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Greener Pastures

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  835 ratings  ·  200 reviews
*2017 Crawford Award shortlist*
*2016 Shirley Jackson Award nominee for Single-Author Collection*

In his striking debut collection, Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt shows why he is a powerful new voice in horror and weird fiction.

From the round-robin, found-footage nightmare of “October Film Haunt: Under the House” to the jazz-soaked “The Devil Under the Maison Blue,” select
Paperback, 238 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by Shock Totem Publications (first published March 29th 2016)
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Janie C.
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each of the eleven stories in this richly textured collection is drawn from a wide range of color and depth. While each story has a skeleton of its own making, the details are left to the reader to discover within his or her imagination. These gems contain levels of darkness and mysterious beauty which coalesce to form a nimbus around the heart of each tale. The interpretations and final details are drawn by the reader. Highly recommended.
Greener Pastures is simply OUTSTANDING! This is literary dark fiction at its finest.

These stories almost all deal with heavy themes like loss, grief, and loneliness and yet, they're all distinctly different from each other. A lot of them reminded me of the stories of Robert Aickman, Laird Barron or Thomas Ligotti, but I actually liked Wehunt's tales more than those. I've been thinking about why that is and here's what I've come up with: Laird Barron and Thomas Ligotti are both fantastic with da
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
It's official! I love, love these collections of stories from one author, especially if they fall inside the horror genre. I've read quite a few this year and this one is a standout among them.
I believe this is Wehunt's debut collection, so for a fresh out of the gate offering, I'm very impressed. Michael Wehunt will be one to watch.
Some highlights of the collection for me was reading a story that got under my skin titled, "Greener Pastures" and then transitioning into a story that had me cryin
Ashley Daviau
I had high expectations for this collection of stories seeing as it had such glowing reviews. Sadly I was left a bit disappointed and wanting more. Don't get me wrong, there were stories that I very much enjoyed. But the ones I didn't enjoy outweighed the ones I did.

The shining star of this collection for me was "October Film Haunt: Under the House". It was SO deliciously creepy, it actually made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and was just downright terrifying. This is what I wanted
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's absolutely shameful that I'm just now getting around to writing a review for such a brilliant collection of short stories. And a debut collection at that! But the truth is, I read Greener Pastures while on Thanksgiving vacation in San Francisco last year, and by the time I got home I was jet lagged and overly full from too much holiday food. The holidays are a busy time of year, and this review slipped through the cracks. That's why I'm making a point to write it now, long past when I shoul ...more
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This year I’ve been lucky enough to come across several noteworthy short story collections. Greener Pastures is one of those. Comprised of eleven quiet tales that take on the genre “weird horror,” these stories seep into the skin and take root in the marrow.

This is not a collection which yields its fruits easily. One must work for it. I found myself skimming a bit last night as I grew tired and I realized things were going over my head. I had to reread a few passages. That wasn’t the book’s fau
Adam Nevill
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Literary horror that reminded of what I enjoy about the writing of regional American writers like Daniel Woodrell and William Gay, or in Brian Evenson's horror stories. Sensitive and sensory writing with some terrific descriptions, and simple but poignant insights. Always surprising and never predictable. One of my favourite horror stories in recent times sits in this book too. I wanted it to be a novel. 'October Film Haunt: Under the House.'
T.E. Grau
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Straightaway, it should be noted that with his debut collection Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt positions himself among an elite group of contemporary Horror/Weird Fiction writers that are producing work that is vital to the continuation and expansion of the field, moving it into the true realm of the literary where it has sometimes resided and always belonged when done properly.

And this is work properly done.

There is a ripeness to these tales, a lushness and a perfume, even in the face of grit
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, favorites
When I was a kid, I fell is love with A Wrinkle in Time. I read it over and over and over. I loved it so much, that it inspired me to try and write a book myself (I think I was 9 years old). I called it Away We Go, wrote an amazing first chapter, and then realized that it was essentially a variation of the first chapter of A Wrinkle in Time.

So I stopped. No big loss to the literary world.

Over the years, a handful of authors have affected me in the same way; they've been so incredibly good that
T.E. Grau
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Straightaway, it should be noted that with his debut collection Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt positions himself among an elite group of contemporary Horror/Weird Fiction writers that are producing work that is vital to the continuation and expansion of the field, moving it into the true realm of the literary where it has sometimes resided and always belonged when done properly.

And this is work properly done.

There is a ripeness to these tales, a lushness and a perfume, even in the face of grit
Philip Fracassi
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, modern-lit
Reading GREENER PASTURES is much like listening to a dark and full-bodied symphony, the swelling chords rising and dipping like waves, like currents of air, drifting like cloud patterns and then striking down like hard lightning filled with demonic laughter, before inexplicably soaring heavenly once again. Perhaps the word is operatic, but symphonic sounds more correct because it's closer to poetry, and while these stories are bursting with passages of genius prose they don't hide behind it, the ...more
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm trying to be sparing with 5-star reviews, but, well, 'Greener Pastures' deserves it. This collection does not have one off note. I devoured every story, which must make me some kind of masochist because they hurt. Some of them hurt a little, some hurt a lot. Often heartbreaking, occasionally infuriating - if you can get through 'The Devil Under the Maison Blue' without at least one surge of unwelcome but undeniable bloodlust then you are a better person than I.

Stories such as 'Beside Me Sing
Shane Keene
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*** The following is an excerpt from my review on This Is Horror ***

When we think of weird horror fiction there are several names definitive of the subgenre that we tend to think of. Names like Robert W. Chambers, H. P. Lovecraft, and Clarke Ashton Smith come to mind, as does Arthur Machen to some degree. But this is a new generation and there is a group of contemporary authors who are taking the weird in new, previously uncharted, directions. Authors such as Kelly Link, Brian Evenson, Nathan Ba
Arka Chakraborty
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wehunt is very creative and highly imaginative
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Beside Me Singing in the Wilderness ★★★★
Unique vampire story. It reminded me a little of the origin in Byzantium. It should be expanded into a novella.

Onanon ★★★
Weird and inexplicable.

Greener Pastures ★★
Reads like a lesser Twilight Zone story.

A Discreet Music ★★
Oh Kee Doe Kee. It's an LGTB weird and inexplicable story.

The Devil Under the Madison Blue ★★★
Sad incest tale about doing what you have too.

October Film Haunt: Under the House
That was SO BORING. I can't even be mad about the dogs bec
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With stories in publications like The Dark, Nightscript, and Shock Totem, Michael Wehunt has been making a name for himself and his own brand of dark, weird fiction. I hadn’t read anything of his before this, but if Greener Pastures is any indication, readers have some fantastic stories to look forward to. It’s a highly impressive debut collection; chock-full of imaginative plots, flesh and blood characters, and universal themes, all delivered through prose so lyrical it practically sings.

Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had such a huge impact on me that it took me almost a month to pull myself together enough to write a review here. While aware of all the praise that Greener Pastures got by lots of top reviewers and some of the best authors of horror and weird fiction, I went into it thinking of it as an "in-between" reading while waiting for the release of some much anticipated novels out this Summer. However, this book has exceeded by far any expectations I had and I must say, it provided for a rich ...more
Benoit Lelièvre
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wehunt admits it himself in the afterword of the collection: these are some of his greatest hits published in online magazines and literary journals. So prepare to skip from theme to theme, setting to setting and subgenre to subgenre. Now that this detail is out of the way, there's a lot to like about Michael Wehun't writing. There's an identity to it. Recurring obsessions with nature, loneliness and death-as-an-inevitable-tragedy. There ARE some cosmic horror narratives in there including the t ...more
Rebecca Lloyd
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Michael Wehunt's writing in Greener pastures is beautiful. His stories are both delicate and powerful, simple yet strangely complex. There's some kind of magic at play in his words and I feel quite haunted by these stories. I hope there are many more stories to follow this excellent collection.
Seregil of Rhiminee
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Ah, what a pleasure it was to read Michael Wehunt's Greener Pastures! When I began to read this collection I was already familiar with some of the author's stories and knew how well he writes dark stories and weird fiction, but I was truly amazed by its dark and chilling beauty.

Greener Pastures is a gem among other weird fiction collections, because the author paints a unique landscape of captivating weirdness that fascinates and terrifies readers in equal me
Tracy Robinson
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy 5 ⭐️, Batman, this collection is superb! While I had some definite “wow” favorites, I enjoyed all of the stories. All of them. Some absolute favorites include:

Beside Me Singing in the Wilderness
Greener Pastures
October Film Haunt: Under the House
Deducted From Your Share in Paradise

Well, I guess that’s quite a few, but I can’t narrow it down. I will say that I’ve continued to think about Greener Pastures and Deducted for days after reading them. I now need anything else Wehunt
The Grim Reader
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There has been quite the buzz surrounding Michael Wehunt's debut collection of dark, weird fiction. Blurbs from some of the best in the genre have been waxing lyrical about his literary prose, unnerving themes and originality. But, what did I think?

'Greener Pastures' is one of the best collections of dark fiction I have read in the last few years. From the very first page, Wehunt draws you in and takes you on a lyrical journey through the darkest parts of your imagination. What really astounded
Michael Adams
Michael Wehunt's Greener Pastures is an exquisite collection. The stories capture melancholy, loneliness, grief, regret, and those twin horrors; that the world is not what it once seemed, and that the world is actually as bad as we always quietly feared it would be. There is a highly visual, almost cinematic quality to the prose too; and as I have said before this collection features my new favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone (Greener Pastures) and The Outer Limits (Dancers), as well as a gen ...more
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Michael Wehunt's Greener Pastures is nothing short of a triumph. From start to finish, he spins an airy web of disquiet, of characters and moments filled with the unsettling, the heartbreaking. Because at the heart of his stories are people mired in loss. The loss of a loved one, a child, an ex-lover.

My favorite stories waver between "Onanon" and "A Thousand Hundred Years." In the second story, I appreciated the very subtle line he maintained. There's no obvious true menace there. Just that vast
Timothy Jarvis
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Michael Wehunt writes weird fiction, but, to me, these tales are more reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor, Shirley Jackson, and Cormac McCarthy, than they are of H.P. Lovecraft or Robert E. Howard. Their weirdness comes as much from their structures as any supernatural element; they're strangely and brilliantly plotted. Which is not to say there isn't dread here, some of these stories are terrifying, but it's as much the terror of the cruelty and bewilderment that lies at the heart of ordinary life ...more
Jon Ureña
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, horror
Polished prose that surprises, stories that are original and brave. I didn't want to edit most of the text, which is more than I can say about the majority of novels I read. I loved in particular the one about the women falling from the sky. Not much else I can say about the stories without ruining the discovery.

The only issue is one I've had with other surreal stories. Some of the characters, who aren't psychotic, are too accepting of insane situations. I'd rather have them freaking out. Probab
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible​ ​writing​ ​chops​ ​for​ ​a​ ​debut.​ ​Beautiful​ ​prose​ ​that​ ​is​ ​never​ ​excessive.​ ​Rich​ ​with symbolism, these​ ​stories​ ​hit​ ​hard,​ ​building​ ​in​ ​a​ ​profound​ ​way.​ ​Greener​ ​Pastures​ ​is​ ​worth​y of the buzz​ ​and​ ​5​ ​star​ ​reviews.​ ​My​ ​meager​ ​words​ ​do​ ​not​ ​do​ ​it​ ​justice.​ ​Drink​ ​this​ ​in​ ​through​ ​your eyeballs,​ ​you​ ​won’t​ ​be​ ​disappointed.
Melissa Chung
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I always have a hard time with short story collections. This might sound familiar since I did read a short story collection recently. I have to say though, this particular collection of short stories had more stories in it that I liked than I didn't. That is saying something. Normally it's a 40-60% split. This time around I'm giving it a 60-40% split. Which is fair going. 4 stars for beautiful writing and unique story lines.

Normally in short story collections I review my favorite stories of the
Thomas Joyce
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not all horror is supernatural

Not all horror is supernatural, as evidenced in the work of Michael Wehunt. Sure, some of the stories in this collection have a hint of the supernatural (my personal favourites are probably "The Devil Under the Maison Blue" and "Greener Pastures"). But others are equally harrowing, such as "A Thousand Hundred Years" and "Bookends", and they are primarily about loss (okay, there is something weird happening in "A Thousand Hundred Years", but it is mostly about loss).
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Literary Horror: Greener Pastures 30 64 Sep 11, 2017 01:05AM  
Short Fiction: Michael Wehunt 1 9 Mar 28, 2017 12:39PM  
Bloody Good Horror: February '17 - Greener Pastures Reading Schedule 12 51 Mar 11, 2017 09:26AM  
Horror Aficionados : Greener Pastures 14 44 Jul 09, 2016 09:01PM  

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Michael Wehunt grew up in North Georgia, close enough to the Appalachians to feel them but not quite easily see them. There were woods, and woodsmoke, and warmth. He did not make it far when he left, falling sixty miles south to the lost city of Atlanta, where he lives today, with fewer woods but still many trees. He writes. He reads. Robert Aickman fidgets next to Flannery O’Connor on his favorit ...more

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