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Ménage à 20, Tales with a hook

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Get Hooked --San Diego Dispatch
An orgy of many-splendored prose --Pocatello Times

Life, death, demons, and donuts. The perils of love; the perils of hell. Ghosts, TV, and human sacrifice. What do they all share? A group of writers, published and unpublished, with no other goal but to make you gasp in shock. Thirty stories, twenty writers. Prepare to get hooked.
ebook, 408 pages
Published December 4th 2009 by Carlos J. Cortes (first published 2009)
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Best Short Stories
114th out of 1,265 books — 794 voters
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Collections of Short Stories
474th out of 2,177 books — 1,635 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 05, 2009 Carlos added it  ·  (Review from the author)
A masterpiece. No bedside table can be considered a decent bedside table, not even a passable bedside table, without this book.
Dec 06, 2009 Renee added it  ·  (Review from the author)
There is something for everyone in this book, with a little surprise at the end. Definitely a book worth reading and reading again.
Dec 15, 2009 Mackenzie is currently reading it
One of my besties from back home is featured in this collection of shorts with a "hook". Give it a read. I'm sure they're all good, but, honestly, I've only read her's so far. Her name is Wendy Swore...and she pretty much ROCKS!!
Kyle Borland
*****Disclaimer: I'm going to review each story by itself and do it objectively. I know some, if not all, of these authors personally so I'm going to be as objective as I can. I'm not giving this work an overall rating for this reason. If I know you please do not take any review, good or bad, personally. Also, some reviews contain spoiler so if you see (*) there is a possible spoiler in that particular review.*****

I think that overall this anthology was only ok. There were some that were great a
Erma Odrach
Apr 05, 2010 Erma Odrach rated it it was amazing
Shelves: goodreads-author
Twenty Goodreads authors got together to present Ménage à 20, Tales with a Hook, a collection of very diverse short stories and from different parts of the world. This is a great idea on the part of Goodreads members, and quite an engaging and adventurous read:

An angry and controlling husband redeems himself, then commits the ultimate act of love in "Foundation"; a lonely and neglected housewife tries to make her life more meaningful with a string of affairs in "Lonely"; a senior citizen re-ent
Jan 24, 2010 Henry rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: fiction
Nineteen talented writers (and me) took a vow to bring to readers everywhere a master piece that would leave them speechless, like, someone who can't speak. This anthology will delight your eyes, rattle your neurons, and capture your soul as you turn page after page of beautifully crafted prose, where every word was meticulously placed to cause shock and inspire awe. Nineteen authors (plus me), twenty nine tales (plus mine) await you at

Feb 21, 2010 Minnie rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
As one of the authors of these tales, I can say I've read most of the 30 stories. My contribution is Reconstructing Emily. These stories will make you laugh, cry, scream, and curl your toes. And they all have a twist--a hook.

Reconstructing Emily

Emily Kincaid, a feisty, energetic senior, wants to go back to work. She has been out of the work force for five years. Nothing in her work history equaled the world she steps into—TV Station Six. The place is life in perpetual motion. She reasons that
Jul 21, 2010 Gwendolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
Be delighted, amazed and entertained.

Editing stories is never easy, but the voices of the contributing talents made this one of the most enjoyable anthology projects I've ever been involved with.

Jun 11, 2010 Paige rated it it was amazing
Well, I just have to say that I am glad to be able to peruse the threads with the authors of this book. So much talent, and imagination in one tight knit group on Goodreads. I love being a part of On Fiction Writing and I am learning new things all the time. I just hope that at some point in my whole writing career-or lack thereof, that I have, I will be able to achieve the skills and talent that the writers in this anthology have acquired along their way to writing success.
I took a long time t
Mar 26, 2010 A.F. rated it really liked it
Ménage à 20: Tales with a hook is a collection of thirty short stories by twenty authors, who also happen to be members of the Goodreads website. This collaborative effort has produced an eclectic, but highly enchanting compilation.

The stories vary in subject from the softly romantic, to dark fantasy, science fiction and disturbing horror, all tales ending with a twist. Their narrative tones range from creepy to sweet, everyone satisfying to read. Captivating characters abound, to charm, enthral
Apr 09, 2010 Brenda rated it really liked it
Recommended to Brenda by:
I was so pleased to win a copy of this book, and began reading it the day it arrived. What a unique undertaking! I found that there was a great variety between the authors, both in content and talent. There were a small number of stories that did not appeal to me at all, but that's not to say they didn't have appeal. And there were a small number of stories that I'm convinced will see the authors launched into literary stardom any day now. And then of course, the rest fell somewhere in the middl ...more
Dec 10, 2009 Roy rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm quite proud to be a participant in this nobel project and look forward to reading tales written by the other 19 contributors. O. Henry would love this book, as will all fans of "tales with a hook".
Christy Stewart
Why wasn't I asked to be a part of this? 1 star!

Or, I'll wait to read it and then judge.

Probably not though.


The above is what I wrote when I added it to my list. It was meant as a joke to amuse specific friends. This was before people actually read my reviews.

I'm leaving it so if you are to read the comments below you will understand what they are referring to.

On to the actual review:

This is a book put together in a Goodreads group with a bunch of u
Rita Webb
Dec 24, 2009 Rita Webb rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It has been an honor to be a part of this project, and reading the other stories has left me humble and overjoyed to be included in this work.

Some stories haunt you, like Plain Donuts by Diane Condon-boutier did for me. A beautiful, joy-filled story that made me smile, but ever since reading it, I am reminded of it every time I sit down to eat. I smile again, and rather than eating to satiate my needs, I remember to slow down, enjoy each bite, and converse with my table-mates.

Some stories thrill
Lynne Roberts
Jan 31, 2010 Lynne Roberts rated it really liked it
Spearheaded by Carlos J. Cortes, author of several science fiction books, Ménage à 20 is a compilation of several Goodreads authors.

As the title suggests, each of these stories are supposed to contain a twist, a hook at the end, some element the reader doesn't expect.

Did they pull it off? Some of them did and how. A few of these stories took my breath away. They were truly well-written, cleverly executed shorts that did everything a short is supposed to do: draw you in fast and leave you wantin
Aug 26, 2010 Praj rated it liked it
Ménage à 20, Tales with a hook, what can I say? If reading kinky erotica zings my dull days; sinister conundrum placates the daily lunacy. Besides having a tantalizing cover-page; the engaging compilation of 30- brief tales boasts a prelude of the respective writer’s photo and a personal description. This directive fabricates a positive familiarity between the reader and the creator of ongoing narrative; structuring the comprehension as a mesmeric amalgamation of piercing mystery.

Personally, I w
ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ
I think the rating here on Goodreads for this particular book is off, because so far the only reviews I've read are from contributing authors, who of course, are going to rate it high.

So far this is just strange. "A Gift Horse" was good. "Elder Cares" wasn't bad but was still a bit odd. "Yellowfang" was just sick and disgusting with a horrible ending! Quite frankly based on the couple I've read, I'm not sure I want to read the other stories.

Andy Love
Feb 06, 2010 Andy Love rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: Authors. Readers that loves a twit in the tale
WOW! I loved each and every one of these stories. There is a lot for a new author to learn from here and readers would find it difficult to find a better read paying good money. I'm sure I have seen the future of authors in the world. What a pleasure. I am honoured to be pressed between such talent.
Thirty stories written by twenty writers who hoped to get me hooked. Well, I wasn’t. Maybe if they kept the story count at twenty and developed those a little bit more, I would feel otherwise.
Rita Stradling
Dec 07, 2009 Rita Stradling rated it it was amazing
I just ordered my copy from lulu. (link to book)
I'm so excited to hold a copy in my hands.
Jan 03, 2013 Tina rated it liked it
Shelves: completed-series
Review under construction currently I have reviewed up to page 219. I will finish reviewing the final stories later.

Where to start?
Initially, this book I came to with such high hopes. I personally love stories with a twist, which is why I love Stephen King. However, while some authors delivered, others fizzled out, and some were just plain insulting. So let us review shall we? This collection is like a POP CD, where out of 20 songs on the album you love only 3 and the rest are there for filler
Flamo Sacoalto
Sep 08, 2012 Flamo Sacoalto rated it did not like it
This book has a very high average rating simply because the 20 authors who contributed with the stories that are on it have all given it a 5-star rating! I am rating a 1-star just to average it out more fairly. Actually some of the stories are not that bad (but some indeed are) and 3- star rating would be quite appropriate.
I really enjoyed reading this!!!! I related a little to some of the characters. Would recommend:)
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Uhm, what authors? 3 5 Jan 03, 2013 10:09PM  
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I write for the same reason I breathe: to carry on living.

From time to time I post snippets about myself and my work at:

Carlos J Cortes is the author of numerous unpublished novels and one of the World’s least influential people. After the dogged efforts o
More about Carlos J. Cortes...

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