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The Uninnocent

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Bradford Morrow’s stories have garnered him awards such as the O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes and have given him a devoted following. Now gathered here for the first time is a collection of his finest, gothic tales.

A young man whose childhood hobby of collecting sea shells and birds’ nests takes a sinister turn when he becomes obsessed with acquiring his brother’s girlfriend
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 5th 2011 by Pegasus Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  130 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Rembrandts of the Psyche: A Review of Bradford Morrow’s The Uninnocent
Originally published April 16, 2012 at

When the concept of evil has been dissected, it’s traditionally been under the supple lenses of art and religion rather than science. A rare exception is Lyall Watson’s Dark Nature, which deploys the tools of anthropology, evolutionary biology, even astrophysics, leaving no stone, earthbound or otherwise, unturned. Naturally, one notion that comes u
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook
Bradford Morrow's The Uninnocent is a collection of short stories, each with a theme of various sins, madness, obsessions and other transgressions, or loss. Beautifully written, the darkness in the stories gently takes root and flowers in subtly hideous and frightening ways - the soothing hiss of a serpent's voice - all the more effective because of the gentle language, while the melancholic notes of the more poignant tales draw upon memories of living, of joy and grief, to shape the tales. (Ple ...more
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some very strange tales about some very strange people. Many endings left unresolved which usually makes me crazy, but this guy makes it work
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-books-ever
Bradford Morrow is such a great writer. Not only are his novels great, but now I find his short stories are as well. The Uninnocent is a collection of gothic short stories. All of the stories in this book are dark, creepy, unsettling, and damn near perfect. Many times a collection of short stories will have one or two (or maybe more) stories that either aren’t as strong or don’t fit in with the rest of the book, but in this collection all of the stories work. Each story was strong enough to stan ...more
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"The Uninnocent," the wonderful book of short fiction from Bradford Morrow, manages to be at once luminous and dark. Each story takes a brave look at the underside of characters who often narrate their own tales. I agree with the reviewers on this page who read these stories slowly. Because of the macabre, noir nature of the material, its narrative richness, its descriptive powers, and the multitude of surprise endings, these are stories to be savored rather than hurried through in one or two si ...more
Dec 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
i'm calling this one "the uninteresting", and i am guessing i am not the only one to make that joke, either. these stories recount (or merely allude to, in far to many cases) events that are cruel, transgressive, and vile in a manner so bland and utterly devoid of compelling narrative content that they might as well list a series of items to be purchased from a stationary store. here's a hint, morrow, for your next collection: you might try establishing a character or voice right from the get-go ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Bradford Morrow presents a collection of dark tales that shine lights into the dark corners of the human heart in The Uninnocent. The opening tale, “The Hoarder,” sees a young man transition from obtaining feathers and shells to going after the girlfriend of his older brother in a violent clash on the beach. A sibling bond transcends death during “Gardener of the Heart,” as a brother returning home for his sister’s funeral discovers that he may actually be the lingering ghost. A letter implying ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Horrifying. The best stories horror stories have children in them and what they do.
This is my second reading experience with Bradford Morrow, and it proved to be yet another memorable one. After reading Fall of the Birds, the chance of reading some gothic, some yummy noir by the same author was extremely tempting. I'm glad I fell pray to the temptation.

The 12 stories range from the troubling and touching to the disconcerting and unnerving, all in beautiful writing and emotionally gripping imagery. Some I've personally liked more then others, some are a tad too disturbing while
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Uninnocent is acclaimed author Bradford Morrow’s collection of “gothic” and “noir” short stories. Despite the irony of the title, Mr Morrow’s grasp of the English language and his stark lyricism make these dark stories almost magical. His stories delve deep into the human psyche. They are well written, intelligent, and subtly suspenseful; the conclusions to many are not obvious, so one must pay attention as most of the details are pertinent. The thing that made this collection more enjoyable ...more
Jaclyn Michelle
Nov 03, 2011 rated it liked it

I have a confession: I didn't exactly finish this story collection. Usually, I have a policy of not reviewing things I haven't finished. But since it was my fault I didn't get finished (I completely forgot that my ebook would expire after 2 months!!) and since this was a strong collection of short stories, I'll talk about the ones I did read.

Strong start: The Hoarder
The story's main character is obsessed with collecting things, but his penchant for acquisi
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this collection when it was first published but with the arrival of "The Tenth of December" felt the need to write a review of it now. "the Uninnocent" for me, is a MASTER CLASS in how to write the perfect short story. The collection is simply that, delicious perfection. I am astounded every time I read it. I picked it up when a not so flattering (& completely off) NYT review came out & peaked my interest in the book & I have been grateful ever since. I've gone on to read most ...more
Nov 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
There is certainly nothing innocent about the characters in Morrow's stories. I'm not opposed to dark stories. I'm a huge mystery and crime fiction fan after all. However, the majority of Morrow's stories were too dark and depressing even for me. Many of his characters are beyond uninnocent and enter the realm of amoral and disturbed.

Although this was my overall impression of The Uninnocent, there were stories that I found less objectionable and even enjoyed. "Amazing Grace" was an interesting s
James Brown
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Dark" is the word every reviewer seems to cling to in talking about these stories. It's the right word. That said, I do wish I'd encountered more of them in the wild, as it were, rather than collected here as they are, as read in sequence they gather an unpleasant momentum. I found no humor here, dark or otherwise, no invitation even to delight in the shortcomings or comeuppances of unsympathetic characters. The momentum issue was for me exacerbated by the fact that the final story in the colle ...more
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book is insanely frustrating - so many of Morrow's stories have excellent potential, only to be buried in navel-gazing. Most of the stories are modern gothic tales, which can be really exciting, if anything actually happens in them! Instead, the majority of the stories in this book are uninteresting, and their frequent "twists" are easy to predict from the first page, often. Not to mention that so many of the stories are the same basic plot, rehashed in slightly different ways. The best sto ...more
Tracy Robertson
May 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoy dark short stories, but I will be brave enough to admit that this collection had a few too many big words for me. I'm a regular person, not unintelligent, but myself and the people in my circles speak plain English...nothing wrong with that! If I'm really in to a story, a well placed 50 cent word every now and then really catches my attention and brings it together. However, to fully understand The Uninnocent, I would have had to consult my dictionary at least a dozen times throughout th ...more
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the first collection of Bradford Morrow's short stories that I have ever read. I'm not sure if he has published a short story collection prior or not but I must say The Uninnocent is a wonderful reading experience. The stories are an eclectic assembly of darkly woven mysteries involving people lost in the confusion of life and death and regret. The Gardener, my favorite story, just makes you exhale deeply after you've reached the end. Even though you may (and often do) suspect the "surpr ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm glad the author dedicated the book to Joyce Carol Oates, because he is certainly indebted to her. There's a particular type of intense darkness--a miasma of the human soul--in these stories that makes them as difficult to read as some of Oates' short horror stories. It's the banality of evil, the casual devil, that is hard at work here. I will never look at mini-golf courses in the same way again.
Lori Anderson
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely fabulous! This book of short stories is dark, clever, and imaginative. I'll be reading this one again, I'm sure!

Lori Anderson

Book Blog
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This collection of short stories is dark, haunting, and beautifully written. These vivid tales, written in the first person, draw the reader into the mind of the, often disturbed, narrator. Many are stories of vengeance told by a seemingly reasonable person. All are unapologetic and slightly creepy.
Randi Kennedy
Deliciously twisted, these short stories are not my usual type of horror. I tend to favor supernatural horror, but the psychological horror of these stories was an interesting and disturbing change.

Morrow's stories reminded me of Dan Chaon's short stories, also: the focus on ordinary people and their own psychological pain.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Although I like the writing style in this book the stories were all pretty somber.
I stopped on page 91. It was way too dark for me to consume in one sitting. And putting books down and picking them up again makes me lose my momentum. So this was a failed attempt...
Louisa R.
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Although dark stories, great glimpses into the human condition.
Michael Berman
Dark and unpleasant characters are fine. Dark, unpleasant, and boring characters, not so much.
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Very dark, most of the stories. The first collection of short stories I've read in a long time, it's back to long books for me.
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
Frightening and unnerving.

Please read my entire review here:
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully dark, slightly unsettling. Great shorts.
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories are potent. Although 2 or 3 of them were not very accessible to me, this collection on a whole is quite good. I found the last one - "Lush" - to be especially engrossing.
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to give this 4 stars but 3.333333333 would be more accurate. Some pretty good stories. A good bathroom book.
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Bradford Morrow has lived for the past thirty years in New York City and rural upstate New York, though he grew up in Colorado and lived and worked in a variety of places in between. While in his mid-teens, he traveled through rural Honduras as a member of the Amigos de las Americas program, serving as a medical volunteer in the summer of 1967. The following year he was awarded an American Field S ...more
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