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Vile Men

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Vile Men is a collection of fourteen short stories that are transgressive in nature, filled with heart and emotion, leaving you sweaty and spent, your heart pounding in your chest. Stolen moments on the subway, fear of intimacy, sexual perversion and dark fears come home to roost all unite in a powerful mixture of literary fiction, contemporary fairy tales, and late night con ...more
Paperback, 186 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by Dark House Press (first published August 14th 2015)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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There's a certain kind of man who goes for damaged girls.
This is a collection of Rebecca Jones-Howe's unflinching short fiction, brave tales about damaged people and their dysfunctions. Mostly the stories focus on sexual dysfunction, but also emotional and social impairments as well. If you go strictly by the title, you would jump into this book thinking that the stories are about all of the shitty things that men do, but in reality, Jones-Howe equally examines the scarred and emotionally cripple
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
After reading it a couple of times I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about the first story in this collection: "The Paper Bag Princess." I've read thousands of stories and that one is vaulted right into the top-ten best stories I've read. I mean holy crap! I'd F her with a bag over her head is a kind of a sick joke right? But as a premise for a story? READ THIS STORY. If it had been written by a man he'd be strung up, but written from the woman's point of view by a woman writer? This ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
"There's a certain kind of man who goes for damaged girls."

Vile Men is a collection of 14 dark short stories, and it was so much fun to read. The stories are intense, unsettling, and haunting. I wouldn't classify these as horror, but they are still quite grim.

A lot of this book is focused on sex, and different emotions that come along with it - some stories are funny, some are horrifying, some are sad, etc. It's an intriguing way to deal with the topic.

The title "Vile Me
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great title, great stories, great book!
David Keaton
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dark, provocative stuff. The men found within these pages are indeed bad news, but the most dangerous paths aren't always led by them, as Rebecca Jones-Howe's narrators take us right past the expected awfulness of dead-end, drug-addled relationships, bad sex on ant hills, or navigating the treacherous rubble of the bar scene, where her women can find satisfaction and even surprise flashes of triumph amongst all the emotional jetsam. "There's a certain kind of man who goes for damaged girls," she ...more
Dino Parenti
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Vile Men, Rebecca Jones-Howe’s astute and cutting first collection, expands the animalistic, often anxious sexualized worlds found in her stories previously anthologized in The New Black and Exigencies—venal tales where the disfigured and insecure find temporary empowerment through humiliation, in the process highlighting the even greater humiliations of the respective male counterparts. And much like the men in those tales, the “vile” men of this collection are not so much perpetrators of pain ...more
Michelle Campbell
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dark stories of love, loss and humanity. I found myself identifying on some level with a character in each story. We've all been ashamed, felt angst, and anger and disgust in ourselves and those around us, this collection has all of the above and much more. Well written, I found myself running the gamut of emotions while reading these. Be warned you have to be able to deal with language and dark themes to enjoy these stories.
Katrina K
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: goodreads-win
goodreads win. Will read and review once received.

I am sometimes a very picky person when it comes to books. Mainly when it has to deal with short stories. This book definitely lived up to my expectations for short stories. I found my engaged in all fourteen of the short stories. The book as a whole was well written and thought out. It held my attention from the start of each story to the very end. I would highly recommend this book.
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
i am thinking really 2.5 but rounding up i suppose -- first and foremost, i have never been so utterly distracted by a title in all my years of reading -- found my self too often angry and confused and incredulous that the book is so mis-titled -- it's not a book about vile men at all, false advertising, and i simply cannot believe the title -- in most stories it is the woman who is the aggressor, the egregious, the villain, the vile -- just a few in which it is indeed the male -- the stories th ...more
Grant Reynolds
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best collection of short stories I've read in a long time!
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*** Review copy from the library ***
A few people recommended "Vile Men," a short story collection by Canadian author Rebecca Jones-Howe, when it first came out at the end of last year and they mentioned how impressed they were with the writing, so I recently had the occasion to read it and I’m glad I did. Far from being simply a short story collection that revolves around the theme of terrible things happening to women, the stories are a heady mix of different perspectives that will have y
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
My actual rating for this book would fall somewhere between 3 and 4 stars.

This book was not at all what expected. Instead of dark stories about or from the viewpoint of men commiting extremely heinous acts. And while you do get that (Better Places) in a few of the pieces, the overall offering is the much more mundane darkness that you find in people. Dissatisfied husbands, addicts, parents that don't pay enough attention to their kids, and some of the stories are really just slivers of a mental
Taran Clarke
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diy-mfa
The stories in Rebecca Jones-Howe's "Vile Men" were well-written, gripping, courageous, and powerful, and the fact that I had such a hard time trying to pick out less than half the stories as my favorites is a testament to its overall quality. Fair warning, though: this collection is not for the faint of heart.

The Paper Bag Princess starts the collection off with a bang (no pun intended), and is one of the strongest stories, with a haunting premise that stuck with me long after I finished it.

Amanda || eastofreaden
Feb 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
There are spoilers in this review, as well as references to sexual assault. If you're sensitive to that, please move past this review.
I was incredibly disappointed with this book. The title and synopsis are incredibly misleading. I was expecting a collection of relatable short stories in which, as the title suggest, men were vile – sort of a celebration of women overcoming issues caused by and interfered with by men. But instead I got a collection of short stories where one girl masturbates whi
Nicole Lyons
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Intense doesn't even begin to describe this book, I am in awe of the power behind these words. This book left me reeling and wanting more... after I took a break between each story. It was impossible for me to read these stories back to back, there was just too much feeling and emotions evoked in each one.

Yes, this collection is dark, but it is also unflinching in its honesty, one book I will definitely recommend to everyone, it's out of this world amazing.
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This should have been titled 'Vile People' because these stories tell of vile men, women and children. The most uncomfortable part of this being that, in many instances, it was fairly easy to relate the ugliness in some of these characters. Parts of this collection really leave an impression and forced me to really think about how we approach things in life like love, sex, anger, violence, survival and the judgement of people who try but fail to hide who they really are.
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was really well written and original, but I didn't really "get" it. Most of the stories left me wondering what the point of them was. A lot of it was hard to read. Seemed like it was grim just for the sake of it, like the author really wanted to make people uncomfortable.. But for what? What were we supposed to get out of it? I don't know.
Much of it was boring, some of it was disgusting, a few of the stories were unintentionally funny. Be prepared to see "flinching fingers" a lot by the last four stories I kind of wanted to dig out my eyes every time I read that.
Cynthia Schwarzer
Jul 23, 2015 is currently reading it
I would not buy this book I think there is so much better things to write about.
Daryl Moad
Jul 07, 2015 marked it as to-read
Haven't read it yet.
Phyllis Eledge
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Tri-Community Library
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Rebecca Jones-Howe lives and writes in Kamloops, British Columbia. Her work has appeared in PANK, Pulp Modern and Punchnel’s among others. Her first collection of short fiction, Vile Men, will be out in 2015 from Dark House Press. She can be found online at
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