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Nocturnes (Charlie Parker #4.5 included)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,418 Ratings  ·  287 Reviews
Bestselling author John Connolly's first collection of short fiction, Nocturnes, now features five additional stories -- never-before published for an American audience -- in a dark, daring, utterly haunting anthology of lost lovers and missing children, predatory demons, and vengeful ghosts. In "The New Daughter," a father comes to suspect that a burial mound on his land ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 446 pages
Published 2005 by Hodder (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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A really good collection of short stories that I read in the beginning of 2014. Usually, the quality of short stories varies very much, but I think this is one of the best collections of short stories I have ever read. Then again, this is John Connolly, writer of the excellent Charlie Parker series. So of course, these stories must be good!
Mar 22, 2013 Brandon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2009
I'll be the first to admit I'm not a huge fan of short story compilations. While I've only read a handful of collections, I find they take a lot of effort to get through. It's not that the quality of the work isn't up to par with that of a full length novel, it's just the ending of one story followed by the beginning of another can sometimes come across as exhausting. You get all invested in a story and it's characters and all of a sudden, it's over. Then, you begin again.

Seeing as Connolly is o
Tom Mathews
This is one of the best story collections that I have read. Nocturnes is a great title as the stories are truly the stuff that nightmares are made of. It is rare that a single author collection doesn't have one story that would be better off in the dustbin but that is the case here. Even the worst story is pretty darn good.

On a side note, as Connolly is the author of the excellent Charlie Parker detective series I thought that some of the stories in this collection, particularly The Underbury Wi
Ignacio Senao f
Jul 13, 2015 Ignacio Senao f rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Señores que este jefazo es todo un ESCRITOR. Es lo primero que leo y no descarto leer sus novelas detectivescas (aún sabiendo que no me gusta ese género).

Buen terror y tratante de todo su ámbito, con el clásico de fantasmas, psicológicos y otros de criaturas monstruosas. Enfermedades oscuras y confusiones familiares.

Ninguno malo, lo cual es un éxito en una recopilación de relatos.
Si te gusta el terror: LEANLO.
El irlandés John Connolly es mundialmente conocido por las novelas protagonizadas por Charlie Parker, y ha demostrado más que de sobra su capacidad para crear atmósferas sobrenaturales. Siempre pensé que Connolly sería un buen escritor de relatos cortos, y con ‘Nocturnos’ lo ha conseguido con creces. Sus relatos recuerdan a los autores de fantasmas más reconocidos, M.R. James, E.F. Benson o Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, pero también hay elementos de Stephen King, e incluso algo de Clive Barker.

A lo l
Apr 14, 2016 Mizuki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Group read with Literary Darkness GR group

When reading this book I kept thinking: "I'd read something like this before!", so perhaps I did read plenty of those short stories from somewhere else in the past.

Plus, John Connolly's themes, style and writing reminds me strongly of Clive Barker's short stories, I'm not saying who is ripping off who, but the resemblance is still strong.
Arun Divakar
Jun 27, 2016 Arun Divakar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In hindsight, the title for this book was rather apt. While I did not think about it at the time of reading, all the stories here are ones where the night is dark and full of terrors. There are things here that go bump in the night and the night itself gives you the biggest bumps of them all. Connolly was not an author whose books I had read before and he did turn out to be good ( in the early Stephen King kind of way). These are short stories packed with punches, teeth and claws. Here is what I ...more
Jun 08, 2015 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In every one of these short stories Connolly succeeds in raising my neck hairs, even if at times it is only a small bit. I like to think that I'm immune to the average horror story atmospheres and tropes which is to say that for an author to have any pull on my emotions they must do either A) take the normal horror game to new heights or B) Do something completely off the wall altogether. Connolly does a mixture of both of these options which produces many diverse and refreshing stories. I reall ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Connolly fans
Generally I consider most short story collections a mixed bag at best, unless your name is Stephen King. And the reason I read this one is firstly the inclusion of a Charlie Parker story, which was imho the best story in the book at the same time. Secondly I was kind of curious how mr. Connely did do outside of "Charlie Parker universe". And while he did not really dissapoint he did not always deliver as good. I did enjoy the opening novella and the short story on the Witches, which might have b ...more
Leah Polcar

This is my first Connolly and though I did not love it, I was impressed enough to hunt down The Gate (which I really liked) and plan on reading much more.

I did find a lot of the stories to be obvious (see, The Cycle or The Bridal Bed, or derivative (see pretty much every story but Cancer Cowboy or Some Children Wander by Mistake), or just not scary/creepy, but some did stand out:

The Cancer Cowboy Rides : This reads like vintage Stephen King and that is a very good thing. I really liked th
Liz Barnsley
A wonderful selection of short stories from Mr Connolly, including one featuring Charlie Parker (The Reflecting Eye) , I re-read these, some each night over the last little while (February 2014) and once again was enthralled and delighted by each of them.

There is a great mix here – my favourite being “The Underbury Witches” – I do like a good evil witch story – closely followed by “Some Children Wander By Mistake” which, frankly, freaked me out, anyone who has the clown phobia should beware!

This is a book of short stories, so I would think that the best way to respond would be to each one individually ... all 15 (though there is, apparently, a different version with even more stories - so it looks like I will be buying the updated copy at some point!):
"The Cancer Cowboy Rides" - This was a quite chilling and remarkably grotesque story about a living cancer, embodied in "Buddy". A truly disgusting story, it was certainly entertaining and a quite solid short story.
"Mr. Pettinger's Da
Inti Ruiz cruz
Dec 08, 2015 Inti Ruiz cruz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Aun me cuesta creer que algo viva allí abajo.
Porque lo que hay allí abajo no vive.
Existe, pero no vive.”

Cuentos para un conductor solitario en medio de la noche, no hay mejor manera de describir esta joya de libro. Reminiscencias e influencias de todo tipo, terror gótico, Stephen King, Poe, Lovecraft, Barker incluso, comedia de terror, etc. calculadas con precisión de relojería por uno de mis autores favoritos. Connolly logra una antología excelente, macabra y obscura para disfrutar como niño.
Alexander Draganov
This is a very strong collection of horror stories, which are quite different in tone and style. I like most the ones, which are connected with the legends about ancient faerie or divine creatures - with them Connely touches the greatness of H.P. Lovecraft.
Aug 23, 2009 Jesse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-executed if predictable (honestly, about 1/3 of the way in, you can figure out the shtick of most of these stories) ghost stories, mostly, in the 19th-century/Edwardian English mode: a lot of unfortunate-things-happened-here (in at least four stories I can recall off the top of my head), a bunch of ancient-evil-lying-in-wait, and a few ye-olde-British-isles-paganism (which, to me, will pretty much never be done better than in the original Wicker Man). And I have to agree with the reviews on ...more
Feb 27, 2016 Felina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Cancer Cowboy Rides (4 stars) - Interesting idea. Decent character development. Started out good but lost steam near the end. Really no absolution and the ending was choppy. Cut up scenes that didn't really run together into coherence. I mean I guess I understood in the end but he could have kept it smooth like the rest of the story. I think I would have liked him to flesh it out a bit. It could have made a decent book.

Mr. Pettingers Daemon (3 stars) - I really liked the atmosphere in this.
Jun 10, 2009 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really had to struggle to finish Nocturnes; if I'd taken it out from the library instead of purchasing it (even for $5) I probably would have stopped. The prose was deft and colorful at points, but the stories just didn't deliver for me, and when you tapped on the side of a finished piece until the metaphors fell out, more often than not what was really supposed to be scary was women--their mystical societies, their dangerously enthralling bodies, their mood swings, their sexual appetites. It ...more
Jul 05, 2013 W.B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dark stories with dextrously laid-down plot lines, all told with panache. Yes, this is genre fiction, but exceedingly well done. It's a fun book and a quick read. If you tend towards squeamishness, maybe it's not the book for you. But if you tend towards squeamishness, what are you doing reading horror fiction anyway? Uh duh. I'm tempted to call these fables, because many of the stories clearly have morals they're trying to inculcate, sometimes with a great degree of subtlety, and sometimes not ...more
Allison Wonderland
I thoroughly enjoyed John Connolly's novel, The Book of Lost Things, and thus was intrigued by this volume of some of his short fiction pieces. For the most part, they were enjoyable supernatural stories, if a bit predictable. Very rarely was I outright surprised by something that Mr. Connolly wrote, and for me, the mark of a good horror story is that it surprises you. There were also a few plot holes in his stories, particularly in the Charlie Parker novella, which bothered me as I read. I also ...more
Originally read in October 2013
Reread in December 2014

Unlike the hardcover edition I read last year, this paperback version features several new (to this collection) stories attatched at the end, and they are awesome! While previously published elsewhere, I'd never read them until I got ahold of this edition, and I'm glad I did. The Bridal Bed, the first of the new stories, is the weakest, but still good. (I'd name the others, but I don't have the book in front of me.) The Inn at Shillingford sc
Paula Cappa
Oct 31, 2013 Paula Cappa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a short story fiend so this book really spoke to me. Connolly is a fine writer and these stories are suspenseful and page-turning. I especially like The Shifting of the Sands.
I've been enjoying reading short stories lately so I picked up Nocturnes on the recommendation of a friend. I haven't read anything by John Connolly before as I don't really read a lot of mystery/crime fiction, but Nocturnes showcases Connolly's writing in a more macabre/horror style which instantly appealed to me a lot more.

This collection features 17 short stories, with 3 extra short ones included at the back for good measure as it's the updated edition. All of the stories were brilliant; some
Scott Firestone
Dec 14, 2015 Scott Firestone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I don't read much horror anymore. But John Connolly's name kept popping up in various places--not least in the Recommendations right here on Goodreads. I found out he's written a series of thrillers involving former NYPD detective Charlie Parker, who investigates murders that involve supernatural elements. Even noted thriller writer Harlan Coben called Connolly "one of the best thriller writers we have." So I decided to read his first collection of short stories, and I'm very glad I did.

"The Ca
Слави Ганев

Съвременните тинейджъри сигурно си мислят, че това е заглавие от поредицата "50 нюанса сиво"... обаче не е. Напоследък реших да си припомня някои от разказите в този страхотен сборник на Джон Конъли (ах, тия ирландци, все страхотии са им в главата).

Истинска загадка е как някои автори улавят толкова концентрирана есенцията на мрака, за да я влеят в произведенията. Като че ли това е най-силното в "Нощни приказки" - атмосферата, която прави тъмнината покрай теб по
Бранимир Събев
Смело вече мога да твърдя, че Джон Конъли е любимият ми писател. За пръв път издава сборник с разкази - досега всичките му книги са романи. Единственият автор, на който имам пълната библиография. Разказите са страхотни просто - някои са в стил Стивън Кинг, други в стил Хауърд Лъвкрафт, трети са чисто авторов стил, оригинален Джон Конъли. Правя кратко резюме на разказите:

1. Канцерогенният Каубой - готин разказ, стил Стивън Кинг в апогея си;
2. Демонът на Петинджър - стил чист Лъвкрафт, малко пряка
There are not many books in this world I have stopped reading. I can only think of one other that I actually put down and never picked up again.

While I enjoyed Connolly's The Book of Lost Things, I just couldn't get into these short stories. I read the first four, about the first 100 pages, and only enjoyed "The Erlking."

Call me snobby if you will, but the others seemed cliche and riddled with horror tropes that allowed me to see the ending long before it occurred. I kept wanting him to go somew
It's kind of hard for me to figure out how I felt about this collection of stories. On one hand, I found most of the stories creepy enough (none of them were really scary, but then I never find books all that scary), and I thought they were pretty well-written standard creepy monster/demon thing Lovecraftian horror. On the other hand, most of the stories were a little too predictable and too brief while still supplying needless details (I felt as though the author was trying to set the scene, bu ...more

>The Cancer Cowboy Rides - I felt more disturbed in a bad way than scared in a good way. 1*

>Mr Pettenger's Dæmon - Very short, but closer to what I was expecting. 3*

>The Erkling - I think The Erlking, despite it's short length, is the creepiest frickin' thing I have ever read. Rating: 5*

>The New Daughter - In which fairies are decidedly malicious. 4.25*.

>The Ritual of the Bones - Had potental, but I didn't know what the point of it was. It used lots of surnames of po
H. Anne Stoj
Dec 27, 2009 H. Anne Stoj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, anthology
While The Book of Lost Things is the only other Connolly I've read, his collection of short pieces in Nocturnes was really rather wonderful. Over the years I've grown more and more picky with what I read and find many horror stories either campy or gory which detracts from what a horror story is. For me, at least.

I don't think there was a story in the collection I didn't like, again, another thing that's rare as it seems like there's always one or two that aren't really more than filler, however
Feb 14, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, age-adult, 2011
I came across this book after watching the movie "The New Daughter" (with Kevin Costner). As with "Dread"/Books of Blood 1-3, I wanted to know more of this story and hoped the short story it was based on would be better. A friend had recommended a novel of Connolly's and I thought a book of short stories might not be a bad way to get acquainted with his work.

Unfortunately, the story "The New Daughter" was similar to "Dread" in that the movie actually expanded upon it. It was quite short although
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John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper ...more
More about John Connolly...

Other Books in the Series

Charlie Parker (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Every Dead Thing (Charlie Parker, #1)
  • Dark Hollow (Charlie Parker, #2)
  • The Killing Kind (Charlie Parker, #3)
  • The White Road (Charlie Parker, #4)
  • The Black Angel (Charlie Parker, #5)
  • The Unquiet (Charlie Parker, #6)
  • The Reapers (Charlie Parker, #7)
  • The Lovers (Charlie Parker, #8)
  • The Whisperers (Charlie Parker, #9)
  • The Burning Soul (Charlie Parker, #10)

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“Being scared isn't the problem. It's not running away that's the hard part.” 111 likes
“Oh, such promises we make in the heat of our passion, when the breath catches in the throat and the belly trembles. Lured by the warmth of another - the scent of her, the strength of him - our tongues betray us and the words come tumbling from our mouths. The act becomes indistinguishable from the intent, and the truth is confused with lies, even to ourselves. Do we say these things because we truly believe them, or do we believe that, by saying them aloud, they may become true? And, when tested, how many of us can say that we fulfilled our vows, that we did not turn away, that we did not renege on the promises we made? When our partners grow old and slow, when the light in their eyes dims and our ardor cools, how many of us are not tempted to turn away and seek our pleasures elsewhere? Not I. I was faithful always. I kept my vows to her, and she her vows to me, in her way.” 13 likes
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