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Nightingale Songs

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In the dead of night, there are footsteps in the hall . . .
In the dead of night, your past mistakes will haunt you . . .
In the dead of night, you hear a discordant tune . . .
In the dead of night, the nightingale sings . . .

Simon Strantzas, master of the subtle and the bizarre, returns with a dozen strange tales and eerie mysteries. From the shores of a remote oil-stained
Paperback, 178 pages
Published December 2011 by Dark Regions Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
In a 2014 interview with "The Arkham Digest" blog Simon Strantzas characterized his first short story collection Beneath the Surface as Ligottian and Lovecraftian, his second Cold to the Touch as Aickmanesque, and this third collection as a "hybrid" of the two where he came into his own.

This is the fourth collection by Strantzas I've read, but it has been years since I read anything by him and this reminded me what a great writer he is. I thought "Her Father’s Daughter" was one of the best short
Nicholas Kaufmann
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another fine collection of weird fiction from one of the most original voices in the field. Strantzas has been carving his own niche in the world of horror and dark fantasy for several years now, and he just gets better and better. Deeply influenced by Robert Aickman, Strantzas writes stories where the everyday is interrupted, often to devastating effect, by something beyond human understanding or explanation. This could leave readers who are looking for narrative cohesion, or indeed any sort of ...more
T.E. Grau
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The genre of popular literature commonly known as Supernatural or Horror Fiction is going through somewhat of a Renaissance these days, and in doing so, its practitioners, consumers, and overall celebrants threaten to unknowingly abandon part of Horror Fiction's past in favor of a seemingly new incarnation that is really just the same creature dressed in a different set of clothing. Smaller hats and longer sleeves, to hide the scars and the rad tattoos purchased back in more classic yet looser t ...more
Benjamin Uminsky
Well, this is now my second collection of short stories by Strantzas (unfortunately I have not gotten my hands on his first collection BENEATH THE SURFACE). Based on the afterward, I understand that this third collection is supposed to be an amalgam of the various influences that pressed upon collections one and two... that of Lovecraft, Ligotti, and Aickman.

However those influences come to bare, clearly we have a highly original and innovative voice from this outstanding author who is really m
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Everybody’s talking about Simon Strantzas. Okay, not everybody, but plenty of writers and editors are talking about Nightingale Songs, released this month. After years of publication in fine magazines and anthologies–earning that rare reputation among his peers as a writer’s writer, an artist whose desire for popularity has not tainted his aesthetic principles–Strantzas has suddenly hit the ground running with his third collection of short fiction.

Delightfully somber and full of doomed character
M Griffin
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nightingale Songs is the third story collection from Canadian writer Simon Strantzas, following Beneath the Surface and Cold to the Touch. While these earlier collections might be characterized by more of a Ligotti or Lovecraft vibe, Nightingale Songs takes the reader into quieter, more restrained territory. The influences underlying these stories are acknowledged up-front, in John Langan's introduction, which mentions Ramsay Campbell and Robert Aickman. I perceive more of an Aickman feel here. ...more
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
What follows is my opinion. It will probably be different than your's and that's alright.

Strantzas has improved vastly since his self-described 'oily' works in Beneath the Surface. Characters are more developed, themes and plotlines more varied, and things generally just feel more professional.

Instead, Strantzas appears to have developed an inability to complete: each story builds up with characters and oddities. Then, just as it all comes to a crescendo of chaos, the story is over - roll the cr
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
_Nightingale Songs_ is a collection of weird fiction stories by Simon Strantzas, an important figure in our current Golden Age of weird fiction. This book, along with other books by Simon Strantzas, are now available as ebooks.

Strantzas has an interesting approach. These well written stories usually start with a normal situation, for instance a wedding reception, but the story progresses with uncanny events, with the climax being the direct encounter with the supernatural menace. This is not spl
Emily Crow
Sometimes I think it's a mistake to read everything in a short story collection back to back. It tends to dilute the power of each individual story, especially if--as in Nightingale Songs--they are variations on a single theme. One by one, the stories are, for the most part, well-written and compelling. In the afterward, the author states that he only writes stories about relationships. I would add that they are stories of relationships gone disastrously wrong. In several of these tales, the rel ...more
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Strantzas excels at using the weird as a vehicle to discuss more everyday issues -family, relationships, and the dissolution of both- and it's a testament to his skill as a writer that neither element feels overshadowed by the other. Horror is ever present at the margins of his narratives, slipping in slowly as the fabric of his characters' relationships begin to come undone. "The Nightingale" seems the most classic example of the weird in this collection, calling back to the frequent concept of ...more
Jason Rolfe
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Beneath the Surface, Cold to the Touch and Nightingale Songs have solidified Simon Strantzas’ position as a modern master of the strange tale. The stories in Beneath the Surface suggest a sense of hopelessness, an almost natural nihilism, hidden behind reality’s thin veil. The words are fiction, well crafted with unsettling intent but rife with possible truth. In that sense, Strantzas reminds me of Thomas Ligotti. With his recent collection, Nightingale Songs, Simon conveys that same sense of ho ...more
Tobias Jarl
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is impossible to read Simon Strantzas and not think of Franz Kafka. There is always a desperate sense of not understanding the surroundings or the behavior of others that I find in Kafkas work as well. My first book by Strantzas was ”Burnt Black Suns”, and I have loved his work ever since. The books before ”Burnt Black Suns” are more subtle and slow, yet gives you a terrifying sensation of alienation just the same.

This collection is really good, even though I miss som of the more action based
Dragan Nanic
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
New weird - quite popular term nowadays with Ligotti as the most recognizable "undiscovered" (as much as it can be said for someone who got published by Penguin) name.
I got introduced to Strantzas through Goodreads recommendation and this collection is the first thing I read from him. Though it had a promising start - first two stories were quite atmospheric, though revisiting more than familiar ground of car breaking in the middle of nowhere or the haunted house across the street, it soon got
Des Lewis
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Stories of nagging shapes and anxieties, shadows and shuttling swarms, relationships and nightmares, closed boxes and empty despairs, some of which are close to genuine classics of their kind.

The detailed review of this book posted elsewhere under my name is too long or impractical to post here.
Above is one of its observations at the time of the review.

Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another excellent collection of creepy and thought-provoking stories from Simon Strantzas. Good stuff. Read this.
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Free firstreads giveaway book. Great set of short stories! All are horror stories that start out quite normally, hiding the awfulness that's to come, and all are about very normal situations that we readers could easily find ourselves in. However, a couple of the stories were full of telling readers the narrator's emotions, instead of having them feel it. That certainly removed some of the horror. ...more
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Simon Strantzas is the author of Nothing is Everything, Burnt Black Suns, Nightingale Songs, Cold to the Touch and Beneath the Surface and has been nominated for the British Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Awards. His work has been appeared in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (ed. Stephen Jones), The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror (ed. by Paula Guran), Best Horror of the Year (ed. by Ellen Datlo ...more

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