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Tales of Pain and Wonder
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Tales of Pain and Wonder

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  167 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Included in this collection are 21 short stories by the award willing author of Silk. Caitlin R. Kiernan has added a new voice to the world of horror and supernatural writing. Her stories consistently make it into The Years Best Fantasy and Horror and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. Her writing is unique, thought provoking, and leads you to places that you fear, yet f...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc. (first published February 18th 2000)
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This is one of my most favorite books. I think about the stories contained within this edition often. It's almost as if Caitlin R.Kiernan was possessed by lonely but omnipotent spirits when she was writing this. Jimmy DeSade and Salmagundi are fascinating characters that are woven in and out of this collection like lethal, dark threads.
Ruby Hollyberry
Arrived in the mail today and finished today. Wow. Wasn't cheap and was worth every penny. Many of the stories are connected to the series of books I have (actually I think all her work is connected to every other piece). But every story was special. This lady has more talent and has polished that talent more than anyone else I can think of in any genre who is currently writing. Can't recommend enough but NOT for the squeamish. I had to read some of the stories again after finishing the book, pa...more
Caitlin R Kiernan is an author whose work I have skirted around over the years. As much as anything, because I was a little unsure where to start with her work and that it may have been too feminist in its leanings. Following an email exchange with a friend, she suggested I started with Tales of Pain and Wonder
This is a collection of short stories although laid out in the sequence they were written, there is an alternate sequence that places the stories in chronological order, which I followed....more
Interesting read. A colection of oddly connected stories. Much of this reads like out of order fragments of a novel. This is horror fiction, but it's not so much frightening as disturbing. I will have to try one of her novels.

An unremittingly bleak collection of short stories but worth reading.

Kiernan's prose is beautiful, and she's a master at leaving the reader wondering if anything supernatural has really occurred.
This book is challenging to get a copy of unless you want to fork over $50 or so for a used Library copy, or even more for a new one. It also is at times challenging to read, though ultimately worth it. Individually, the stories don't always have massive impact, but together, combined in the collection, it's extremely impressive. Characters return from one story to the next. The overall plot is vague, and those expecting a set of traditional monster stories may be disappointed. Several stories h...more
It took me awhile to get into this collection (of which I admittedly didn't read all), but get into it I did, from the sparkly corrosion so artfully rendered in Kiernan's prose to the compellingly vile Jimmy DeSade. I still vastly prefer Kiernan's most recent work, but this was a fun little jaunt through teenage angst and things that go bump in the night. A is for Atmosphere!
What a terrible, cruel, devastating and amazing book.

A collection of mostly inaccessible stories that don't care at all whether they're ever accessed or by who or what, that come together in a whip-stitched panoply of truly Kiernan things: transhumanism; the lie of gender; wet, gasping blind moist things; the world beneath the bricks and the dust; drowning girls and rotting metal.

If nothing else, it does what it says on the front cover: these are tales of pain and wonder, but you're never quit...more
As with several of the books on this list, this is a re-read. I haven't read Silk, or Murder of Angels, but from the novels and short stories I've read Kiernan has a feel for the rhythm and meter of language which few writers these days do, along with a gift for the telling phrase. She's moved away from the compound words she uses freely in these stories, which in some ways is a shame.

This is an older edition, with a cover image she despised.
I love this book, I love the stories. I adore the characters. I am spellbound by the way Caitlin R. Kiernan uses words to describe feelings, surroundings and the thought process of her characters.
At least, the 2001 edition that I own was worth five stars. It's quite annoying, honestly, that there are different editions of this book...with DIFFERENT CONTENTS therein!
This is one of my comfort books. Kiernan's beautiful prose is addicting.
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