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Elements of Darkness (Twist's Tales #4)

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  44 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Fifteen tales of psychological terror demonstrating mankind's darker side. Greed, revenge, malice, and antipathy weave their way through these stories that more often than not end with a twist and occasionally feature language and violence unseen in previous volumes of Twist's Tales.
Paperback, 158 pages
Published October 24th 2012 (first published October 1st 2012)
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Zoeytron
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you like your tales laced with a hint of the dark side without resorting to the tiresome blood fests that are doing their best to become the standard, treat yourself to Elements of Darkness by Michael Twist. There is a great deal to be said for subtlety, and this author knows just how to plant the seed in your mind that slowly grows into something you may not want to see, but from which you cannot avert your eyes. Psychological horror is far superior to me than the ubiquitous blood and gore, ...more
David Caldwell
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth collection of short stories by Michael Twist. You do not need to have read the earlier volumes to enjoy these stories though.

Quite often I compare action/suspense stories to roller coaster rides. You can usually guess where the story is going but the fun comes from all the twists and turns in getting there. Michael Twist's stories remind me of another amusement park ride. Those free fall rides where they slowly lift your chair up a tower for a few stories and then let you drop
...more
Kimberly
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In his introduction, Michael Twist pays homage to some of the "classic masters" of literary horror fiction. Indeed, that is exactly what this collection of twisted tales does! Elements of Darkness is truly refreshing in that these tales penetrate to your very core with their depth and create an emotional punch without having to rely on slasher tactics to get the readers' attention. True terror comes from within--that clenching of your gut when the final "Aha!" moment is revealed.

Yes, there were
...more
Gaele
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The offer for this collection of short stories was made with the understanding that I may not be able to complete - I'm a huge visually imaginative reader and just do not deal well with horror / dark titles. And frankly, I am more than okay with that. But, I do love this man's writing, his short stories are sublime, so it was more than worth the effort.

Again, Twist has managed to craft stories for this collection that are impeccably crafted, bringing tension and plot into a neatly formulated id
...more
Lisa
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone over the age of 15
Recommended to Lisa by: Michael Twist
I have 2 ways of knowing I am reading a good book. The first is when I find myself reading every single word to get the full impact of the story. Usually I skip over words or read very quickly occasionally missing sentences. The second way is when I have an emotional reaction to what I have read, whether it be a chuckle, a racing pulse, or a tear does not matter. In reading "Elements of Darkness", provided to me by the author, I found myself reacting in both ways.

This collection of short tales r
...more
Conny
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got this book as a gift from the Author and its another winner. A collection of 15 short stories that touch on the darker elements of everyday life. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and just when I was sure I knew how a story would end I was completely taken by surprise. I had a hard time putting it down and ended up reading well into the night more than once. I can't wait to see what else Michael Twist will have in store for us readers.
Evangeline Montoya
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really good collection of short stories although I would have liked a few of them to be longer. I liked how some of the stories were violent they didn't over do the blood and gore. I thought I figured out the twist endings before I got to them and was pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong in most cases but a couple did leave me a bit confused. Over all good stories and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense/horror.
Enid
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I found this book to be entertaining. I love a good horror book with a sinister twist and this book had story upon story that ended and left me with a smile. I wouldn't really even classify it as horror as it wasn't filled with blood and gore, just enough to make someone not used to horror cringe maybe.......lol, but it was really worth the read.
Valerie
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Really good book! Makes you think about people or what you would you do in certain situations. Very dark and scary book.
Kim
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-books
Synopsis:

A collection of fifteen tales have been brought together in this, the fourth offering of darkness, from Michael Twist. Each of the tales shines a light on the dark side of humanity and yet, they can stand alone in the shivers they cause. Fear is the prevailing subject in this volume of tales. Fear of losing a child, fear of losing one's identity, fear of losing independence or innocence - it all comes together under one roof in the Elements of Darkness. While some tales share slightly s
...more
Lori
Find this review and more at Lusty Penguin Reviews!

Lovers of short story collections should be adding Michael Twist to their list of must-read authors. Twist has put together another astounding collection of short stories complete with his patented twist in Elements of Darkness, the fourth collection in the Twist’s Tales series.

At times I find it difficult to review collections because of the various stories. Twist does a masterful job of writing multiple stories within a theme that are all com
...more
Paul Montgomery
Synopsis: The good Mr Twist (what a wonderful name for these kind of stories) has brought to us fifteen tales, inspired by the works of the legendary Mr Poe. Fifteen tales, dipping into the darkness, touching on a variety of man’s vices. Fifteen tales, which set out to disturb, and sneak their way under the reader’s skin.

There’s a nice familiarity to the stories on offer here. By familiarity, please be assured that I do not mean “blatant rip off” – they’re not. Instead, they pay a nice tribute t
...more
Kristen Morris
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received an e-copy of this book with the understanding that I would read & review.

It was a pretty good bet that I was going to enjoy this collection of stories, if you say horror I say sign me up! And sign me up for any kind you've got :-)

As you can see by my 5 star rating I did love reading this set of tales that were so reminiscent of some of my favorite authors. I know there's supposed to be some Poe influences in here, but I see a lot of Shirley Jackson and Richard Matheson too. I love
...more
Cheryl
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thank you Michael for gifting me a Kindle copy of Elements of Darkness.

I really enjoyed this book of short stories. They brought me back to my childhood waiting patiently for The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery to come on TV. These short stories reminded me of those great short stories as well as the great Edgar Allen Poe stories.

One of my favorites was the story about Klara, the soon to be mother. Reflecting on the world around her and the wonders that her soon to arrive child would be capabl
...more
Lonnie
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thank you Michael for gifting me a Kindle copy of Elements of Darkness.

I have always been a big fan of short stories involving horror and this collection was an exceptional one. If you are looking for supernatural occurrence or gore, this is not the book you want. This book touches on the reader's emotional vulnerabilities and fears The 15 psychological horror tales serve as creditable examples of the darker elements of human nature. Aside from fear being the prevailing subject, these stories s
...more
Jennifer
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely enjoyed this book and must thank the author for kindly giving it to me as a gifted e-book. I read through this book really quick and have to say that some of these stories are truly twisted, but they are not gory or nasty. These stories threw me off and I enjoyed that! I love books that make me think or are not predictable at all!

My personal favorite is the story about the man that is soon to be married. Now that story threw me for a loop! I loved that and really was surprised. I w
...more
Rebecca
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
After I read the first three books of short stories by Twist and I had to check this one out as well. All of Twist's books of short stories are all intriguing and full of interesting. The difference with this book is that they aren't necessarily all people I would want to meet!

These stories take a darker turn, and there are sinister plots and corrupted characters. Everyone has flaws, but some of these people are downright scary. But it isn't a horror book with graphic, gory sequences.

The scary
...more
Carl
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
This collection of short stories by author Michael Twist is very good. I can't really pick a favorite. Though different in their own way, they all were interesting and enjoyable stories. The author quickly drew you into the characters and their situations. I could easily picture these stories, with their twists, on a TV series like the old Twilight Zone. Some of them had me thinking of what I might do in these situations and most I would not even want to be close to these spots! Very readable a ...more
Book Break  With Lisa
Elements of Darkness is a collection of short stories that take you into the dark side of human nature. I won this book and was sent it under the understanding that I would read and review it. I am unable to complete the book, I need more story to develop to really capture my interest.
Twist presents some interesting situations and characters but the stories just never seem to develop either plot or character fully. The few that I read left me slightly confused but wanting more. I felt a glimpse
...more
Brandi
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This was my first time reading anything by Michael Twist. I must say, his name is quite indicative of his stories...twisted. Some were extremely dark, others a bit lighter but every story had an unexpected twist at the end. All the stories were well written; enjoyable to read. A great book of short stories to keep handy when you can't commit to long periods of reading time. Would definatley recommend as worth picking up--enough so, that I will most likely search for the other installments.
Angel
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
at first I thought that this was one big story, but came to find it was many different and odd stories. it reminded me a little like the "Twilight Zone". It was definitely a good solid book. i will be back to read the other "Twists" books. oh yes I won this book in a give away from good reads and Michael Twist. thanks for the good reading. it really mad me stop and think about somethings. thank you for the chance to read your book Peace Angel
Tamara! aka Amy G. Dala
I received this in mid-June, and I'm sorry to have been so lax in getting it read and reviewed! 15 tales with twists, turns, some incredible acts of revenge, and just down-right entertaining. I enjoyed them all! My favorites are Tom's Trial, Quid Pro Quo, Money Bag, Dead Ringer, Gary's Home, Like Clockwork, Ticker, One Can Only Hope and Siblings. Not that the others weren't clever or enjoyable, those are just the ones that I thoroughly liked! You've made a fan out of me!
Tara
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of the anthology Elements of Darkness from the author and I am giving my honest opinion. Normally, I don't read anthologies, but I am so happy that I read this collection. I'm a sucker for anything dark and twisted and these stories delivered. I didn't expect some of the endings and had quite a few, I didn't see that coming moments. Overall, the tales were fascinating and I would definitely recommend Elements of Darkness.
MollyK
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
*** Author gifted in exchange for a review.
I’m a bit biased because short stories are not really my thing. This anthology to me, was not bad, but also not great. The stories really reminded me of the 80s TV series Tales from The Darkside. And just like the episodes from that show, the stories in this anthology were sometimes silly, sometimes f**ked up and sometimes a literary gem.
Jennifer
May 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Michael Twist is a talented author and has a gift for storytelling. The stories seemed real, and sucked you in. The twists were fantastic, and often chilling.

The only improvement would be a more thorough editorial job and professional publication. The errors and typesetting were sometimes distracting from the stories.

Note: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Jenny
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's a wonderful collection of horror stories based on mistakes humans make and how greed and corruption lead to horrific ends. This collection is for readers who are interested in the human side of horror instead of the paranormal.

* I received this book from the author in exchange for a honest review.*
Herb
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I was gifted this from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The majority of the endings to these stories took me by complete surprise. My favorite story was Gary's Home.

I really enjoyed these short stories and look forward to reading more from this author in the near future.

Anna
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it
It is a psychological horror book, it is not really scary as it is creepy and makes you hopes things like that don't happen to you. I appreciated reading the short stories that just creep you out and make you wonder how peoples minds really work!
Johanna Sawyer
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was a collection of short stories with ending that had a twist to it. A few of them I read and excuse my language but WTF! I'm not a big fan of anthologies but I thought these were pretty good.
Vykki
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: awesome
This book was an awesome book I really enjoy this book. I recommend this book to everyone. I really enjoy this authors books I can't wait for the next book keep them coming.
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After eighteen years of teaching literature Michael Twist decided to try his hand at writing some of his own. Always fascinated by human nature, Michael's stories often focus on the decisions people make and the internal conflicts they experience in doing so.
Michael's short story "Ties That Bind" won the 2011 William Faulkner Riverfest Literary Competition. His short story "Americans Do Love Thei
...more
More about Michael Twist

Other books in the series

Twist's Tales (4 books)
  • Twist's Tales Vol. l
  • Full of Choices, Twist's Tales Vol. II
  • Touch of Beyond (Twist's Tales Vol. lll)

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