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The Nameless Dark: A Collection

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  392 ratings  ·  103 reviews
The Nameless Dark: A Collection is the Shirley Jackson Award-nominated debut of a major new voice in contemporary Weird fiction. Within these pages, you’ll find whispers of the familiar ghosts of the classic pulps - Lovecraft, Bradbury, Smith - blended with Grau’s uniquely macabre, witty storytelling, securing his place at the table amid this current Renaissance of ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published July 25th 2015 by Lethe Press (first published July 15th 2015)
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Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What's most impressive about T. E. Grau's stunning debut collection is the range of his settings and histories, and of the desperate and authentic voices of his doomed characters. The cumulative effect of these smart, evocative, unsettling creepers is a sense of dread as deep as the secret ocean underneath Nebraska.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm so delighted to have discovered a number of fantastic horror writers this year. I've really been doing my research, listening to what other horror writers like and what my horror loving friends are reading, so I was eager to pick up this collection by Grau. The title, the cover, and the promise of weird fiction had me sold. Plus, I love short story collections, so I couldn't wait to dig into this one.

This collection is a must read for everyone who loves horror/weird fiction. These stories
Jon Recluse
T.E. Grau offers up an impressive collection of weird tales, bringing a fresh, new and compelling voice to the classic sub-genre. These stories will haunt you into the deep hours of the night...and they will have you thinking the rest of the time.

T.E. Grau is an author to watch.

Highly recommended.
Orrin Grey
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Don’t let how long it took me to finish reading T.E. Grau's debut collection throw you; my reading schedule has been all screwed up lately, and various things kept coming along to interrupt the process, and, frankly, I didn’t want to rush things. I wanted to savor each story, at least a little bit, and these aren’t the kinds of stories that you want to read while you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or something. These things require a certain amount of ceremony. Reading The Nameless Dark is ...more
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been hearing about the excellence of Grau's fiction for years, and--when I finally dived into his debut collection last month--I was not disappointed (to say the least).

I'll highlight some of my favorites, though I enjoyed and admired all the contents:

"Tubby’s Big Swim"
This one was a beautifully hilarious and poignant opening act -- the tale of a lonely, bullied outsider-kid who receives help in setting his life straight from a most unusual and memorable source. I was pleased and amused
Richard  Thomas
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In The Nameless Dark, T. E. Grau finds the sweet spot between terror and acceptance, horror and beauty, the unusual and the familiar—both frightening and touching at the same time. Not an easy task. These unsettling stories grab your heart and squeeze—a sensation that is both terrifying and like coming home.
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Nameless Dark" is the perfect title to a perfect collection of horror stories. I began reading horror stories (in French) when I was about 12-13 years old, and I remember the delightful pleasure of reading late at night in bed (without your parents knowing,of course) and of the fear creeping on you and making you jump at any noise. Well, I'm about to turn 52 now, and I felt exactly the same pleasure. What is amazing with T.E. Grau is that he is using old school horror methods and references ...more
Aug 19, 2015 marked it as to-read

012 - Introduction - "What Calls Us To The Dark" by Nathan Ballingrud
017 - "Tubby’s Big Swim"
045 - "The Screamer"
067 - "Clean"
075 - "Return of the Prodigy"
097 - "Expat"
111 - "The Truffle Pig"
119 - "Beer & Worms"
127 - "White Feather"
145 - "Transmission"
161 - "Mr. Lupus"
197 - "Free Fireworks"
211 - "Love Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox"
237 - "Twinkle, Twinkle"
247 - "The Mission"
277 - About The Author
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably more like a 3 1/2, but I'm rounding up because of the promise I see here. Interestingly, the collection opens with a story, "Tubby's Big Swim, which I wouldn't call horror. It's dark, but also sad and tender. Throw out genre, and "Tubby" stands as a fine piece of literary fiction, one that could easily show up in a good journal. It had a real street vibe to it, and it reminded me a bit of Robert Stone (that's a good thing). I wonder, when considering the rest of collection, where this ...more
Benoit Lelièvre
"WAITER! I'll take another 1,000 pages from that Grau guy, IN MY VEINS"

Guys, I don't know what's in the water in 2015, but it's the fourth time this year that a short story collection drops me to one knee. I had a gut feeling what I saw the cover of THE NAMELESS DARK on Amazon the first time and it did not disappoint. T.E Grau understands one important principle: horror is a feeling you trigger in your audience. It doesn't need to have a face, a shape or even a logical conclusion. It's about
Brandon Petry
I really enjoyed T.E. Grau's debut collection. Worth buying for the last story, "The Mission" alone. Damn that story had some heat. I read it two weeks ago and it's still haunting my head. "Mr. Lupus" ended up being my favorite story overall because it scratched a particular itch I didn't know I had. While "Twinkle, Twinkle" stood out for being a perfect heart-breaker of cosmic horror.

I first came across this collection after having finished Nathan Ballingrud excellent collection North American
Gary Fry
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ted Grau can write – let’s make no bones about it. My first impression while reading this collection, even during the opening story, related to the strength of the prose, the jaunty, hip, rhythmic, colourful, witty, acerbic flow of writing which possesses a power all of its own. That makes reading Grau a real pleasure, whatever the kind of tale he relates, whether or not it – to coin a lame metaphor to which this author would never stoop – floats your boat.

But then there’s the tales themselves,
Michael Adams
An almost perfect collection of horror stories in a Lovecraftian vein. All the stories are told with a highly articulate voice, and the have a refreshing variety of settings, both geographically and chronologically. They almost all contain a thread of the cosmic in them, but shift widely within those boundaries, unveiling stories of monsters, murderers, ghosts, ancient cults, and forgotten pre-human civilizations. There is a dark fairy-tale, a clever tale set in the 60's counter-culture movement ...more
Andrew Schultheis
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This truly is a Golden Age for Horror and Weird fiction authors. After reading The Nameless Dark, I feel like T.E. Grau is up there with the best of them. A really excellent collection of stories, not a stinker in the bunch. My favorites include "Tubby's Big Swim", "Return of the Prodigy", "Mr. Lupus" and "The Mission."

In this collection Lovecraft is an obvious influence. Several of the stories utilize the Cthulhu Mythos. There are also hints of Ligotti and in "Return of the Prodigy" there is
Philip Fracassi
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre, modern-lit
An amazing collection by a top-rank writer of macabre dark fantasy and horror. This collection of stories, some nearly mini-novellas, encapsulate worlds tapped from the minds of great writers such as creepy cosmologists Barron and Lovecraft, to modern domestic horror such as King and Barker, to the weird and surreal fables of Angela Carter. If you are a fan of Machen's bizarre landscapes, Clark Ashton Smith's hidden traps of worlds, you'll find a lot to love about this staggering debut ...more
Joe Zanetti
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"There is beauty and horror here, wisdom and madness, and I have drunk deeply of it all. Will you do the same?"

"But man is an arrogant ape, and so here we are, disturbing the Old Ways, while bashing out the brains of every fellow human being that doesn't look exactly like us, or bow to the same flag, sing to the same savior. Ridiculous, arrogant ape, swinging a club like a demigod."

I'm a terribly slow reader. It can take me upwards to a month (maybe a little longer) to finish anything that's
Christopher Slatsky
While T.E. Grau is an established name in horror given his work with various publications as fiction editor and outstanding contributions to several anthologies, with THE NAMELESS DARK he offers a refreshingly varied debut. Even the best collections may bleed together into an amorphous whole, but Grau manages to dexterously evade this trap by including stories from different eras, with wildly different tones and themes, while examining misogyny, xenophobia and brutality in its varied ...more
Christopher Irvin
I have a bad habit of putting off books that receive a lot of hype. Grau's THE NAMELESS DARK has received high praise across the board, as well as a foreword from Nathan Ballingrud (one of my favorite authors) that lavishes praise, to boot. But I've made an effort to read short story collections this year (13 so far) and so I jumped on TND.

And it more than lives up to the hype! This is a fantastic collection. Grau has an uncanny way of turning seemingly 'straight' literary stories odd/weird on a
Michael Wehunt
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was easily one of the very best collections put out last year. Grau's stories are dark in wonderfully varied ways. Sometimes I like a collection to have a cohesive, constant tone tying the stories together, developing themes, but sometimes I read a book like this and am very glad for the breadth of talent and voices on display. "The Truffle Pig" is a fantastic and original take on Jack the Ripper. "Tubby's Last Swim" is a coming-of-age story that calls to mind Robert Aickman in a ...more
Jason Williams
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine collection of short stories by a very talented author. It is nice to finally see a consolidation of Grau's writings from such diverse works as Dead But Dreaming 2 and the limited print chapbooks from Dynatox Ministries.

Grau has a way with words using carefully crafted descriptions as well as interesting characters, each with their own very human twists.

As always I look forward to see what else is coming from the mind of this weird and dark fiction writer!

In short, buy this book! You will
Jose Cruz
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With the unleashing of The Nameless Dark, T. E. Grau has cemented himself as an author whose byline should spark in readers a joyful expectancy for what surprises there are to follow.

Having spent his early days grinding away in the Hollywood dream machine, Grau has instilled the stories collected here with a cinematic beat and tenor. Many of them have the feel of miniature epics, stories of great change that course the classical arc and find his cast of rebels and hard-hearts attempting to
Ian Casey
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The allure of the glinting black is irresistible to anonymous eyes choking on the monotony of the neverending gray."

My first exposure to T.E. Grau was his story 'MonoChrome', which was a favourite from In The Court of the Yellow King. Then he was kind enough to send me an ebook copy of his debut collection.

Ted is not shy of celebrating his influences, including some which place his work squarely in my wheelhouse like Michael Marshall Smith, Thomas Ligotti and T.E.D. Klein. As with Ligotti and
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard of this collection scanning the Ligotti Online forums, I think this is about as good a debut collection as I've read. It's very impressive in it's range of plotline and mood.

These stories don't start out as weird or horrific. "The Screamer" paints a very effective portrait of boring office life. "Expat" shows us the mindset of a man jaded with backpacking around his pseudo-cultured fellow Americans. Stories like "Twinkle, Twinkle" among others bring painful emotions to the surface in the
Anthony Watson
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

One of the many joys of reading is the experience of coming across an author for the first time and connecting immediately with the writing. There may be a brief moment of self-flagellation for not discovering the writer sooner but this is soon overwhelmed by the enjoyment of the reading itself and also by the realisation that a back catalogue is already there, waiting to be devoured.

Such was the case when I read The Nameless Dark, a collection of stories from T E Grau. This is his first
John Smith
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“A Collection,” it states. Grau’s The Nameless Dark is so much more than that! This collection is a beast, unafraid to wield words in every way imaginable to make its points. Spitting and snarling, the writing is full-bodied, muscular. It growls, it roars, and slashes with a mighty talon. Okay, enough of that, but you get my point. Grau is fearless. Description and details, the depth of ideas—nothing here settles for ‘small’ in the scope of the horrors unleashed. Apocalyptic, often Lovecraftian ...more
Morgan K Tanner
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Nameless Dark is a perfect title for this collection of stories. For the feeling of something indescribable emanating from a blackness void to terrify and then destroy you is certainly the sensation I got from involving myself in these tales.

Inside these pages lie 14 stories that will, there’s no other way to put it, shit you right up!

This book had been on my wish list for a while, longer than I should admit really, but finally I got round to buying a paperback copy. The other reviewers
David Peak
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mixed bag but well worth your time. The greatest strength here is Grau's deliberate writing style, which often lends a richly layered, expansive scope to the storytelling.

The more straightforward "horror" stories, such as "The Screamer," "Return of the Prodigy," "The Truffle Pig," and "White Feather," really worked for me. Others held promise but felt undercooked: "Clean," "Beer & Worms," and "Transmission." A few others I couldn't get into at all. That being said, the whole book is worth
The Grim Reader
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ted E. Grau has delivered a stunning collection of tales for all horror fans to enjoy. The tales contained within are both touching and terrifying in equal measure. There will be comparisons to Lovecraft and Laird Barron, but really, Ted has a voice of his own. There are few writers around that can weave the subtle horror that Grau does here. It is time to sit up and take notice of a fine new voice lurking in the depths of the dark fiction genre. Absolute must read. 5 stars.
Alexa "Naps" Snow
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nicely done. Can't get over the shitty mother and the octopus
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
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T.E. Grau is a Shirley Jackson Award- and Bram Stoker Award-nominated author whose books include I Am The River (nominated for the 2018 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel), They Don’t Come Home Anymore, The Mission, and The Nameless Dark (nominated for the 2015 Shirley Jackson Award for Single-Author Collection). His work has been published around the world, translated ...more
“the searing knife slowly sawing through his guts, screaming for a bullet but settling for wine.” 2 likes
“In a moment of instant clarity, Gary realized that he was about to see exactly what his insides were made of. And he wasn’t afraid. He was curious.” 1 likes
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