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Jack's Magic Beans

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3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  461 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
It happens in a split-second. One moment, customers are happily shopping in the Save-A-Lot grocery store. The next instant, they are transformed into bloodthirsty psychotics, interested only in slaughtering one another and committing unimaginably atrocious and frenzied acts of violent depravity. Only Jack, Sammi, Angie and Marcel seem immune to the insanity that has infect ...more
104 pages
Published 2011 by Deadite Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Marvin
Oct 01, 2011 Marvin rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
A small collection of early stories by post-splatter horror author Brian Keene, some of them having gone through later re-writes. These are pretty good short little screams....

Jack Magic Beans: Fits nicely into a common Keene theme; The end of the world through chaos, murder and gore. There's a nice twist though in which the survivors are immune due to...sorry, no spoilers. But it is a tight scary story with one problem. It stops abruptly, reading like the first chapter of a longer story. Still
...more
Anita Dalton
In Jack’s Magic Beans, people are going about their day as they notice the people around them are getting tense and angry, tenser and angrier than people become even in long grocery lines and in traffic. Then everyone snaps. Everyone outright snaps and begins to kill violently and indiscriminately. Four people find themselves unaffected by the madness that is gripping the slaying madmen around them, hiding in a walk-in freezer in the back of a supermarket and they eventually discover what it is ...more
LinBee
Apr 14, 2011 LinBee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Keene fans, slasher horror fans
Keene is one sick mofo. Which is why I tend to like his books. This was no exception. Even though this is more a short story. I must say, however, that I do wish that it was longer. Just as I was getting into the story and the characters, it ended. How disappointing. Though the other short stories in the republished book ALMOST make it worth while.

It's a day like any other, and everyone suddenly goes berserk. Except for a few people, who while in the freezer at Save-A-Lot, realize what makes the
...more
Shells Walter
Mar 05, 2011 Shells Walter rated it really liked it
Jack's Magic Beans by Brian Keene once again showcases the author's talent of the strange, horrific and enjoyable aspects of a short story.

In this collection of 5 stories we have:

Jack's Magic Beans that tells of a supermarket gone astray. Where people act in a hostile nature hurting each other and killing everyone they come in contact with. Their rage, unknown. Jack, who was asleep during the start of the chaos, wakes up to hear screaming and pounding on a door. He along with a few others who ha
...more
Adam Wilson
Jul 06, 2011 Adam Wilson rated it it was amazing
Brian Keene is my favorite author to get wellknown after 2000 and is rapidly becoming my favorite horror author of all time. I have only been disappointed by one of his books, Urban Gothic. The novella Jack’s Magic Beans and the four short stories that follow only serve to strengthen my good opinion of this author. Jack’s Magic Beans is violent to the point of being comical at times but Keene’s reasoning for why some people go insane and why others don’t was brilliantly simple to me. The reason ...more
Frank
Jul 24, 2011 Frank rated it really liked it
This book had more pages then I had time in the day. That was all that stopped my from devouring this short story collection in a day. The 'just-shy-of-100-page' book is a 4 short story/novella collection of some long ago out of print stories brought back in this new collection.

Out of the gate, Jack's Magic Beans is pure Keene in a short burst. The next two stories I Am An Exit and This Is Not An Exit displays a deeper literary prose for Keene and also promises to set up a longer form novel feat
...more
Jarrod Scarbrough
This is a great, short collection of short stories by Brian Keene! A lot of fun packed in to a few pages here! The title novella was by far my favorite, a story of how something has snapped inside of people and they simply start killing anybody and everybody. A select few are immune, but wait until you find out what sets them apart! Not for the faint of heart, Keene spills a lot of gore in this fun tale! The accompanying stories were very fun, quick spooky reads as well. "I Am An Exit" and the s ...more
Chris
Aug 04, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing
Another novella with bonus short stories by Brian Keene, from Deadite Press. The book title is the opening novella, which probably has A) one of the best opening lines ever, and B) a premise which is both astounding and chillingly terrifying. All of a sudden, people go mad and begin murdering one another in brutal fashion. Where the novella takes place, in a supermarket, four survivors hole up in a freezer, and soon discover the startling truth of why the madness hadn't affected them.

"Without Yo
...more
Jeremy Maddux
Mar 05, 2016 Jeremy Maddux rated it it was ok
This is a loose collection of Keene's early stories. There's not one story here with a proper ending. They just end as abruptly as they begin. I'm harder on Keene with ratings and reviews because I expect a lot more from him. He's talented, but the hype should match the output.
Rustin Bendrix
Oct 01, 2014 Rustin Bendrix rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
An easy read that is easy to muscle your way through. The King in Yellow initially caught my interest with its connections to Carcosa, Chambers, and yes, True Detective.
Eduardo
Jul 11, 2016 Eduardo rated it really liked it
Amazing as always, Brian Keene never fails to deliver.
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
Jul 23, 2014 Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This is a short book with 100 pages were we are presented with a novella a four short stories. For the price I think it deserves more but...

Brian Keene, for those who follow my reviews is one of my favourite horror writers. Him, Clive Barker and Bentley Little are at the core.

What I enjoy of Brian Keene is that he got himself a mythos called Labyrinth. And in my opinion it rules. With each book, or story he gives us something to add to his mythos.

Another thing I enjoy reading is his footnotes a
...more
Jonathan Echevarria
Jul 22, 2014 Jonathan Echevarria rated it it was amazing
This is another great collection of Brian Keene's short stories, some of them only five or six pages long. The is one of the better collections considering it has two hard to find short stories named "I Am An Exit" and "This Is Not An Exit". Both of the Exit stories are very well made and very fun to read, especially for the nice twist they both have at the end. I can finally see why The Exit is one of the most popular characters that Keene ever invented. He makes Dexter Morgan look like Barney ...more
Elusive Controversé
Oct 22, 2015 Elusive Controversé rated it liked it
Shelves: review
‘Jack’s Magic Beans’ comprises five stories which revolve around morbid themes and are filled with many gory details.

The first and longest story titled ‘Jack’s Magic Beans’ is about sudden chaos that occurs in a supermarket. It all begins when an employee hears a lettuce beckoning him to murder an old woman. Subsequently, everyone in the vicinity kills each other in the most violent ways possible. However, four people are mysteriously unaffected by the sudden bloodthirst which has struck others
...more
Sarah
Mar 14, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crazy anthology. The title story, Jack's Magic Beans, was original and fast paced, but I felt like it was a rip off because just as the story started getting good, it ended, with nothing resolved and the survivors just going off into the crazy new world and you don't know what will happen to them. I felt ripped off. It would have made the start of a great novel. The other stories were good- there was short vignette about a man who shoots himself, but cannot die until he fulfills one more promise ...more
Craig
Mar 25, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack's Magic Beans is a short story collection of horror maestro Brian Keene and released by Deadite Press. But be warned - if you've read previous the story collections Unhappy Endings, No Rest For The Wicked and Fear Of Gravity (all of which are now long out of print) then you will recognise the stories. If you have missed out of those previous collections then this will be well worth it.[return][return]The main story involves a world gone mad where everyone has gone insane and has started kil ...more
William M.
Oct 05, 2011 William M. rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Readers should know I am reviewing this book based on quality not quantity, as every book should be based. This novella is actually closer to a novelette or long short story, but still manages to pack a hell of a punch. This Deadite Press version contains four other stories that are very much worth reading.

Jack’s Magic Bean’s has a simple, streamlined premise, and is one of Brian Keene’s more violent stories. The little twist about the “beans” will keep you alert and nearly just as paranoid as
...more
Geoff
Mar 09, 2013 Geoff rated it liked it
This book is actually a collection of the novella Jack's Magic Beans as well as four short stories. The short stories are stronger material than the title novella, and they are all older reprints. Personally all of these stories are re-reads for me, as I've read them all in other publications. But they were fun to revisit. I would recommend this book because all the stories are entertaining.

Jack's Magic Beans is a hard core story where everyone in a supermarket happens to go insane at once and t
...more
Chris Nortje
Sep 13, 2016 Chris Nortje rated it really liked it
Carnage, blood and gore galore. In this book there's not much beyond that. Brian Keene aims to thrill rather than scare, perhaps at times confusing nausea with horror. Nevertheless, the stories were fun to read and developed nicely. Don't expect anything thought-provoking, though. The style is simple and easy to read, but the stories lack depth and motive at times. Characters tend to be used as vehicles to transport the reader from one bloody mess to the next, but lack conviction themselves, giv ...more
Chris
Jul 27, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bizarro
This book consists of a novella followed by 4 short stories. Jack's Magic Beans is a blood soaked story about people becoming violently psychotic and killing one another. While this is happening, four unaffected, relative strangers band together at the Save-A-Lot grocery store in an effort to stay alive. I enjoyed this work, but wished it was longer. The ending leaves you wondering what will happen next.

The short stories, Without You, I Am An Exit, This Is Not An Exit, and 'The King', In: YELLO
...more
Brian Mcclain
Mar 10, 2014 Brian Mcclain rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Just Reviewing the title story. It was awesome, a blood-soaked apocalyptic vision of epic proportions. Short, took about 20 minutes to read but I definitely wrote it very quickly.
Characters are awesome, and the storyline made enough sense to not be too ridiculous with the appropriate amount of suspension of disbelief. I found myself rooting for the characters, and the ending left me slightly disappointed it was over but with enough thoughts about what would come later that my mind's still trave
...more
Richard Wright
Jan 07, 2012 Richard Wright rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
A very short collection of stories that I've mostly already read in previous collections from the author. The exception is the novelette that gives the book it's title. It's a short tale, unleashing hell and madness among supermarket aisles in a small town. Aside from an entertaining premise, it's rather empty, and so as the only tale in the book I don't already own, a disappointing purchase. That said, if you haven't read the other stories reprinted her, they're among Keene's best, and will pro ...more
Nick
Jun 29, 2012 Nick rated it it was amazing
What's not to love about this book? From the great cover art to the splatterfest within, Brian Keene delivers the goods. I won't bother much with the story line, as the blurb and other reviewers have summed it up nicely. So basically you've got a swell little collection of four great short stories with some nice insights on their creation from the man himself. A great introduction for new Keene readers and an indispensable volume for longtime fans.
Kate
Aug 27, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
A great little novella with five stories in it. The most prominent, and the titular one, Jack's Magic Beans, was the best one. Although, it entered abruptly. I wanted MORE. I wanted a whole novel! MORE MORE MORE. I also had a little grin on my face while reading it, since I'm a taker of 'magic beans' myself. So, I guess I'd survive the gorepocalypse.

One of the shorter stores, I Am An Exit, was also fantastic. Short, sweet, to the point.
Sarah
Oct 14, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
Employees and customers of a grocery store are suddenly overcome by murderous rage and start slaughtering everyone they see. Four people, who appear to be immune to this rage, try to survive and determine why they have remained uneffected. Gory, violent, quirky and humorous. I loved this story and wish that it would be lengthened into a full novel.
There are also four additional short stories included in this book. This collection is a must for any Keene fan.
Robert Essig
Sep 22, 2011 Robert Essig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A nice little book with one novella and three accompanying stories, all of which were top-notch. The title story was fast paced and engaging right up until the end...which fell a little flat. I think it could have been turned into a novel or even a longer novella. I wish it had, because I was loving every bit of the story right until it took a sudden stop.

Of the three shorts, "Without you" was by far the best. Quick and poigniant. Left quite a mark on my brain.
خالد أمين
WOW ...finished it in 2 hours .. that's wt I love about keene, big book or not it is always a page turner .. simple way of storytelling and highly involving .. I've read all kinds of literature and different genres.. the only writers I really have great fun and joy with are raymond chandler and brian keene!
Craig
May 26, 2011 Craig rated it liked it
This is a collection of five stories, the best of which I thought was a very striking and unusual piece called "'The King',In"YELLOW". The title story, I felt, was a bit too similar to Stephen King, and the others were short and unremarkable, but the last piece was worth the price of admission on its own merit.
Shaun Meeks
Nov 16, 2012 Shaun Meeks rated it it was amazing
This is a great collection. I had already read one of the stories in here years ago, but re-reading it was just as enjoyable. The main novella was fast paced, violent anf had my favourite kind of ending. The 2 "Exit" stories were great. Highly recommend this one.
Lisa Williamson
Apr 30, 2014 Lisa Williamson rated it really liked it
This is the second of Mr Keene's stories I have read.

An end of the world tale with a twist I had not expected. This tale is dark, bloody and intense. from the very opening you have a shock and they keep coming. Well worth the read.
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BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have be ...more
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