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Inflictions: A Collection

4.57  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Welcome to the world of John McIlveen. Enter, please, but be warned… here you will find tales that blur the lines of horror, vengeance, humor, sorrow, and humanity. You will encounter broken people with dark secrets and darker desires. Meet Justice, whose art exposes your soul. Ride along as a man’s search for his daughter reveals that sometimes the best way to heal old sc ...more
Hardcover, 1st, 302 pages
Published April 12th 2015 by Crossroad Press
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Paul Ataua
Dec 08, 2020 rated it liked it
The blurb at the top and the reviews within it suggest this is probably the best thing since sliced bread. Other reviewers wax lyrical about it. For me, the stories were OK but almost instantly forgettable. Although they seemed passable when I was reading them, I found myself unable to recall any of them just a few hours later. It must be something wrong with me, so don’t let me put you off.
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John McIlveen’s got guts. In his story collection, Inflictions, he not only shares with us the seedier, nastier side of human nature (and does he ever!), but he takes insane chances. In one story, a character makes an anachronistic joke that would be jarring in any other setting. The story is an over-the-top Western that’s already more than half parody, so it works. In a few others, he shows us the dangers of betrayal, the perils of greed and the weakness of human beings. McIlveen does not, as h ...more
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love short stories. I think when one does them well, they satisfy our need for brevity but with substance. McIlveen does them well, indeed. These stories are dark with a touch of humor now and then, just to give us a chance to take a breath. They are about terrible people and people in terrible situations. Some are shocking and others are sorrowful. The range is wide but one never feels like a story doesn't belong to the collection. I loved this collection. It's not for the squeamish but for t ...more
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the surreal to the humourous this is storytelling at its finest
From body horror to talking dogs there’s no lack of entertainment in this collection
Well narrated and highly recommended
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never pass up the chance to read anything written by John M. McIlveen. Some of the stories contained in INFLICTIONS can also be found in JERKS AND OTHER TALES FROM A PERFECT MAN, my review of which can be found right here on Amazon at

It can be difficult to find a truly fresh voice, yet here is one whose name deserves to be shouted from the rooftops. It is truly difficult not to wax poetic about each and every story contained in INFLICTIONS, yet how can
Rating=3.5 stars.

As with any collection of short stories or essays, there are always some stronger than others. A few would be rated "2", a couple would be rated "5". I settled on the "4" rating as there were a lot of threes and fours here, and when McIlveen hit the button, he hit it.

Warning, many of these stories are disturbing. It is the horror genre after all. He doesn't always take you down the road expected - and when he does, based on stories you may have read earlier - you still don't e
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: necon, nehw, horror
Inflictions is a collection of short stories by award winning author John M. McIlveen. Most of the stories might be classified as Horror, but Suspense, Crime, SF, Fantasy and Humor are all part of the mix; sometimes by themselves, but often within the same story. Many of the stories are dark, midnight-in-a-coal-mine dark. Many others are humorous: caustically satirical, dryly witty, or warmly funny. Impressively, he often mixes different kinds of humor in the same story, and light in with the da ...more
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I became interested in this author's work after reading Infliction, which is in this collection, in Happy Little Horrors: Freak Show. I was intrigued by the themes of the story, which I don't want to give away since it is so short. It included things that I had struggled with myself, and the character turned it into a sort of superpower over her abuser. I thought that this was very powerful in a horrifying sort of way, and I needed to read more of McIlveen's work.

This collection did not disappoi
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this collection of short stories, we see an amazing talent, where the author can scare the pants off you one minute, and make you laugh out loud the next. Lots of horror and darkness, but spiced with humor in places to relieve the unbearable tension he creates in several of the tales.
From short-shorts to longer tellings, Inflictions is a recommended work. Dip in and sample some of the bloody offerings. Just not before bed.
Jason Salzarulo
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
McIlveen deeply understands familial love, which is why his horror is so devastating. This is especially true in the title story Inflictions as well as Make A Choice (which would make an excellent film).

In this collection you’ll find tales that deal with family bonds strained, broken and twisted. You’ll find horror, humor and humanity, as well as a touch of the surreal.

To learn more about the author please check out:
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, short-story
Now, I love John McIlveen's writing. I finally got around to reading "Inflictions" and 9 stories out of ten were fantastic. My favorites were "Paint it Black", "A Mother's Love", and "Smokey". This was not an easy read because the book explores some dark themes, but overall a great read. Bravo, John! ...more
Ken McWilliams
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is normally difficult for me to get into a collection of short stories. I compare it to eating a side dish without a meal. However, there are always exceptions to my rule. H.P. Lovecraft and John McIlveen are those exceptions. McIlveen is a master of the modern short story. The proof is in this collection. My favorite is "Paint it Black," a tale of justice rendered by supernatural means. There are unexpected nuggets of comedic gold buried between the covers as well. "Jerks" contains a scene o ...more
nancy stevenson
rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2016
Jennifer Collins
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those collections that might not appeal to most readers... but those who find themselves interested will love it. The collection of horror stories here is varied and engrossing, and the beginning ones were chilling enough to make me think twice about reading them at night (which is a good thing with this type of collection, of course). At the same time, some of the stories were laugh-out-loud funny, so that the book was a bit of a roller coaster to read, and all the more fun becau ...more
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May 18, 2015
John McIlveen
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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John M. McIlveen is the author of the paranormal suspense novel, HANNAHWHERE, winner of the Drunken Druid Award (Ireland), and nominated for the Bram Stoker Award (HWA). He has also the author of three story collections, A VARIABLE DARKNESS, INFLICTIONS, and JERKS and Other Tales from A Perfect Man.

He works at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and lives in Haverhill, MA with his wife, Roberta Colasanti.


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