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Dark Gods

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,114 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews

1 · Children of the Kingdom · na Dark Forces, ed. Kirby McCauley, Viking, 1980
73 · Petey · na Shadows #2, ed. Charles L. Grant, Doubleday, 1979
129 · Black Man with a Horn · nv New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, Arkham, 1980
175 · Nadelman’s God · na *
Mass Market Paperback, 261 pages
Published June 1st 1986 by Bantam (first published July 23rd 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,570)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Dark Gods is a collection of novellas that bring to mind something that I could imagine HP Lovecraft writing if he was a baby boomer. Or maybe that isn't quite right. Because I think T.E.D. Klein has a subtle, grounded approach that distances him from Lovecraft's style in a crucial way for this reader. Klein seems to eschew melodrama, and Lovecraft embodies it in his writing. The similiarities to Lovecraft lie more in his overall fatalistic viewpoint and his character choices. I had to say I was ...more
Oct 04, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four horror novellas that were influenced by the works of H. P. Lovecraft. Though many Lovecraftian themes are present in these stories, the author has his own distinct and modern writing style. One of the better examples of this horror sub-genre.

Children of the Kingdom - 4 stars. An ancient race of hidden Old Ones, living in New York City. Set during the 1977 Blackout.

Petey - 3 stars. Revenge for a shady real estate deal.

Black Man With a Horn - 3 and 1/2 stars. A writer who was a protege of H.
May 18, 2007 Tom rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of intelligent horror writing
The lack of T.E.D. Klein material out there is one of the grave sadnesses of the publishing world. He's not a particularly prolific author, I'll grant that - a handful of stories and a single (great) novel over 30 years is not exactly a Dickensian output. But it should really all be in print, starting with this. Four novellas that surpass the normal expectations of "horror fiction" by being smart, original and genuinely unsettling. It contains "Children of the Kingdom," set during New York's apo ...more
Apr 21, 2016 J.R. rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite collections, and I generally dislike most everything.

If you want to hear a pretty in-depth discussion of each story in this collection, check out my podcast, where we do two whole episodes on the book.
Apr 11, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, horror
One of the very best collections of horror short stories I've ever read. I think short stories are where Klein really shines, which makes sense, since there are many who say that horror works best in the short form. Unfortunately, this is pretty much it for Klein. I wish he would of written more.
Orrin Grey
Sep 17, 2012 Orrin Grey rated it it was amazing
This is more like it! While Reassuring Tales was something of a let-down, Dark Gods was exactly what I was looking for. It was reading "Black Man with a Horn" for what I thought was the second time but was actually the first that drove me to pick this up. I was pretty sure I'd read it before, but I turned out to be dead wrong. Everything in it was new to me (except "Black Man," which I'd just read in The Book of Cthulhu), and everything in it was pretty much superb.

Now if someone would just pack
Jun 03, 2012 Anne rated it it was amazing
I give this collection of four novellas seven stars. I have read and reread them over the years, and they remain masterpieces of deep yet understated horror. The combination of Lovecraftian scope with minute contemporary detail and character-driven narrative is breath-taking. I especially admire Klein's settings -- I could live in the house described in "Petey," for example, and I feel that dreadful Florida humidity on my skin in "Black Man with a Horn."

Truly, Klein's work is an inspiration.
Aric Cushing
Fantastic short stories. T.E.D. Klein said,"I will do anything to NOT write." Unfortunately, he created his own fate, and we are only left with 1 novel and this collection of unbelievable short stories.
Ian Casey
Mar 22, 2015 Ian Casey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It seems that supernatural horror enjoyed a resurgence in the late 70s and 80s, with the likes of Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker and Thomas Ligotti achieving varying degrees of critical and commercial success. Perhaps there’s no better example of the spirit of this revival though than here in Dark Gods, a 1985 collection of four short stories by T.E.D. Klein which reads like a veritable love letter to the heydays of supernatural and weird fiction.

That in itself wouldn’t count for mu
Jun 22, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
This is a remarkable book, offering four long stories showcasing the talents of an author who is not as well known as he deserves. The linking theme is, I think, the idea of a hidden world existing in parallel with our own - each hidden world may be different, but all are dangerously near. This is of course a rather Lovecraftian notion, but instead of piling on the horror Klein instead offers us good-natured, rather urbane and witty characters who only gradually realise that something has gone a ...more
Aug 18, 2012 Tim rated it it was amazing
If you are a fan of intelligent horror literature, your bookshelf should include this collection and Klein's novel "The Ceremonies." Klein's writing is subtle terror defined, his fictional universe offering brief glimpses into monstrous, inexplicable reality. Klein focuses on extended characterization (which is ever a good thing)and building mundane atmospheres which are shattered by quick views of weird evil, hints of unspeakable truths. Klein's philosophy is certainly fatalistic, but he crafts ...more
Apr 01, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Fantastic collection of 4 terrifying novellas. I first encountered TED Klein's fiction in the "Cthulhu 2000" anthology back in the 90s and of all the stories in that collection it stuck with me the longest- long enough that I eventually picked this collection up and I'm glad I did.

Klein does not write short stories and he really doesn't write stories where very much happens, at least at first. At various points these pieces teeter between boring and terrifying. Instead, every sentence is drenche
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2009 Jail added it
I was excited to read this book because Klein is so highly reccomended by many authors I like (thomas Ligotti, Ramsey Campbell, etc.) but I was a little underwhelemed by these stories as works of terror. They are all intelligently written but forgettable and not particuluarly scary. The scariest story "Petey" comes accompanied with such a hamfisted attempt at satire that it is also the most difficult to get through.
Klein has a social conscience that belies his stated intention to merely entertai
Nancy Carr
Sep 20, 2007 Nancy Carr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literate horror fans
Shelves: recently-read
This collection of four novellas, by the former editor of "The Twilight Zone" magazine, relies on subtlety and psychology rather than gore for its unnerving effects. Some elements seem dated now (these were written about 30 years ago), but not in a bad way. I give this 4 rather than 5 stars because of Klein's overreliance on Africa and Asia as the source of horror: he's got plenty of company in this regard, and his white narrators don't come off unscathed either, but it's still rather off-puttin ...more
May 30, 2010 Robert rated it it was amazing
This book is composed of four excellent novellas: The Children of the Kingdom, Petey, Black Man with a Horn, and Nadelman's God. Just reread it a week or so ago and it's still one of my faves. Each tale is smoothly written, scary, intelligent, thought-provoking and totally involving. The fact that T.E.D. Klein has written little else since this book and his sole novel, The Ceremonies, were published back in the late 80s is a crying shame. I recommend both to anyone who likes really good weird/ho ...more
Aksel Dadswell
Feb 11, 2015 Aksel Dadswell rated it really liked it
Four mostly brilliant novellas that really go for the slow-burn horror. Some of the endings are a little problematic, particularly Nadelman's God, which seems cut short before anything of merit happens. My favourite of the four was Petey, which really gets under the skin and ends right at the reveal, and with a pretty interesting - and vaguely rendered - monster.
Randolph Carter
Dec 21, 2013 Randolph Carter rated it it was amazing
Four beautiful literate longer horror stories, each one a modern classic. If all horror writers were like this the genre would become accepted as true literature.
Brian Sammons
May 25, 2012 Brian Sammons rated it it was amazing
Love this book. Mr. Klein, if you read this, please write more. Horror fans need you.
Dec 09, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful, creepy collection. I enjoyed it a lot!
Neil Mcrobert
Nov 04, 2015 Neil Mcrobert rated it really liked it
I've long heard about this collection of novellas being a key addition to the post-Lovecraft evolution/continuation of "the Weird". As someone who is usually s little underwhelmed by most weird fiction (including Lovecraft) I began with low expectations after finding it for a dollar in a used bookshop.

I was very pleasantly surprised then, to find that 3 of the 4 stories are really quite excellent and owe as much to the modern horrorscape as they do to 1920s Providence.
The last tale "Nadelman's
Apr 24, 2015 Andy rated it it was amazing
This collection is book-ended by two outright masterpieces of horror and suspense, the two middle stories aren't quite as impressive perhaps, but they're better than most horror I've read. Ever since I read Klein's great "The Ceremonies" this has been on my "to read" list.

These often an urban, gritty feel like the horror stories of Fritz Leiber, the last novelette has some definite influences of Leiber's "Smoke Ghost." Klein writes in a clear, simple style -- none of the overly hallucinogenic, h
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
What an amazing book. Why did the writer only wrote one book and two novellas? For what I know they were well received by the critics. Maybe he is lazy, like Wikipedia says he is.

Now you've got four stories in this anthology. Each one with, around 60/70 pages. Believe me when I say each story has a Lovecraftian theme or characteristic.

The first story is Children of the Kingdom. New York City blackout of 1977 is the setting. The sewers and ghettos of Manhattan conceal a race of faceless mutants c
Jan 26, 2013 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
An absolute MUST-read in the field of contemporary horror. Klein deserves to be ranked with the absolute masters of cosmic fear: H. P. Lovecraft and Laird Barron! I can't recommend this book enough.

Recently re-read. This book is like fine wine for lovers of horror in the Lovecraft tradition. Klein's characters are poignant and realistic. Though references to certain things date the writing, the characters feel very contemporary. "Black Man With a Horn" is perhaps the most anthologized story from
Gothic Readers Book Club
Jun 17, 2013 Gothic Readers Book Club rated it it was amazing

Klein should be a household name in horror. His writing style is dark and dystopic. He crafts subtle tales of dread and fear. His characters are dark, bordering on the sinister, and live without hope for any future. The atmosphere builds in each novella through the skilled use of elegant prose. Klein's narrative is based around the shadows of the mundane world. Secrets, hidden spaces gradually unfold as he draws the reader into the underbelly corridors of
Karl Øen
Feb 20, 2013 Karl Øen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror-fantasy
If you are lucky enough to come across this book, get your hands on it at once. Dark Gods contains some of the most chilling stories you'll ever read. Klein's prose is low-key, he never opts for what Stephen King called "gross-out", but slowly slips you bits and pieces, building from unease to sheer fright. For the strength of his writing prose, Klein has more in common with classic authors of the genre, like M.R. James. The two best stories of this collection, "Nadelman's God" and "Black Man wi ...more
May 05, 2014 Dawn rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic collection of novellas in the Lovecraftian tradition! Klein explores cosmic terror against the backdrop of a modern world, with the majority of these stories set in NYC and the surrounding countryside. Modern (1970s) culture clashes with the long-forgotten gods of old worlds, magic, voodoo, and occult rituals performed in the suburbs. I really did not want this book to end. It was wonderful and I can easily name Klein among my all-time favorite horror authors.
Jose Solis
Oct 13, 2014 Jose Solis rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Buena colección de cuatro novelas cortas de horror.
Sobresalen Petey, sobre un matrimonio que celebra con amigos su mudanza a una casa de campo, sin conocer bien lo que ahí ocultaba el anterior propietario, y Nadelman's God, en la que un escritor frustrado ve con inquietud cómo una de sus antiguas creaciones parece cobrar vida...
Feb 02, 2016 Nandan rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Read about this book on one of the Marathi forums (about an article that talked about books you seek for a long time, but somehow don't get to reading them) and decided to give it a try even though I hadn't heard about the title or the author before.

The book contains four stories all taking place in NY. There is a background of 70's riots, the racial tensions and the writing style is detailed, captivating and keeps the suspense alive. Except for one, the story-lines are not hackneyed and one ca
Aug 08, 2012 Marni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Probably in the top five greatest living horror writers in the world
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Literary Horror: Dark Gods Discussion (November 2013 Monthly Read) 35 32 Dec 02, 2013 07:00PM  
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