Adam Wilson's Reviews > Black Butterflies

Black Butterflies by John Shirley
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Apr 20, 2010

did not like it

Black Butterflies by John Shirley is BY FAR the worst short story collection i've ever read. Compaired to Peaceable Kingdom by Jack Ketchum, Night Shift by Stephen King, Blue World by Robert R. McCammon, and Strange Highways by Dean Koontz, this is a tree who's life should not have been wasted to form this book. Each story seems to me as if were written by a thirteen year old who only cares about sex and violence. Each story is incredibly thoughtless and pointless. This short story collection won the 1998 Bram Stoker award for best collection? Why? This isn't horror at all! The only story that I even became interested in was the Rubber Smile, and that was only because I liked the idea. It was still put together with a bunch of sentences that seemed like the half-formed thoughts of a kid who can't play Grand Theft Auto because his playstation broke. This is pathetic beyond anything to do with horror that I've read so far. Guys raping each other with claw hammers? A guy having sex with a girl under a mound of dead bodies, blood, and sewage? A girl getting raped and then shooting up the rapist's sperm instead of heroin and dying because of it? It's aweful. Just aweful. Don't waste your time. Please. I only finished it because I kept thinking, "well, it won the Stoker award. There has to be at least one story in here worth reading." Wrong. Sex, blood, disgusting acts and characters, horrible plots, repetitive and nonsensicle themes, and all of it written with the skill of an adolescent using a dictionary to make himself sound smart. In the weak introduction, the writer suggests that maybe the world is ready for John Shirley. I don't think it is. Not yet. Give it time.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by mark (new) - rated it 1 star

mark monday completely agree. hated this book with a passion.


message 2: by Adam (new) - rated it 1 star

Adam Wilson Wow, another hater! Haha. It is hard to find people who agree with me about this one.


message 3: by Betty (new)

Betty Van I totally agree with you Adam what a depraved, senseless,ridiculous collection of filth, i dont understand how it even finds a publisher , and the people giving it good reviews cannot possibly have read it!! what a wonderful legacy to leave behind for your children and grandchildren, can you imagine bringing this book to show and tell?


message 4: by mark (last edited Oct 31, 2014 12:45PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

mark monday why in the world would a child bring a collection of horror stories to show & tell anyway? I hated this collection - not because it is horror but because it is so thoughtless, pointless, and nihilistic. I guess we agree about the book because we both despised it... but I really don't get where you are coming from with your comment. calling it filth makes you sound like you a judgmental bible thumper. same with the comment about a "wonderful legacy." and that show and tell comment just makes no sense. there are lots and lots of books - many of them great books - that no child has any business reading, let alone bringing to show and tell.


message 5: by Betty (last edited Nov 22, 2014 04:18PM) (new)

Betty Van mark wrote: "why in the world would a child bring a collection of horror stories to show & tell anyway? I hated this collection - not because it is horror but because it is so thoughtless, pointless, and nihili..."

mark wrote: "why in the world would a child bring a collection of horror stories to show & tell anyway? I hated this collection - not because it is horror but because it is so thoughtless, pointless, and nihili..."

well first of all the reason i bring up legacy and show and tell is because the thought crossed my mind that if any of his offspring tell someone their father or grandfather is an author, they well may be asked well what did he write? and in that case they may be showing this piece of work, and i am not meaning just young children And secondly why am i a judgemental bible thumper if i use the word filth, is there no piece of writing that ever could be called filth? You agreed with Adam when he calls it disgusting and horrible, so i just used the word 'filth', and that makes me a ' judgemental bible thumper?' You sound kinda judgemental yourself in that judgement!!


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