity of stories here, as you can see from the synopsis. Each story is a unique tale that captivates your mind, manipulates your senses, and assaults your emotions. Each has a dark, rich, and entertaining storyline with an underlying impactful poke at your brain. Experience the humor, terror, and creepiness of Collins and Carlson’s Miracles for Masochists.