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Sour Candy

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,387 ratings  ·  537 reviews
" a stomach-twisting ride through the depths of horror, breathing new life into an often-stagnant part of the genre" - Publishers Weekly, starred review.

At first glance, Phil Pendleton and his son Adam are just an ordinary father and son, no different from any other. They take walks in the park together, visit county fairs, museums, and zoos, and eat together overlooking t
Kindle Edition, 67 pages
Published November 13th 2015
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Michael Prentice So far as I can tell, the baby is what came out of Pendleton, with the idea that Cortez is next in line. Poor fella'.

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3.95  · 
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 ·  2,387 ratings  ·  537 reviews

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Johann (jobis89)
"Four months to the day he first encountered the boy at Walmart, the last of Phil Pendleton's teeth fell out."

Phil Pendleton and his son Adam have a typical father-son relationship, although perhaps Phil is a bit too lenient with Adam - he is allowed to set his own bedtime, eat as much candy as he wants. However, what no one knows is that until a few weeks previous Phil had never seen the child before in his life.

It blows my mind how Burke manages to pack so much into such a small number of page
You know what? All I'm going to say about this novella is: This is one fucked up story. You should read it. (Oh, and I love you, KPB!)
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I really loved this one!

For a horror novella, Sour Candy was the perfect length! It had an interesting plot, excellent writing and was damn creepy!
The plot starts off with Phil Pendleton grocery shopping and experiences a cringe worthy experience in the store. A child is screaming hysterically at his mother for sour candy. After this meeting, Phil's life changes drastically and horrifying by this little boy.

Looking forward to reading more from Kealan Patrick Burke! What an imagination this guy h
Paul Nelson
In Sour Candy, Kealan Patrick Burke weaves a dread inducing psychological horror novella that seriously wreaks mayhem with your sanity.

Phil Pendleton was more than willing to pay a visit to Wal-Mart to restock on chocolate sex rewards, the memory of Lori in pink silk undies (with leather paddle and ball gag, fun times) and hot shagging fresh in his mind. When the kid screamed like a banshee and shattered his love lust euphoria.

An unsettling scream queen style screech from a boy no less and somet
Edward Lorn
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I try not to read too much KPB back to back. Not because his stuff is bad, but because I don't want to seem like a shill. This guy can do no wrong in my eyes. Even when I don't fall head over heels for one of his pieces, I still end up enjoying myself. I fear that if I read his stuff closer together, my feed would simply be a string of five-star reviews for his work. Because, in my opinion, this dude is just that good.

Sour Candy was a creepy good time. The Elders (or Eldres, as they are sometim
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Our story here begins like so many others. A simple trip to the store and an encounter with a frazzled mother and her charming youngster . . . .

When our main character Phil fails to give what the kid was just begging for . . . .

He’s left with a simple, yet ominous message by the child’s mother . . .

“Yours now.”

And so begins life with Adam . . . .

Yeah, I’m just not a fan of short stories. I don’t know what to tell you. I app
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The story SOUR CANDY, by Kealan Patrick Burke, is perhaps the best psychological horror novella that I have read, to date, in 2015!

Phil Pendleton is a man living a happy life with his girlfriend, Lori, when an innocent encounter with a woman and boy at Walmart send him spiraling into near mental insanity. On the way home, a fender-bender begins to show Phil just how MUCH has changed. . . Suddenly, Phil finds the boy from the store at his home,and everyone around informing him that this is his so
Ashley Daviau
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My oh my does this little novella ever pack one hell of a punch! This is by far one of the creepiest and most unsettling books I’ve read in a long time and it was absolutely delicious! Right from the beginning I felt a mounting sense of dread and it only grew from there. Something about creepy kids terrifies me like nothing else can and this story takes creepy kids to a whole new horrifying level! And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at sour candy the same way after reading this, just thi ...more
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Phil Pendleton can’t help but wake up with a smile, when he catches sight of the vision standing by the bathroom door, and recalls that sweet, sweet night of loving. He’s promised more fun times to come, if he’ll run by the store to pick up a few essentials. However, after a brief run-in with a screaming kid and his strangely unresponsive mother, round two may have to be put on hold . . . indefinitely.

This one was nothing at all like what I was expecting. It sort of flips the script on the idea
mark monday
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-modern
I would like to point out how weirdly ironic it is that I'm having a conversation with a 9-year-old on the thread of this here review for this here story... a story which features a lil' demon of, I assume, the same age or so. wtf!

except I am confident that Xavier is not a lil' demon/avatar for dark higher powers but is instead an especially bright kid who should not read this story. good story, but not a good story for Xavier, who should be reading other things.
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
***SPOILER ALERT*** after thinking and pondering what the hell I was going to write...I decided to just free-ball it. Fuck it...I can sit here and pull this story apart piece by piece and try to figure out the deeper meaning...but then again...I really think that KPB doesn't mean for this book to say anything else than what the story contains.

This is a horror...psychologically speaking. And this is where I went wrong.

I noticed that Jahy and Carla were reading it and having a problem figur
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Don't take candy from strangers! Where has Phil Pendelton been not to know? A grown man, and he ignores this worthy adage.

A boundless bounty of candy, only the sour kind will do. The author taps into a frightening alternate reality and Phil is plopped right smack down in the middle of it. His sanity starts to crack as he hears the hideous screaming. His health is in the toilet, and then he loses his teeth. All of them.

Don't miss out on this one. It is fiendishly delicious!
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
Kealan Patrick Burke is on my top 10 author list and probably more like top 5. I have never read anything by him that was anything less than pretty damn great. Sour Candy is no exception.

Phil Pendleton's life is turned upside down after an incident in the candy isle at Walmart. All he wanted was some chocolate for his girlfriend to take it back to the apartment so they could eat it, watch movies and make sweet, sweet love all day. Is that too much to ask? To top it off, fucking Walmart didn’t e
Cindy Newton
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a quick little read that packed a powerful punch. It was strongly reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode with its surreal quality, but I guess the most horrifying aspect of it is how utterly innocuous the main character and the setting are. Burke makes you feel that this could happen to anybody, and drives home the randomness and unpredictability of life. Phil Pendleton is an average guy on a Walmart run, and shortly thereafter his entire life is transformed into a horror show. His neme ...more
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good GOD, this is the creepiest thing I've read in a long, long time. Every horror fan should read this immediately. It's fantastic.
Michelle {Book Hangovers}
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What the WHAT!!!! I never want to eat another piece of candy again!!!
I need more KPB books. So far the two I’ve read have blown me away. Blanky is up next.
Glen Krisch
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this novella might be my favorite read of the year.
This was a very creepy, short read. I read it really late at night which added to the suspense. I would like to read more form this author!
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
This is my second stand alone novella that I've read by Kealan Patrick Burke, the first being "Blanky" which I read on Halloween night and it sparked an instant-fan binge read of a novel, "KIN" and a collection of short stories called, "Milestone".
So it's an understatement to say that I *loved* Sour Candy.
This is horror at its best and I'll tell you why: As a HUGE fan of the genre, I can usually guess within the first chapter or so, where the gut punches are going to be--is this one going to be
Jon Recluse
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
For Phil Pendleton, a relatively happy man running an errand at his local WalMart, his encounter with a frazzled mother and her spoiled child was just business as usual at the world's most famous chain asylum.
But Phil is wrong, for his normal life is about to spin out of control, taking Reality with it, as he finds himself facing something unspeakable from the mists of legend and folklore, something that will cost him his sanity and his life.......
Kealan Patrick Burke offers up a truly chilling
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
That was as deliciously unsettling and beautifully crafted as everything else I have read from Kealan has been. Full review coming soon!
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
After reading Kin, I knew I needed more Burke. So I immediately purchased just about everything he wrote. Jack & Jill blew me away and I'm typically not huge on novellas and short stories. Burke manages to pack SO much into 67 pages and it's mind blowing. Right from the beginning, there's a sense of dread and it just increases page after page.

This book certainly deters me even further from children, Walmart and sour candy. There's really not much creepier to me than children - I don't know
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
HA! Been to Walmart lately? Enter here at your own risk!

Just eat a piece of SOUR CANDY and take a trip into The Twilight Zone .......or your worst nightmare. Take. Your. Pick.

Chilling little novella......if you like madness!

Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2015-reads
Kealan Patrick Burke takes a situation that we all have encountered. We have been at a store or restaurant and seen a parent struggle with a seemingly demon possessed child. Hopefully we have felt compassion. Maybe we were that parent. At one time or another I think all of us have been on one side or the other of that situation.

Burke takes this stressful real life event and plays it out on another stage. A Twilight Zone-like alternate reality where the demons are real and nothing is as it seems.
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
*4.5 Stars*
Sour Patch Kids are some of my favorite candies and my go-to movie theatre snack. But now, for at least the next year, everytime I pop one in my mouth, I'll think about this book. Damn you Kealan Patrick Burke for nearly ruining Sour Patches for me! If the plot itself wasn't unsettling enough (and it's best to go into the book not knowing much), Burke's disturbing prose haunted me from the start. It's a work of great psychological horror, touching on the inherent fears and stresses of
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another creepy tale from KPB. He's very consistent, that's for sure.

This one is reminiscent of the old Richard Bachman/Stephen King book, Thinner in tone and creepiness.
Ellen Gail
Four months to the day he first encountered the boy at Walmart, the last of Phil Pendleton's teeth fell out.

A short and sweet sour lil horror novella. Creepy children and false realities are favorites of mine in fiction and Sour Candy does both very well.

I do not want children. I will happily babysit, play with my friends' kids, whatever. I get along pretty well with kids, especially if they like to color or play Barbies. So the whole concept of being forced into "parenthood" that you have no me
Mark Matthews
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If reading a story with enthusiasm, a smirk, and a curious mind about what happens next is the gauge of success, this book nails it.

Sour Candy doesn't worry so much if you believe the premise. But it does make it believable by putting you in place where you have already been; A Walmart on the candy aisle, feeling a bit out of place but needing to grab a few things to get back to your real life with bigger dreams. Not Walmart dreams, that's for sure. Well, you know that screaming kid in the aisl
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mind. Has. Been. Blown.

The premise is nutz, those big Brazilian kind - but it's made wholly believable by the quality of the writing and the 'normality' of the setting and characters.

It's a perfect portrayal of a descent into madness; and what Paddy has done here in 60 odd pages is quite remarkable. Well played, Sir.

I'm ashamed to admit that this was my first Paddy Burke book but it sure as shit won't be my last.

An outstanding short story. If you haven't read it, do so now.
Kids creep me out, so I am the target audience for horror stories about creepy kids. And this little short story was just wonderful deranged fun!

All Phil wanted was some chocolates he could bring to his sexy girlfriend Lori, so they could carry on with their lazy day of indulgent snacks and... other activities. But this humble plan got derailed when he happened upon an all too familiar sight: a child screaming at an exhausted looking parent in the candy aisle. As unpleasant as the encounter was,
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Born and raised in a small harbor town in the south of Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke knew from a very early age that he was going to be a horror writer. The combination of an ancient locale, a horror-loving mother, and a family full of storytellers, made it inevitable that he would end up telling stories for a living. Since those formative years, he has written five novels, over a hundred short st ...more
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“Sour candy trumps chocolate.” 4 likes
“A line from a book he’d read in highschool popped into his mind: The nameless are easier to bury.” 2 likes
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