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The Fallen Boys

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The road to forgiveness is covered in blood!

Marshall Deakins has tried to come to terms with the tragic suicide of his young son. But it still tortures him. His search for answers will lead him down a twisted path paved with secrets and grotesque lies. Instead of peace he finds madness, held captive as part of a deranged plan filled with suffering…and blood. As the nature
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Samhain Publishing
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  142 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Aug 18, 2012 rated it liked it
oh, god, the pressure... the very first review of this book on this means i can't just cut-and-paste someone else's review like i usually do.* but this is like being early to a fancy wine and cheese party, and no one wants to be the first one to grab the entire wheel of brie and stuff it in their mouth.i guess that responsibility falls on me.

so, gather round, sickfucks, you know who you are.

this book is one seething pit of torture porn. and if the above scenario were real, the wh
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
THE FALLEN BOYS, by Aaron Dries, is #67 in Thunderstorm Books' Black Voltage line. This is one of the most "unique" approaches to a novel that I've read in some time. It almost seemed to be two separate halves of a novel, that are joined together only by the most tenuous of links--one that doesn't reveal itself fully until close to the ultimate conclusion.

"A child's flesh is tender. It does not heal with ease."

In the first half, we join a family in Australia: Marshall, his wife Claire, and
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
This book lulls you in with a quiet, insidious sort of horror then takes a turn down torture lane and I was absolutely not at all prepared (despite being warned).

Honestly, as I was reading I was wondering why so many reviews were making such a big deal out of the gore level. It wasn’t any worse than most horror novels I’ve read and most of the terror came from real life fears. Sure, what happens was heartbreaking and tragic but what wimps these other people must be, thought I, all smug and desen

Yowzers, this is some pretty sick, disturbing shit, but I'm not going to label it 'torture porn'. The Fallen Boys avoids that fate by offering: 1) a solid story that takes its time to unfold and 2) strongly developed characters who I spent pretty much the entire novel scared to death for their safety.

The tension throughout the story is coiled and lethal. While there are a few uneven parts where the momentum lags for a bit and seems to meander, overall it is a pacing that builds, and builds and
THE FALLEN BOYS, by Aaron Dries, is #67 in Thunderstorm Books' Black Voltage line. This is one of the most "unique" approaches to a novel that I've read in some time. It almost seemed to be two separate halves of a novel, that are joined together only by the most tenuous of links--one that doesn't reveal itself fully until close to the ultimate conclusion.

"A child's flesh is tender. It does not heal with ease."

In the first half, we join a family in Australia: Marshall, his wife Claire, and t
Patrick Lacey
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best examples of real-world horror I've ever read. Period. The comparisons to Ketchum are inevitable but Dries has a distinct voice all his own. The narrative is at first a slow crawl but once everything is set in place, the book's pacing increases exponentially. Normally, I would take issue with such a slow first act but the way Dries paints characters is hypnotic. There's an emotional honesty that runs throughout this book that's gut-wrenching. Even in the scenes between the ...more
The greatest gift a human can be given is the gift of a child. To lose them can be torture.
I am a mother so I found this book not only heart breaking but bloody terrifying.
We worry 24/7 about our kids safety be it at school, in public, or on social media. Aaron Dries not only chose to write a parent’s worst nightmare but described it so insidiously that I was a nervous wreck. I had tears, I felt anger, my heart ached. And that was just the first half of the book.

If you like to read horror, Dries
Not Now...Mommy's Reading
As I began to read "The Fallen Boys" my first thought was, "Oh hell in a hand basket". No, seriously. Aaron Dries opens up this novel by touching on one of my worst fears: waking up in the middle of the night to a total stranger standing over you. And said stranger is not there because you've somehow managed to conjure him from your wettest wet dream. No, he's there to hurt you. Bad.

From that point on, every real fear I've ever had as a living, breathing, feeling human being was brought to life
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damn! This one starts off brutal. Then gets brutal in a different way, so much so that I forgot the beginning sequence and then it all came back around and got even more brutal. Damn!

This was not an easy read despite it being very well written and engaging. The subject matter is heavy and there is a true sense of sadness and gloom that blankets this one in a heavy fog of despair.

I almost didn’t want to like it, and perhaps “like it” may not be the best phrasing, but it was good. Real good. And
Armand Rosamilia
Brutal and raw. This book will make you squirm and beg the author to do the right thing over and over. A rollercoaster psychological nightmare I couldn't stop reading. ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Hard-core horror fans everywhere
Man-oh-man, what a book. I'm still in shock. Shaking - and in the best possible way.

I was terrifically impressed with Dries' first novel, "House of Sighs" a balls-to-the-wall page turner, so I'd been waiting for his sophomore effort with baited breath. I consider myself lucky to have devoured an advance readers copy, and WOW, it was worth the wait. It's a blood-splattered masterpiece that makes Richard Laymon read like a walk in the park.

Like Jack Ketchum before him, Dries does disturbing in a w
Greg Chapman
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wants-to-read
An incredible story of how deep grief can take people into darkness. Brutal and harrowing, yet addictive.
Lydia Peever
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Fallen boys had a few things going for it that made me excited to read it. The trailer was fab. The cover art is compelling. The blurbs were a great tease.

Overall, it was a great story and fairly original which is tough these days. There is nothing new under the sun, but Dries language sheds a dark light on familiar situations.

If you liked characters like Hayley Stark in Hard Candy and the Killer in Haute Tension, then you will find those extremes here. On the flip-side, there are regular-
Richard Gerlach
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is fantastic, just straight up fantastic. Aaron Dries can write, and write well. He told a very brutal, despair-ridden book that rips your heart out of your chest and leaves you standing there in awe.

This book follows Marshall, an Aussie man who is living a happy life. He notices his son has been acting a bit strange, but, nothing too out of the normal. Anyways, one day, the son commits suicide in a public area and a very horrific way. The suicide shakes Marshall and his wife Claire to
Alan Baxter
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Brutal, uncompromising, unflinching, relentless. This is truly awful stuff brilliantly written. Quite an experience.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I don't know how he does it, but Dries has a knack for writing horrible things, beautifully. Where you literally want to read the same sentence a few times to make sure you've grasped both the beautiful and horrible. He definitely understands that the scariest things in life are humans and all it takes to end up in one's own horror story is to make bad decisions or to simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent nail biter involves a young son's suicide, a wife's betrayal, revenge, a religious fanatic, and torture. Reading it is like watching an impending train wreck and being helpless to stop it. Highly recommended. ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hot damn... this may be the most singularly savage, depressing, disturbing book I’ve read since Jack Ketchum’s “The Girl Next Door”. It makes sense, as Aaron Dries feels like the heir apparent to the dear, departed Dallas Mayr. From the opening pages, there is palpable dread lurking in the shadows. The cruel intersections of fate and human depravity feel almost akin to Greek tragedy. I would recommend going into the novel knowing as little as possible, but you should know a few things - a child ...more
Peter Levinson
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a book!!!!! It left me shattered in so many great ways. The story could have been ripped straight from today's headlines, but the issue of cyber bullying is explored in such an original and cautionary way that you can't help be impressed how Dries pulled it all off. It's grisly for sure, but it's certainly NOT torture porn, as one earlier review mentioned. It's a novel about the torture of loss, and how much of what you love is stripped away from you as you fall from grace.

It's intense, su
The Grim Reader
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The human spirit is dark and twisted....a little like Aaron Dries. Aaron's next book after the excellent House of Sighs is another slice of visceral modern horror straight out of the top draw. Aaron pulls you in and doesn't let go right until the end. He is a writer I will buy everything he releases, he really is absolutely top, top draw. His most recent book A Place for Sinners is even better! A great release from Black t-shirt books and from one of the genres most gifted writers. These books s ...more
Matt Anderson
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It constantly demands your attention the whole time you're reading it. Perfectly put together for a horror book. I will definitely be reading this one again and again. ...more
Erica Robyn Metcalf
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
The Fallen Boys by Aaron Dries is a wicked dark, twisted tale filled with very graphic situations that will make you cringe! But like all my favorite twisted tales, there was also a lot of heart, hope, and determination.

Trigger Warning: Suicide

Ooooh this book. It’s another one that’s impossible to discuss as I think you’d best go in blind. In my notes below, I will discuss two elements that I loved, but I won’t speak about the plot.

I had two favorite elements of this story; the gore and the de
Just another guy
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Damn! This book mentally broke me after reading it... And it was so good!
(NO spoilers)

I heard about this novel a while back and had an interest in seeing what it was about. I'm a bit late to reading it, but this story is amazing and I'd highly recommend it.

Also a quick disclaimer: This book avoids the torture porn label and doesn't fall into that category. Though this book still does contain a fair bit of violence, nothing worse than the writings of Jack Ketchum though.

Here are the pros and cons
William M.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, dark-fiction

The one thing that this book proves is that Aaron Dries can write, and boy does he do it well. Gripping, flawed characters and a heartbreaking journey delve into a pit so dark, some readers might never find themselves back into the light. The Fallen Boys is a seriously adult story with a hell of a twist. A blend of Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, and Richard Laymon. This book is the real deal but squeamish readers should be warned. The final third is extremely graphic and brutal, nearin
J Heidecker
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This novel left me absolutely devastated. A man seeks to uncover the reason behind his son's suicide and uncovers more than anything he could have possibly imagined. There are two story lines here, one taking place in Australia and one in the Pacific Northwest, and when they finally intersect all hell breaks loose. A novel about love, loss, family, forgiveness and so much more. This is the third novel that I've read by Aaron Dries and by far my favorite. The violence is explosive and writte ...more
Roud Faria
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was recommended to me as a shocking gore story. Even though the plot has got some great twists and the author is able to change points of views brilliantly, it lacks violence. There's nothing new regarding that - it was indeed torturing for us readers when amidst an action scene the victim enters into a parallel world of sweet memories cutting down the climax the author could have been building. Average thriller. ...more
John Cowell
I'm not sure if I actually liked this book or not. It's a story of two distinct halves. I enjoyed the first half bit the second ends up being dark for the sake of being dark.
I have a strong stomach and the second half didn't bother me but I couldn't see the overall purpose. It felt like the author has watched too many Saw/Hostel films and just went down that road.
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Dries really knows how to write some gruesome shit!

Marshall loses his son to suicide. Jump forward like 4 years I think (the timing kinda confused me) and he finds a USB stick of some conversations his kid had put together before he died. He writes to the guy pretending to be his kid and ends up down the wrong path. This took a turn I wasn’t expecting.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
It's rare to find a horror novel that actually "scares" me. Let's be honest: books aren't scary. Movies can startle you, not being able to find your toddler in the department store will terrify you, but books don't really have that kind of immediate impact that finding a spider on your shoulder does. You know it's just a book. You don't have to keep repeating that to yourself. Normally.

This book is horrifying. I read it in one day, (playing sick from work because I was hooked on this story) most
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Goodreads Authors...: THE FALLEN BOYS - out today! (trailer+excerpt_ 3 14 Oct 11, 2012 09:07PM  

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Avid traveler, former pizza boy, retail clerk, kitchen hand, aged care worker, video director and copywriter, Aaron Dries was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. When asked why he writes horror, his standard reply is that when it comes to scaring people, writing pays slightly better than jumping out from behind doors. He is the author of the award-winning House of Sighs, and his subsequ ...more

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