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We Live Inside You

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  683 ratings  ·  68 reviews
We are within you, and we are growing. Watching. Waiting for your empires to fall. It won't be long now. We are the fear of death that drives you and the terrible hunger that reshapes you in its name. We are the vengeance born from senseless slaughter and the pulsing reptile desire that negates your consciousness. We are the lie on your lips, the collapsing star in your he ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published October 17th 2011 by Swallowdown Press
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  683 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Jakob J.

The Conflict Defines Us…

Have you indulged in this sub-sub-genre phenomenon of sub-literary lunacy known as bizarro fiction and thought to yourself, what on earth…?. Have you read stories about mythic dildos, midget revolutions, fetuses with superpowers, or literal Nazi assholes and thought I’m all for honest titles but give me a fucking break! Initiating yourself in bizarro is a little like a tickle in the back of the throat that demands a nice thorough clearing, except all of a sudden and witho
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"The line between art and madness is vapor-thin, and the worms are always hungry…"

One of these days I am going to get motivated to review a collection story by story. It ain’t gonna be today though. I wish I would have for this one because even though some of the stories are very short, JRJ packs a punch into all of them. Dude has some serious writing chops and it shows here. An excellent collection. 4.5 Stars and Highly Recommended.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We meaning these stories—yes, they do. It's a compliment when I say I wouldn't want any of these characters' lives, however vicariously I may've enjoyed them for 15 minutes a pop. JRJ's one of my favorite writers, losing nothing since his previous collection, with a language focus that elevates his work above most of his peers. These tales are bodily, conspiratorial, darkly comic, and often experimental. They'll find you squirming while at the same time looking around to see if anyone suspects t ...more
David Agranoff
Thanks to an insanely cool book cover and equally intriguing title Jeremy Robert Johnson's book "Angeldust Apocalypse" became a cult hit. The blurb from Fight Club scribe Chuck Palahniuk calling him a dazzling writer didn't hurt either. Perhaps the best marketing accident came when very few people who bought it realized that it was short story collection and not a novel. Ok, that might not have been an accident because the reality is collections never sell close to the units that novels do.

Sam McCanna
I've JUST finished this book and am still reeling from the effects.

The stories in here are intense, and make up the first new book from Johnson in years. The debt of the wait was definitely paid off by this demanding and rewarding group of tales.

This is a short story collection that follows a parasitic theme, but is not restricted to creepy crawlies (though they are definitely here)... It carries the idea on to parasitic relationships and parasitic thought processes and emotions.

Being a collecti
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bizarro-fiction
Parasites. Disgusting and at times horrifying things that find a way to violate you. Through the mouth, genitalia, breathing, eating; there are innumerable vectors and variations that can allow unwanted hitchhikers to get a lift. Jeremy Robert Johnson is apparently very familiar with many of them, as evidenced in his latest collection, “We Live Inside You.”

Presented are fifteen stories (and a handful of B-sides) that will quickly prove that Johnson is no stranger to the horrors of things that
Donald Armfield
Nov 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
I bought a copy of "We live Inside You" being a fan after reading JRJ's cult bizarro classic "Angel Dust Apocalypse"

This short story collection peels your eyelids back and drags them across the page. Great stuff!

When Susurrus Stirs
Persistence Hunting
The Gravity of Benham Falls
A Flood of Harriers
The Musty Cow's Teat of Death

Those are some the titles you can look forward to, when sitting down to read this. Guarantee to cling to the back of your brain like an unknown parasite.
David Barbee
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic stories to disturb. Favorites include: A Flood of Harriers, Persistence Hunting, When Susurrus Stirs, and Laws of Virulence.
Hatchet Mouth
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jeremy Robert Johnson has some serious skills on display here. All throughout this expansive tome are examples of otherness intruding on private lives.

In "Cathedral Mother", the titular character is a conspiracy theorist/ecoterrorist/survivalist type who will do anything to save the Redwoods from deforestation. When an internet presence known as 'Myco' (from a type of mushroom that exudes a single drop of a blood-like substance when punctured) offers her a way to save said forest if she can gain
James Kittredge
Sep 17, 2013 rated it liked it
There's some creepy stuff here. I remember the first time I read "The Stand." I was 12 years old, and I came down with an awful cold sometime during the book's back-9. After I got over the silliness of the endgame deus ex machina, I remember sitting in my room, stunned, sniffling, breathing with great labor into a tissue. I wasn't terrified. I knew the book was fiction. I did, however imagine my cold progressing from being a petty annoyance to being the microbe that laid me out, petrified in my ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: weird, splendicity
Before the internet, I used to have a very hard time finding good books to read. The city I live in harbors only 4 book shops, all of which are shrines to lousy mainstream authors.
But now, thanks to Goodreads, Amazon and a few literary blogs (like Electric Literature), I can finally discover new (or relatively new) and exciting authors that I would have never heard of otherwise.

Jeremy Robert Johnson is a fantastic storyteller, who deserves a wider audience. He is very innovative, and unafraid t
Jamie Grefe
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bizarro-fiction
This is a solid collection, so good. Johnson knows how to tell a story, how to keep you second guessing, and how to pull you into scenes bizarre, yet believable and strongly rendered, that you'll wish you weren't able to understand them for you know you'll be haunted by them for the rest of your days. And you keep reading. They feel like memories. I particularly liked that Johnson includes two versions of his wonderful "Persistence Hunting." One version, the first one, clocks in at around 6,000 ...more
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best collections of short fiction I've read in a long time. Each story kicks ass in terms of character development, escalating weirdness and writing so vivid and evocative and succinct that I often stopped to reread a phrase or section just to admire it. There is also laugh-out-loud wit right alongside biological horrors that made me cringe knowing they are based in nature. What many of the characters go through throughout this book made me wish at times that I had a tad less ...more
Alan Clark
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
For WE LIVE INSIDE YOU, Jeremy Robert Jonson has cooked up a feast of weirdness with great variety. Okay, so maybe for a collection with a theme of parasites, my food metaphor is not the greatest, but I don't care. Sometimes when you're eating a meal in a foreign land, you don't ask about the ingredients. Jeremy Robert Johnson's imagination is definitely a foreign land, one with color, history and a culture all its own. Each of the 19 incredibly tasty stories has its own flavor. Taken together i ...more
Michael Depriez
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
A solid 3,5/5

My first contact with the deranged mind of Jeremy Robert Johnson happened some months ago when i read, and loved, Skullcrack City, a crazy ride featuring the most important turtle this side of Pratchett's Discworld.

"We Live Inside You" was an enjoyable short story collection but a minor disappointment at the same time. It confirmed that i should read more of this author but rarely reached, in my eyes, the level of mad genius present in "Skullcrack City"

Caroline Gerardo
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My children know, never try and gross out or scare Mom with stories because my twisted mind can spin a random verbal diatribe. I think Jeremy Robert Johnson can beat me at the story game we play.

We Live Inside You is a collection of blazing creations. Dark and terrifying but somehow lovely in his observations.

A combination of imagined world, childhood fears and real ice crystal fragments that can cut to bone.

His pen is a diamond tipped weapon.

Marzi Margo
Not as strong as Johnson's first collection, but still fun and impressive. ...more
Jason Stevens
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not quite as bizarre as one would expect (although some of the stories were), but all were enjoyable reads.
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2018
JRJ keeps getting better with every book of his that I’ve read. These stories are another window into the template of a burgeoning master of weird horror.
Horror DNA
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gabino-iglesias
You know what a reviewer's worst nightmare is? Coming across a book that makes him doubt his reviewing skills. Jeremy Robert Johnson's We Live Inside You is one of those dreaded books. While reading it, my confidence in being able to write a review that would do it justice dwindled in direct proportion to the number of pages I read. Yes, I could say the collection is pretty unique, that the author's voice is original and eloquent or that the book is a genre-bending mix of stories akin to a liter ...more
Sammy Gravis
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genre-blending
Love this collection of short stories. The descriptive writing is beyond pronounced! There are a few stories, that if squeamish, might not sit well with some readers. If you are among those who get uncomfortable with certain stories, I highly encourage you to get over it and read all of the damn stories. Because while you may feel discomfort with one sentence the next will provoke you, spark emotion, or even positively stun you.
Tyler Tracey
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brilliant story-telling, unsettling horror of unknown experiences beyond our reality. When Johnson does narrate us something that may be true in likeliness to our world with little he describes depths core to primary drivers of our character and depicts faults in man that we find quick justification.
Jessica S.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I only just a few months ago learned about the bizarro fiction genre and the second I did I saw this book and wanted it. I searched desperately for this book until I found it and thankfully i was not dissapointed with it. A short story collection that ranges from off-the-wall bizarre to Stephen King creepy/scary. I loved it all.
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dark and disturbing- unique voices in every story.
Vincent Rey
Nov 08, 2020 rated it liked it
6 out of 10.
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
From the cover it would be easy to dismiss We Live Inside You as a collection of parasitic body horror. But that would be a big mistake. Yes, there are three stories in which parasites appear but only in one of them, "When Susurrus Stirs", is it the focus of the story. In the other two, "Cathedral Mother" and "Laws of Virulence", the parasite's presence is secondary, a means to an end. The former is the story of how a young woman went from free love hippie to hardened anti-human ecoterrorist. Th ...more
Sean Leonard
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
This year alone, I have come across two of the best short story collections that I've ever read. One of them is Fish Bites Cop! Stories To Bash Authorities by David James Keaton. The other is this sick and twisted and amazingly intelligent and perfectly written book you're currently thinking about buying. Just do it. You won't be sorry.

I had previously read the story "Extinction Journals" in The Bizarro Starter Kit (Orange) and loved it, then heard an interview with the author on the Books and B
Tyler Spragg
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm ashamed I don't have much cred on here book review wise. This short story collection earns a solid five for several reasons.

Many of these stories are so fun, and over the top that you will without a doubt be re reading them shortly after your first go. Persistence Hunting and the Gravity of Benham Falls are my two favorites, having read them before in a sampler, and a few times now that they are housed in this book.

You may be asking, "what genre is it?!"

Weeeelll, this is my favorite part abo
Collin Henderson
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best short story collections I have ever read. It was my first exposure to JRJ and I'd recommend it to anyone looking to experience him.

What's staggering is the variety at play here. Some stories are pretty straightforward, like "The Gravity of Benham Falls," which is a ghost story in every sense. Others are darkly hilarious, like "Consumerism" which is a one sided conversation a man has with his young son shortly after a car accident (and is a sequel to the equally hilarious
R.A. Harris
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of those story collections that everybody should read. In turns fascinating, poignant, scary and all too human, Jeremy Robert Johnson taps into the nightmare psyche that threatens to eat you every moment of your life. Each story highlights another gremlin that snacks on your nerves, tells you things you don't want to hear.

This books is so good it has been nominated as one of the best bizarro story collections of the year. That's right, everybody who has read it has loved it, and
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