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Beautiful Sorrows

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  79 reviews
There is a place where sorrows pile up like snow and rest in your hair like cherry blossoms. Boys have wings, monsters fall in love, women fade into nothingness, and the bones of small children snap like twigs. Darkness will surely devour you—but it will be exquisitely lovely while doing so.

Mercedes M. Yardley’s Beautiful Sorrows is an ephemeral collection encompassing twe
Paperback, 169 pages
Published 2012 by Shock Totem Publications
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  197 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I have ever read a book with a more appropriate name. During my entire journey through these pages I felt a little sad inside. The stories collected here have something in them that touches a place inside of you in a strange, yet familiar way. They have a way of leaving you with tears threatening and a smile at the corner of your lips. I also quite liked the little chalk drawings for each story and the origin ideas talked about at the end.

I truly wish to thank Mrs. Yardley for wri
Zakk Madness
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"I'll kill him one day, I'll take that axe and swipe at his head when he isn't looking. Or even when he is. Either way"

Beautiful sorrows is 27 little deaths, 27 moments of emotion and whimsical fancy bowed up in one pretty little package. Each of these tales is connected to a heartstring and each pulls in slightly different angle, with varying degrees of force.

As you traipse through this difficult and magnificent landscape, I guarantee that you learn something about yourself, maybe just a littl
Damien Angelica Walters
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lyrical, poetic, dark, and heartbreaking. Mercedes writes like an angel with a dagger hidden behind her back. I cannot recommend this enough.
Lee Thompson
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody who understands beauty and tragedy
Recommended to Lee by: lee thompson
If I could write half as well as Mercedes Yardley I'd be rich and in love with myself. ...more
Glenn Rolfe
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Okay, this short story collection is pretty rad. The 2 sentence opener, "Broken", told me I was in for some fun. Ms. Yardley writes these amazing little fairy tales that will break your heart, creep you out, and even make you say "Awww, that was so sweet." There were a few that I could have passed on (keywords "a few"), and to tell you the truth, I was about to go with a 3 star (which I consider good) review. Then I read "Big Man Ben" (not horror, but fracking brilliant!), and could not deny tha ...more
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One has to be an amazing writer to pull off flash fiction, in my opinion. Mercedes Yardley does it with ease. A single page of her prose has brought tears to my eyes. My only disappointment in this fabulous book is that it ended and I wanted it to go on and on. Yardley's characters are full and fleshy and yet stripped to the bone and almost invisible to the eye. As ethereal as they might appear, they stay with you, just at the edge of your vision. Even the one who disappears completely in her st ...more
Eric Guignard
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
REVIEWED: Beautiful Sorrows
WRITTEN BY: Mercedes M. Yardley
PUBLISHED: September, 2012

The title of this collection of short stories really sums up the emotional voice of the author and her writing; beautiful and filled with sorrow. There is happiness, too, a sense of joy in her writing, even in the tales that speak of darkest tragedy. There is pride, and intrigue, and horror as well, but beauty and sorrow seem to play out the most, like yin & yang qualities balancing off each other. The stories r
Rena Mason
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Whimsical horror it is! The author describes her work the best. Nothing can be more heartbreaking than the stories of children told in the voice of children, and this author does it without gore or extreme horror, (which I'll admit, I wouldn't have read on if it were anything like that.) The stories were "whimsical" for the most part, some made me smile, others chilled me to the bone. After recently reading Neil Gaiman's, THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, (which I enjoyed,) this collection of st ...more
Kevin Lucia
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Imagine an entire book like Joe Hill's short story POP ART and you'd have BEAUTIFUL SORROWS. It's sublime, quirky, off-beat, darkly humorous...but not overly depressing or nihilistic. There's soul here, a strong, pumping heart, boasting just enough melancholia to remind us why life is so precious and beautiful, therefore, its title - BEAUTIFUL SORROWS - is wonderfully apt. ...more
One Pushy Fox
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Poignant and fantastical vignettes leaving you wondering, "What happens next..."

While I'm a true lover of novels, there's a part of me that loves a good collection of short stories.  There's something so liberating about their brevity that allows authors and readers alike to try on new subjects like so many sweaters on a cool winter day.  And it was in just such an environment, a cold winter break up in Michigan, that I read Ms. Yardley's darkly compelling series of stories.

Ensconced in my winte
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
A tall, thin thing, a modern day Spring-Heeled Jack. His voice, when he spoke, was all lies and promises, sexy and deep, chartreuse and nuance and Lily of the Valley

Whimsical, horrific, fascinating, heartbreaking...what more could you ask for in a collection. You know how there are authors who are able to hit you in just the right spot? Or who are able to look at things from a different perspective....they hold a lens up and then tilt it, just so, and things look askew? That's what Yardley did f
This collection was my first exposure to the writings of Mercedes Yardley but certainly not the last. A very impressive collection with beautiful, haunting prose. Highly recommended.
I have individually rated each story. My ratings are based on my own personal preference since each story was certainly well-written.
Broken *****
Black Mary *****
Flat, Flat World ***
Extraordinary Beast ****
The Boy Who Hangs the Stars *****
Untied ****
The Container of Sorrows *****
A Place of Beauty *****
Music to Jump By
Stephanie Wytovich
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful Sorrows is a bloody dandelion floating through the crisp autumn air, fueled by the whispers of little children. It’s a little bit of winter with a hint of twilight, and yet at the same time it shines with the beauty of spring and fresh orchids. Reading this collection was like falling into a magical realm, one that I didn’t want to step out of, or ever leave. Yardley’s characters are stunning. Some of them have wings, a few dance with the stars, and a couple even wield axes and trump t ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book came with a foreword so adoring, almost fawning, almost impossible to live up to and yet it did. Yardley's tales are exactly as lovely as the reader was expected to believe they would be. Ranging from flash fiction to longer entries, this collection reads like fairy tales for adults, strange, sad and yes, undeniably beautiful. They aren't perfect, there is a certain repetitiveness at work, the quality is uneven, but that aside, this book emphatically testifies to Yardley's unquestionab ...more
Rick Powell
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Every once and a while, a book comes my way and it just hits me with shock and awe. I have been a fan of the horror genre all my life but there are some authors that transcend any genre and can transform the mundane life into something spiritual and fascinating. A case in point can be Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont and Shirley Jackson. The stories in this book can go from horrifying to romanticism and everything magical in between and Ms.Yardley has a way of taking the most simple of words and y ...more
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, read-in-2014
This collection of stories is truly amazing! It's part humor, sorrow, sarcasm and poetry. I had never read any work by Mercedes Yardley before and had no idea what to expect. I was very happy I gave it a read and found it a really enjoyable book. It's hard to describe the stories but if you like the a bit of horror, sorrow sarcasm and poetry then believe me it's well worth the time to read it. It will make you grin, feel for the characters, or put you in a place of deep thought. If you read this ...more
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this because I actually know the author! She is a lovely person, but I wasn't so sure I wanted to read horror stories. It's not something I usually read. I'm so glad I got it. This collection of short stories is amazing. Mercedes writes so vibrantly and beautifully. There is darkness, but there is also beauty. Each story is different. Some are quite funny, some lyrical, some hopeful. Some will give you nightmares. It's still worth the read. ...more
June Sorensen
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I could NOT put this book down! It's is one of the best anthologies I've read in a long while. It's filled with whimsy and creepiness all wrapped up into a bit of horror. My favorite story is about Death and his ex-roommate. You'll have to read more to see. ;)

I highly recommend it. You won't be able to stop turning the pages.
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
Mercedes M. Yardley fills Beautiful Sorrows with whimsy, magic, and oh so much emotion that her stories fly off the page like a lovesick pixie. I loved Beautiful Sorrows, and wholeheartedly recommend it.
Steve Bouchard
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Beautiful Sorrows" served as a great source of (grown-up) bedtime stories for several days. It's full of solid, straight-forward writing, with thought-provoking touches of weird woven in to make the stories sparkle, and make the reader think. Sometimes subtle, sometimes disturbing, each story should be approached with a "just go with it" attitude as the reader steps into the middle of a scene--because there is always a reason for the strangeness.

This collection is probably not for those who hav
Paige Ellen Stone
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For the best imaginable review of this book, I refer you to the exceptional Introduction by P. Gardner Goldsmith at the beginning of this book. I could not come close to his reflections on this collection of all these works by Ms Yardley.
What I can do is offer heartfelt and awestruck praise for this brilliant, beautiful,gruesome and grotesque collection of creativity the likes of which I have never seen before. Oh, I've read great collections and anthologies that were exceptional. What makes the
Haralambi Markov
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
It’s a great debut. Beautiful Sorrows is subtle in some places, heartbreaking in others. Both surreal and painfully relatable in its familiarity. Mercedes M. Yardley sounds like no writer I’ve read until now and there’s a high chance she sounds like no one other than herself. That’s something to look forward to experiencing.

Beautiful Sorrows is a peculiar collection by a peculiar author with a peculiar voice and even more peculiar stories. That’s the best introduction I can manage and be concise
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this collection. Normally, I hate short story collections. After awhile the stories usually just jam together in my mind. That happened here, too. Even these lyrical little scary beauties did not really stand out toward the end, but this is my bad. Yardley's writing is awesome and clever.
This bit is worth the price of the book alone: "She seemed like such a nice girl, so the whole 'being an axe murderer' thing was pretty hard to handle." Most of the stories in this collection h
Cole Alpaugh
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful Sorrows is the perfect title for this collection of lovely yet unnerving stories. Yardley's surreal voice is sparse and gritty, and I was often left to feel like I was walking across the rotting planks of a tall hayloft, imagining the worst and afraid to hope for the best. Each piece takes you on a disorienting journey, and Big Man Ben (my very favorite) provides an absolutely brilliant finish.

I've seen comparisons to Joe Hill and there's some truth to them, although I prefer Yardley's
Wendy Knight
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful Sorrows is not the genre of book I usually read. One, it is short stories, and two, it isn't happy and butterflies and meant for small children (I'm immature). BUT, that being said, once I started it I didn't want to stop, and if I did have to stop I couldn't stop thinking about it. The only way I can describe the writing is hauntingly beautiful, and the stories are poignant and stay with you long after you finish reading. ...more
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I wanted this book to go on forever. Every new story was like meeting a new and fascinating person. I have never known any short story writer to be able to draw you in so deeply in just a few short pages. Finishing each story was like eating the sweetest treat from the dessert tray, and when I finished the last story, I was still not full. I loved this book.
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Horror is not my genre of choice, but this collection is full of whimsy and hope. It's not your typical collection of horror stories. The voice is enchanting and you can't help but fall in love with every. single. character. no matter how small the part played. Even the ones you're supposed to hate. ...more
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful collection from an incredibly talented author. I truly believe that there is a story in it for everyone. There is fantasy, love, horror, whimsy, and mashed piles of these.

My favorite is The Boy That Hangs The Stars, a wonderful, touching tale about a boy with wings and holes in his hands.
Jack Night
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I've truly read something that was "hauntingly beautiful" until Mercedes Yardley. Her prose glitters and draws you in, then bites with hidden teeth when you least expect it. Beautiful Sorrows is a wonderful collection by a truly talented author! ...more
Brian Sammons
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You know when you hear something about a “bold new voice” in such and such? Yeah, this is one of those times. Pay attention, because missing stories this good ought to be a crime. Full review can be found here: ...more
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Mercedes M. Yardley is a whimsical dark fantasist who wears poisonous flowers in her hair. She is the author of Beautiful Sorrows, the Stabby Award-winning Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Pretty Little Dead Girls, and Nameless. She won the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for her story Little Dead Red and was a Bram Stoker Award nominee for her short story “Loving You Da ...more

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