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Swift, Brutal Retaliation

2.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  88 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
You can't win a ghostly prank war with your dead big brother. Only survive it.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
ebook, 25 pages
Published January 4th 2012 by Tor Books
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I picked this ebook up when Tor was offering it for free a while back. Apparently this story was nominated for an award, and based on that, and the title, I thought that it would be the kind of story I'd like. Sadly, I am disappointed instead.

I really don't know why this story would have been nominated for anything other than a re-write. It had potential to be really great, but everything that it could and should have been was missing, which is a shame. Everything in the story is just told to t
Feb 20, 2013 Tony rated it liked it
A great ghost story. I know a few people had problems with the ending but the ending is what makes it for me. The story isn't about the ghost per say but how the males in the family dictate the actions and responses of the females in the house. The girls don't enjoy the prank pulling but because their brother who was the oldest and a bully made the rules they fell into following them, just as their father (another bully)set the rules of the house. In the end the girls join together with made up ...more
M.A. Kropp
Mar 19, 2013 M.A. Kropp rated it liked it
This is a nice quick read. It can easily be finished in one sitting. It takes place in the few days after the death of Ian, the oldest child in the family. It is a ghost story, since Ian appears to his younger sisters several times after the funeral. It is also a complex story about family relationships and grief, for all its short length. The family is dominated by the father, who is strict and dictatorial. Mother is withdrawn and distant, afraid to antagonize her husband. The two sisters are c ...more
Leslie (Working for the Mandroid)
This one really hurt.
Althea Ann
Jan 08, 2014 Althea Ann rated it it was ok
A pair of sisters in a mildly dysfunctional family are haunted by the ghost of their recently-deceased brother. Really not up to best-of-the-year standards; the conclusion where the author sums up everyone's feelings and motivations is written very awkwardly.
Feb 14, 2015 Kimikimi rated it liked it
Shelves: tor-com
Another short story.

I liked this one, it's an interesting take on ghost stories. Clearly the family is grieving, all in their own way. Ian as well is grieving, although like the father his grief expresses itself through anger and violence. The girls find a safe way to grieve because they can see their brother, and they band together against their parents first to help him and then just to survive his wrath.
Aug 14, 2013 Craig rated it it was amazing
This is a ghost story, but done as a realistic family drama. Think Cheever or Franzen rather than Shirley Jackson or Stephen King. The 'horror' is the disintraging relationships. The emotional brutality and unrelenting prose probably what placed this story on this year's World Fantasy Award ballot.
Mar 29, 2013 Julia rated it did not like it
Tor made this available as a free ebook because it had been nominated for a Nebula.
I don't understand why. To me it was a standard ghost story except that the characters were in a dysfunctional family.
Jordan Lopez
Mar 09, 2013 Jordan Lopez rated it liked it
Enjoyable to read while still dealing with loss social hierarchy of a family. The Ghost aspect is kind of hit and miss for me.
Jan 07, 2012 Maria rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
A lovely and slightly creepy ghost story. I really enjoyed Meghan McCarron's writing style.
Feb 20, 2012 {eri} rated it really liked it
Good story! I suppose it didn't NEED a more conclusive ending but I would have liked it. 3 1/2?
Mar 05, 2013 Geert rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, fantasy
Short story about sibling rivalry and a dead brother
Scott M Sizer
Apr 27, 2013 Scott M Sizer rated it did not like it
Shelves: short-story
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