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The Whisper Jar

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  38 reviews
“I do not know what you have done, but put your mouth right here. Confess your crime to this fruit jar as though it were God’s ear.” ~ from The Whisper Jar

Some secrets are kept in jars — others, in books.
Some are left forgotten in musty rooms — others, created in old barns.
Some are brought about by destiny — others, born in blood.

Secrets — they are the hidden heart of this
Paperback, 196 pages
Published May 31st 2012 by Morrigan Books (first published September 9th 2011)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Kfir Luzzatto
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up "The Whisper Jar" with anticipation and also with some apprehension. Having read, liked and accepted the closing story, "The Forgotten Orphan", for the "Midnight Lullabies" anthology that I co-edited for The Harrow Press, I feared that disappointment might lurk in perhaps lesser stories found between the covers of Carole Lanham's collection. I was wrong.

Carole's characters are mostly very young, disturbed in the best case – and more often than not, utterly contorted, mentally and
Rhiannon Frater
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I am not a huge fan of poetry. It's just not my thing. So I have to admit I was a little put off by the book opening with a poem, but forced myself to read it. The little story depicted in the poem is very clever, so I dove into the first short story. After that point, I was completely hooked.

THE WHISPER JAR is masterfully crafted. There are two poems and seven short stories. Each piece is often amusing, magical, well-written, disturbing and often contain a subtle (or not so subtle) element of
Mihai Adascalitei
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Anthologies are one of best ways for discovering new authors, but recently I find myself more and more attracted by the collections of stories signed by one writer. It is an even better method of feeling the power behind the writers’ talent, an extended source in identifying the author’s voice and finding new stories to enjoy. With this the driving thought and with an open mind I turned the first page of Carole Lanham’s debut collection, “The Whisper Jar”, and started reading.

“Whisper Jar” – The
John Kenny
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
There is the danger that a casual perusal of the contents page of Carole Lanham’s collection The Whisper Jar may give the potential reader the impression that this is a work of whimsy, but nothing could be further from the truth. There is certainly an element of whimsy sown into some of the stories, but it is a whimsy that can turn suddenly dark and in the most unexpected and subtle ways. Characters find themselves enticed along a path of discovery that is childish innocence itself, each new ...more
Patrick D'Orazio
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carole Lanham has compiled a series of intriguing poems and short stories that all revolve around the experiences of children in dark and strange places-sometimes these places in the mind, and in other instances, geographically and chronologically distance lands that seem like dreamscapes, even if they are in places as commonplace as a farm in rural Iowa. The stories here have a way of tantalizing without revealing too much, too soon. Many of the stories tease about the relationships among boys ...more
Chris Lanham
Since this is my wife's book, I don't feel right reviewing it. I would like to share an online review the book received from Ashley Denis of Dark Moon Digest:

Is it rude to say that on top of being a very busy new mom, I dragged my feet to start this book because short stories excite me a heck of a lot less than a good, thick novel? Well, sadly, that is what happened. The joke is on me though, because when I finally opened the PDF to get crackin', I did not stop until I read every single word, of
Lizzy Lessard
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The stories in THE WHISPER JAR were perfect bit size pieces for a disturbingly delicious anthology. I was surprised how connected to each story, which is a difficult feat to accomplish in so little words. After reading a couple of the stories, I had to stop and nurse my book hangover, since I was not quite ready to let go of the characters. One of the stories, THE READING LESSONS, is due to become a full-length novel next year, though I’d think that almost all of these stories would make ...more
May 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not really having an overview on this book it was tricky from the start, basically its alot of short stories. The beginning starts off really neat the actually Whisper Jar Poem is awesome. Without spoiling any of the secrets to this part, that's just it the whisper jar a creative poem told about keeping your secrets or bad thoughts. After reading the poem I thought great the rest of the book will be wonderful, well not so much. The second story is about a man "vampire" that pays a family a visit ...more
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I do not know what you have done, but put your mouth right here. Confess your crime to this fruit jar as though it were God’s ear.” - Carole Lanham from The Whisper Jar

author Carole Lanham's collection features nine delightful dark stories. two of these are poems with rhyming couplets and the rest are all in prose.
i read this mesmerizing book in one sitting. once i was done with the eponymous first tale, there was no turning back. all the stories just drew me in and i lost myself in a world
Webbweaver Reviews

First things first… The Whisper Jar is a collection of previously published works by the author that have been brought together in one delicious volume. It is often very hard to review a collection of short stories and poems, but I will do my best.

The stories and poems in The Whisper Jar include:

•The Whisper Jar

•The Good Part

•Keepity Keep

•The Blue Word

•Maxwell Treat’s Museum of Torture for Young Girls and Boys

•Friar Garden, Mister Samuel, and the Jilly Jally Butter Mints

•The Reading Lessons

Alisa Carter
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read short stories, but I loved this book. Sometimes short stories seem rushed, like the author just wanted to get it done and move on. Not these. Each one was full of great characters, effective imagery, and perfect plots that just happened to be short. They were little bite-sized chunks of other worlds. Speaking of biting, "The Good Part," about a brother getting bullied by his vampire older sister, was fabulous. I did feel a "no, not yet!" moment when I read the last page. I ...more
Jeanie Thies
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Whisper Jar is a cornucopia of subtle, literary horror stories, which bend the genre -- horror for the thinking reader. Creepy children, a secret room in a museum of torture, a feral orphan, strange nuns, and, oh, did I mention the creepy children? Lanham has a knack for historical detail, capturing the places and era in which her stories are set with such uncanny accuracy that it’s impossible not to wonder whether she was actually there. Dig in, and prepare to lose yourself in Victorian ...more
Curtis Hoffmeister
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Yes, this book is certainly unique - no other writer I'm aware of has a voice quite like Carole Lanham's. But deliciously dreadful? Yeah, it's that, too. The dreadful part (and there's always a dreadful part) describes the truly awful things she does to her characters. And she does them with alarming frequency. Be forewarned, Lanham doesn't really do happy endings. That said, her endings are definitely thought provoking, and each fits the story it's married to with absolute perfection.

Cate Gardner
There are secrets hidden within The Whisper Jar.

These are not the sort of secrets you can whisper into jam jars, twist the lid and know (or hope) they'll stay hidden; these are secrets that spill out across the pages of Carole Lanham's debut collection, which weaves tales that prove just how un-innocent childhood can sometimes be.

There are vampires and maybe vampires, and werewolves and fairies, and macabre torture devices that may or may not kill depending on the flick of a switch. There are
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I didnt expect the book to be like that at all, the dark book cover with the enigmatic title was enough for me to simply order it, then I knew that it was a collection of short stories, which made me put it aside for a while, and finally I red it...
the whisper jar is indeed a perfect title for it.
2 dark poems and 7 short stories, all of them containing a secret that was mischievously shared within the pages, starting innocent and gradually turrning rotten with moldy darkness, what you red can
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Throw together a bit of Tim Burton, a pinch of Neil Gaiman, a little Flannery O'Connor, and top it all off with a helping of David Lynch, and you might have something resembling the uniquely disturbing - and charming - voice of Carole Lanham.
In Lanham's tales, the innocent magic of childhood has grown dark and tainted in the twilight realm of adolescence. The emergence of new appetites takes on a sinister flavor, in worlds which are both hometown folksy and simultaneously surreal. Whether
Any Length
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A darling book that kept me up at night and chained to the reading chair.
The stories are so varied, have amazing imagination, and different formats.
The language used is truely that of a praise worthy author. I loved that some of
the stories made me really think and use my wits to get a full understanding
of the ending. I love a challenge. Also had to look up a couple of words in the dictionary,
which these days doesn't happen that often. I liked that, as well.
I will read more by Carole Lanham.
Lindy Dale
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of short story compilations as such, nor am I a fan of Forewords at the beginning of a book. I tend to skip them - as I did with this one. However, that said, the stories in this book are gripping and I was quite disappointed that they were only short stories. I would like to have seen them developed as full length novels -especially The Best Part. The strange relationship between Etta and Gideon is definitely worth taking further.
If you're a fan of quirky off-beat fantasy or
Ellie L.
After reading the novel The Reading Lessons I had to move on to this book. Though The Whisper Jar is dark and full of sinister settings and wonderful, creepy moments, the writing was just so beautiful, it swept me along from story to story in a way that I couldn't turn off. It was descriptive without being wordy and everything went toward tone and emotion. I could smell these stories. Each had its own flavor, its own color. Frankly, I pretty much didn't set the thing down until I'd gobbled the ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great surprise of short stories! I don't know what I was expecting, but I found myself unable to stop mid-story and that rarely happens. "Friar Garden, Mister Samuel, and the Jilly Jally Butter Mints" was probably my favorite..if I had to choose. The theme of the stories here seem to be about growing up and imagination versus reality- dark fairy tales that keep you riveted. I want more from this author. SERIOUSLY.
Conrad Zero
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, dark-fiction
A great collection of short stories and poems that all revolve around the theme of secrets. Carole does a great job with realistic characters, actions and consequences. For those who like their darkness light on blood and violence. A quality read, well writ.

Full Review

Newton Newton
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this. The Whisper Jar is an exquisite collection of short stories from Carole Lanham that blends Brothers Grimm style faery-tale imagery with a King/Koontz inspired horror aestetic. This freshly baked batch of creepiness somehow manages to be refined and beautiful yet terrifying all at once. Get this book.
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received this book from GoodReads First Reads give away. It's a collection of short stories. I liked all of them but my favorites were The Good Part and The Reading Lessons. I think the majority of the stories reminded me of a cross between Poe and O'Conner, with maybe a little Faulkner. I love short stories especially twisted ones :)
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what kind of book this would be when I downloaded it, but it was like a breath of fresh air. Completely unique and refreshing but haunting at the same time. I pretty much devoured it and I'm hoping to read more by Carole Lanham in the future.
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title caught me, the stores kept me. Of course not being a fan of short stories, this book left me wishing for longer versions of each. Enjoyed the book very much, found that I needed a mental pause between each story. Good Stuff
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange and fantastical book. I enjoyed the stories although they were a bit odd...not quite what I was expecting when I started to read it. But overall I really enjoyed it and thought it was very well written.
Billie Copas
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was different. Very good though. I really enjoyed the stories. A few I didn't totally understand but the book as a whole was terrific.
I really enjoyed the reading! :) I will write more soon.
KV Taylor
It would be a bit ridiculous for me to rate this since I work for the pub, but I have, in fact, read this book a few times, and adore it. <3
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strangley wonderful. Looking for something spooky to stir your imagination? This is it!
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