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Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits & Other Curious Things

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Zombies, robots, and dragons, oh my! A collection of strange, surreal, and magical short fiction from Cate Gardner.
Paperback, 191 pages
Published October 14th 2010 by Strange Publications
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This was the first book I won via the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway, and I'm glad it's a book I really liked. (Nothing more annoying than receiving a gift you end up disliking - it always seems like such a missed opportunity).

When it arrived I did a little dance and immediately started reading. And stopped after the first one paragraph story to take a deep breath. Short as Dandelion Fluff might be, it sets the tone of Cate Gardners collection perfectly. I was bewildered and wondered what it wa
The landscape here is strange and if you see a man in a pinstriped suit along the side of the broken road, you are advised not to stop. Keep your windows drawn shut and if you’re walking, run.

Still, you may be inclined to slow. I know how these things go. You will want to collect the postcards from this strange world. You will pause outside the tents, peer inside. In most cases, you will allow yourself to be drawn deeper, to see the young girls in their candy-colored dresses, to stroke your fing
'Parasol Dance with a Chalkstripe Man', 'The Scratch of an Old Record' and 'Empty Box Motel' were my fave stories in this wonderful collection of uniquely whimsical horror stories.
I won a copy of the erotic horror anthology, Cthulhurotica, from Cate Gardner back in March, along with which, she sent me a copy of her own short story collection, Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits. Well, as curious as I was to see what Cthulhurotica had to offer, I was even more curious to finally dive into a heaping pile of Cate's short fiction, as I've enjoyed the stories of hers that I've found across the internet with various online magazines.

If you're unfamiliar with her work, I guess you co
Jeremy Brooks
This is a great collection of twisted little tales...Cate has an incredible, seemingly limitless imagination, and a talent for building the most bizarre, surreal worlds and drawing you into a day-in-the-life of the often broken inhabitants. The unique storytelling makes you want to go back and re-read right away, just to get the full "what the **** did I just read" effect. Imagine Tim Burton doing lime jello shots with Aesop, and Cate was there to transcribe the discussions. Good, mind-bending r ...more
Freda Labianca
For a collection of short stories, this has to be one of the best I've read!
There were so many different stories, werewolves, zombies, and even stranger still. This book was captivating from beginning to end.
The difference in stories didn't bother me at all. Each one had a start, middle and end, so it all fell together nicely.
In the end my lasting impression is: groovy!

Annette M Guerriero Nishimoto
Today's review is on Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits by: Cate Gardner

I was sent a friendly challenge by a friend of mine to read this book and review it "if you dare".

So, M.B. here goes.

I would have to say that this was one, if not THE strangest collection of stories that I have yet to come upon. After reading just the first; Dandelion Fluff, I knew that I had no idea what I had gotten myself into by accepting my friends challenge. First off, as I usually read novels, it was a bit difficult for m
There's something wrong with Cate Gardner. If you don't believe me, try reading Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits. Clearly, something in her imagination is connected backwards or upside down or inside out. Yes, that's it - something in her brain has been connected inside out so that all the bizarre, twisted thoughts normal people keep trapped inside their skulls come leaking out onto the page. It's the only explanation.

But that's a good thing.

The twenty four stories in this unsettling collection ar
KV Taylor
Let me say first that I consider Cate Gardner a friend. Disclaimer and all that.

But truly, this is a collection of short stories unlike any other I've seen, which is saying a lot. Cate's singular way with delicate worldbuilding, fragile characters, and powerful emotional punches makes for a most original set of fairy tales. Dark and disturbing like a fairy tale should be, but innovative. They have a way of inducing a kind of quiet longing, sometimes even vicarious regret, that's oddly addictive.
DeAnna Knippling
Cate Gardner's collection of short stories makes me incredibly jealous, so jealous, in fact, that I had to put the book down and walk away several times. It's as though a modern-day woman had picked up where Lewis Carroll left off, and was writing for the grown women that Carroll's little girls would have eventually become. Which is to say, she writes nonsense, the very best kind.
Craig Hallam
A wonderful collection of the oddest stories you will ever read. Gardner renders her prose with a dream-like quality that has you hooked from start to finish. If you miss it, you're missing out.
Mary Rajotte
I think many people get the wrong impression of horror. It’s almost a dirty word in some cases, as it conjures up images of blood-soaked axes and mask-clad madmen.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m a horror lover through and through, and I am obviously not averse to the use of a little grisly gore to get the blood pumping.

But these days, authors everywhere are experimenting when it comes to horror fiction, and Cate’s book is a shining example of how one can add magic, surrealism, lyr
One of the many things I had enjoyed about this book of short stories, was that each tale was different. Cate Gardner tried her hand at many genres, ranging from fantasy to science fiction. Of all the tales, I had particularly liked "The Moth Brigade","Empty Box Hotel" and "The Graveyard of Dead Vehicles." Each had an eerie, unstable quality to it that I had always craved for when looking for new books to read: something unique and not moulded to a cookie cutter standard of what fiction should b ...more
The stories in this book are like a succession of grotesque dreams of the very best sort, the sort where you wake up and wonder if they might not be untrue and perhaps await somewhere in some twist of the day; they haunt long after being read.
They are stories whose each peculiar flavour is not only worth savouring, but to which I feel that tearing through them would be a disservice to both their twisted brilliance and to oneself.
Miss Gardner's style is one of a kind, of a weird, fantastic, grot
James Everington
I've only read the first two stories so far, but the author may well be a genius on the basis of those two alone...

UPDATE: brilliant, unique stuff. I could quibble on the odd story (and they *are* odd!) not being as good as the rest, I could say an occasional sentence was unclear and needed a tidy. But those would just be petty gripes - this is a great book.
Matt Payne
Cate Gardner is magic. This is a bunch of weird little stories which blend stream-of-consciousness and horror. The writer's vivid imagination dominates the prose. Her goal is clearly to draw you deep into a dream-world with fairy-tale danger and characters you can relate to.
Jessica Moore
At first I wasnt sure if I even liked this book, then I was madly in love with it. Stories are fascinating but odd. It's good to know that the stories are very odd before you start.
These stories are very strange.
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A writer of weird things. Scary only in ink. Stories published in Fantasy, Postscripts and Space & Time. Member of the HWA, SFWA and BFS.
More about Cate Gardner...
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