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Fabulous Beasts

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  272 ratings  ·  66 reviews

Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma is a horror novelette about a strange woman living in luxury with her lover, but irrevocably tied to her childhood of deprivation and dark secrets in northwest England. The woman recalls the unravelling of the family upon her uncle's release from prison.
ebook, 33 pages
Published June 17th 2015 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  272 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Snakes are easy. It’s people that I don’t know how to charm.

this tor short is equal parts beautiful and disturbing.

it also comes with a warning: Please be warned that this story deals with difficult content and themes, including child abuse, incest, and rape.

and also snakes. up close and personal and slithering, so if you've got phobias, or any triggers around the themes mentioned above, there are many other free tor shorts for you to read.

me, i have no triggers and no phobias (not any real
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eat-my-shorts

The writing is brilliantly visceral, but this story is just not for me because of
2. incest
3. rape
4. All the above happening all at once

Somebody hand me a fluffy bunneh pls!!!
Althea Ann
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No, this is NOT a Harry Potter tie-in!

The exotic Eliza and her stunning partner Georgia are now the toast of the high-society art world. But in Eliza's past - before she was 'Eliza' - are disturbing secrets. We follow her back to when she was just Tallulah, a little girl with a single mom, living in poverty - and discovering some very strange abilities that may slither through her family's DNA. It's lucky for her that she has her beloved cousin Lola to support her. But will that support be
Anusha Narasimhan
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tor
When I saw snakes and a woman on the cover and noticed that the writer was Indian, I assumed that this is going to be about a nagini. Taking Gods and mythical creatures, putting them in a modern context and imagining their lives in the current world seems to be a trend in writing nowadays. So, I put this one off for a long time.

This story was nothing like what I imagined it to be. It was darker and creepier than I expected. Not sure how I managed to complete it. Definitely not for people who are
This story feels very understated, I would say. It's an interesting story, but it never really draws you in to the point you don't want to put it down like some books do. Despite this, though, the mystery behind the characters is still interesting enough to keep you reading.

You read it wondering about the characters, and their backstories as facts are slowly revealed. There's an obvious supernatural element going on with the story, but despite it being out in the open it's almost a background
Ellen Gail
Look at your princesses, Kenny. See how special we are.

Do you enjoy being emotionally destroyed? How about being punched in the gut by literature? Do you find yourself being drawn to fucked-up situations and characters, knowing you are in for a hell of a ride? Then BOY do I have the short story for you!

Read it here:

A pillow to hug and a stiff shot of alcohol are recommended, but not included.
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Snakes are easy. It’s people that I don’t know how to charm.

In both her work and personal life, Lola/Eliza is surrounded by vipers.

Though the subject matter is disturbing, this is an excellent, beautifully written story.

Keep an eye on this author.

So it is that serpents are reviled when it’s man that is repulsive.
SUSAN   *Nevertheless,she persisted*
Loved this,well written. Would read more of her work.

Anita Fajita Pita
I read this here on and it was amazing, horrific, dangerous, sultry, elegant - all the words that may be used to describe a snake could probably be used to describe this short story. Looking for more from Priya Sharma.
Vishakha ~ ReadingSpren ~
This was so well-written that I got goosebumps while reading. Errie and chilling, Fabulous Beasts was a very satisfying read and the perfect choice to get me out of my reading slump.
I don't know about the 'fabulous' part but yeah... quite disturbing, indeed. Well, let's just say - not the family history you would look forward to.
I liked this quote though: "Snakes are easy. It’s people that I don’t know how to charm."
Gabrielle  (Wishes she had more time to read)
Trigger warning: Rape, incest, snakes

Read this story here

Be it with movies or books, I’m picky when it comes to horror. I’ve mentioned multiple times before that I don’t scare easily, or in the conventional sense. Anything that relies on gore and jump scares to deliver it’s spookiness will not hold too much interest for me. I’ve sat through years of this kind of horror, and at this point, I’m just really careful with any horror-thing I pick up.

Except for when I want to watch a shitty horror
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
Fucking bizarre. I honestly do not even know what that was.
Heidi Ward keeps my lunch break interesting, with another deliciously creepy-crawly novella; this one about a family hiding strange secrets and a dark past. I wish I knew more about how these folks came to be the way they are, but revealing that might have drained some of the wicked magic. Be aware "Fabulous Beasts" contains some potential triggers, but Tor warns you in its preface. ( 5 solid stars.
c, (½ of readsrainbow)
okay that got steadily more fucked up

Rep: wlw mc

CWs: incest, sexual abuse, rape
Bobbi Jo
So, there's trigger warnings all over this story. I won't bother re-listing them. The signs all say 'Here There Be Monsters" and there are. But not the ones you expect. Or maybe they are. No spoilers but there's all kinds of monsters available.
Donna Bryson
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Priya Sharma, whose first collection of short stories All the Fabulous Beasts was published in May, recalled as a child her brother reading comic books, her mother Hindu mythology, and her father Hitchcockian tales.
“I came from a house where books were treasured,” she told me of her childhood in Cheshire, England. “Stories were loved in all their forms.”
Her own tastes were eclectic. She read Hardy too young, she said. Later came Jeannnette Winterson, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Isabel Allende.
Jaffa Kintigh
The darkest of family secrets: rape, incest, murder and betrayal coil and writhe beneath the skin in this dark novelette set among the seedier neighborhoods outside Liverpool. Two timelines entwine to show how ugly little Lola along with her pretty sister-cousin, Tallulah, escapes her horror-filled past to become scientifically-successful, if not still socially awkward Eliza on the arm of her beautiful, celebrity lover, Georgia. More than just her name was sloughed off to become the adult ...more
Nadine Jones

My interrogator doesn’t look convinced. Nor should they be. I’m not even called Eliza. My real name is Lola and I’m no princess. I’m a monster.

That was really gripping and gut-wrenching. It was horrifying in every way, with a satisfying yet melancholy ending. So powerful.

When I was a kid, I found a whole shed snake skin in the wooded area behind my house. I thought it was a live snake, so I threw a rock near it to scare it off, but it didn't move and I realized it was a shed skin. I didn't
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural, lgbt
This intriguing short supernatural / horror novelette is the story of a strange woman living in luxury with her lover, but irrevocably tied to her childhood of deprivation and dark secrets in northwest England. The woman recalls the unraveling of the family upon her uncle's release from prison. The author explores the difficulties of growing up in a poor family, with an abusive uncle and a psychologically dependent mother. One of the best stories of the year.
This is one of my nominations for the
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damn. What a nasty little story.
Rajeev Singh
Reading this one was an ambush. It sounded a tad cliched and bland in the beginning with Lola calling herself a monster and conversations amongst her family members that gnawed at the pace of the story, but that’s exactly what a concealed weapon is like: hitting you when you expect it the least, hard and unrelenting. Not only does the author draw upon Indian legends (view spoiler) but deals with taboos like incest without batting an eyelid. It’s horror that is ...more
Maureen O'Leary
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is amazing and I will never forget it as long as I live. Terrifying, surprising, brutal, and ultimately triumphant story of a young girl with a grotesque family line and an abusive and manipulative father. I bought the whole collection on the strength of this story and I wasn't sorry. This is one of my favorite stories I've ever read. Highly recommend.
Beth Roberts
I guess, if you're terrified of snakes, then this could be classified as horror. It's not, really.

It's a story about shapeshifters who become snakes and a family legacy of incest. That's all, really. The moral is, people suck. But I bet you knew that already.

Actual Rating: 3 stars
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spooks, short-stories
This is bizarre and visceral in unexpected yet not unwelcome ways. The alert at the beginning certainly holds true; this is not for the faint of heart.
Tiffany Lynn Kramer
There is a loveliness to Sharma's writing and I enjoyed the way the story unfolded but I must admit some of her choices did ruin my enjoyment.
Amanda Nemer
2.5 because the end was the best part of this entire story
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short, fanged mind blender told mainly through dialog. Oh I liked.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Priya Sharma’s fiction has appeared venues such as Interzone, Black Static, Nightmare, The Dark and Tor. She’s been anthologised in several of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year series and Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror series, among other. She’s also been on many Locus’ Recommended Reading Lists.

“Fabulous Beasts” was a Shirley Jackson Award finalist and won a British
“Love isn't just what you feel for someone when you look at them. It's how they make you feel about yourself when they look back at you.” 4 likes
“I should know better than to try and measure the breadth and depth of love by its noise and dramas but there are times that I crave it, as if it’s proof that love is alive.” 1 likes
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