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Old Man Scratch

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Johnny Gregson moved to the country to enjoy the quiet of his twilight years, but it seems he's got two problems. The first is the roadkill. His neighbour—Hill "Scratch" Clayton—is the second. Scratch is a hard-edged old man and a creature of habit. He mows his lawn at first light every morning, and the sound of the John Deere's engine always wakes Johnny and his wife from ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by PS Publishing (first published 2009)
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William M.
Mar 10, 2015 William M. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, drama
I was first introduced to Rio Youers with his impressive novella, Mama Fish. It was clear this was a writer that chooses his words carefully and has a wonderful talent for effective and powerful storytelling. With Old Man Scratch, author Youers steps it up a notch and creates one of the most powerful, tense, and heartbreaking novellas I've read in recent years.

The characters here are expertly described and the situation of a nasty and relentless neighbor is delightfully addictive. Youers could h
G.R. Yeates
Sep 20, 2010 G.R. Yeates rated it it was amazing
A very thoughtful modern folktale where the consequences of revenge create an atmosphere of inevitable approaching doom. Tender moments portraying an old couple's lifelong love contrast with the thunderous confrontations between two men who could not be more opposed. All of this then leads us into a bleak and ambiguous coda that stays with you once you have put the book down. Recommended.
Jan 04, 2017 Geoff rated it really liked it
This story is about a retired couple from Toronto who decide to live out their retirement away from the city and out into a small town setting. They move to the outskirts of town and their only neighbor is a mean old man named Scratch. What makes Scratch so mean is he cuts his lawn every day at 5:30 in the morning. Johnny, the husband of the retired couple decides to ask Scratch to stop waking them up every morning with his lawn cutting, but that doesn't go well and things get uglier as the stor ...more
Mar 30, 2010 Joan rated it it was amazing
Read it on the plane back from World Horror Con in Brighton and couldn't put it down. Incredibly well written.
Timothy Baker
Timothy Baker rated it really liked it
May 08, 2012
Dreams rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2013
John Palisano
John Palisano rated it really liked it
Apr 18, 2012
Tom Cranham
Tom Cranham rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2014
Nicholas James
Nicholas James rated it really liked it
Jun 28, 2010
Tom rated it it was amazing
May 14, 2012
Meredith Martin
Meredith Martin rated it it was ok
Jul 11, 2014
Sanaz rated it liked it
Oct 24, 2011
Mike rated it it was amazing
May 27, 2012
Daniel Pyle
Daniel Pyle rated it it was amazing
Dec 07, 2009
F rated it it was amazing
Feb 19, 2014
Cate Gardner
Cate Gardner rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2011
Ben Eads
Ben Eads rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2015
Kevin Lucia
Kevin Lucia rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2011
Drew Wheeler
Drew Wheeler rated it it was amazing
Nov 25, 2012
Squire rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2013
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Jan 25, 2015
Kristin rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2016
Chris Copeland
Chris Copeland rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2015
Oct 31, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it
A very good short story from Rio Youers. Reads fast and very well written. Recommended.
Paula Vee
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Nov 08, 2011
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Apr 01, 2014
Neil Buchanan
Neil Buchanan rated it really liked it
Nov 20, 2015
Chet Williamson
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Jan 15, 2014
John McIlveen
John McIlveen rated it liked it
Apr 12, 2010
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Rio Youers is the British Fantasy Award–nominated author of End Times and Old Man Scratch. His short fiction has been published in many notable anthologies, and his novel, Westlake Soul, was nominated for Canada’s prestigious Sunburst Award. Rio’s new novel, Point Hollow, was recently published by ChiZine Publications. He lives in southwestern Ontario with his wife, Emily, and their children, Lily ...more
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