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Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 1

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Excerpt from the Introduction:

Editors Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax put the call out to horror writers and editors of extreme stories, the hardcore stuff that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos, the transgressive tales you can't "unread" (as Chuck Palahniuk says). We staked out our territory and nailed this to the wall to guide us:

YEAR'S BEST HARDEST HORROR
Not
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Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published May 29th 2016 by Comet Press (first published 2016)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Char
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Hardcore Style Horror
4.5 stars!

Normally, I'm more of an atmospheric horror gal than a gore lover, however, I do believe there's room for both in the horror genre of today. I picked up this volume when it first came out, but it was the offer of the free audio, (in exchange for my honest review), that made it possible for me to read it now rather than some time in 2017. This was my first book narrated by Joe Hempel and I think he did a fine job, especially considering the often shocking subject matter.

There were a fe
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Janie C.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am not a fast reader, and for once I am glad, because I enjoyed the hell out of this book. I was able to savor it and take in each story at my own pace. I am no stranger to hardcore horror. I've read extreme narratives alongside the more subtle novels that allow your mind to do the dirty work. I enjoy both styles, especially if the extreme novels are well written and imaginative.

This collection of 19 short horror stories fit the bill for me. I was not once disappointed. I recognized many of th
...more
Kimberly
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: extreme horror fans
4.5 stars!

I was amazed at the quality and versatility of the stories in the YEAR'S BEST HARDCORE HORROR Volume 1. Editors Randy Chandler, and Cheryl Mullenax compiled 19 tales with varying degrees of gore, mutilation, torture, violence, and sexual torment--bringing them together into one book for the fans of extreme, hardcore horror.

After I had read and rated each story, I was surprised to note that I had given a 5-star rating to seven of them, and a 4.5-star to an additional four! As in any col
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Bill
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this anthology from an author friend of mine and I am super glad he thought of me. Thanks to “you know who you are!” And yes, he did have a story in here, and yes, it was awesome, and no, I’m not telling you who it was. Ha! It really doesn’t matter anyway, because all of the stories in here were at a minimum pretty good to quite excellent. (Of course, your mileage may vary.)

Whenever I start an anthology I am always hit with a sense of anticipation and fear. Anticipation tha
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Andi Rawson
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

A horror collection from some of the leading horror authors in the genre? Yes, please. I have to say that you had me at "Adam Howe," and when I saw some of my other favorite authors in the lineup, I thought that Christmas came early this year.

That said, it's an anthology. I didn't love every story in here, but the stories I loved, I loved hard. My absolute favorites were (in this order): "Reborn" by The Behrg, "Cleanup on Aisle 3" by Adam Howe, "Awakening" by Jeff Strand, "Eleanor" by
...more
Malum
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, horror
Anthologies are really hard to make great. With different authors, all with different styles and ability, it is nearly impossible to make the entire thing a solid, great work. This book is no exception to that rule.

This book also suffers from its gimmick, because many of the writers in this collection sacrifice plot for shock factor. What's worse, there were few stories here that were actually shocking (to be fair, though, I have a VERY high tolerance to gore and "shock value" in fiction).

Perh
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Michael Hicks
This one's a decent enough anthology, but not one that rocked my socks off. There's some good stories in here, but the volume, taken as a whole, left me a bit cold. The ones that I enjoyed, I really f'ing enjoyed, though!

Jeff Strand delivers a great and darkly humorous serial killer story, but it's The Behrg's "Reborn" that stood out the most for me. Violent and wonderfully gruesome, this story tells you why churches no longer accept babies left at their doorstops. Other stand-outs include Adam
...more
Daniela
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
SO. GOOD.
Seriously, it starts off slightly weird then it escalates until it truly is hardcore; not necessarily because of the gore, but mostly because of the characters and the situations and emotions described. There is not a single bad story here; you will enjoy some more than others, obviously, but you won't dislike any story. You just cannot, they're way too good and the writing is unexpectedly good. This was an amazing surprise and I enjoyed every page of this anthology. I'll be checking on
...more
Kate
4.5*

I listened to the audio of this book and thought that Joe Hempel was a fantastic narrator. I did find a few editing mistakes and not all the stories were for me, for that I knocked off half a star. On the whole this was a very good collection.

The stories in order were:

"Worth the having" by Michael Paul Gonzalez - A somewhat stomach churning look at what happens when you get everything you wish for and the price you have to pay. This one had me cringing at the details in some parts, a great s
...more
David Dubrow
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Taking the title of Comet Press’s anthology Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume 1 at face value rather than a product of the editors’ preferences is a disquieting proposition, but we’ll go with it. There’s a great deal to be learned about the horror genre as it stands today from this collection, some of it good, some of it dismaying.

The three stories written by women all involve female protagonists making male characters helpless and doing unspeakable things to them. Lilith Morgan’s What You Wish
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Petra
My original Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 1 audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.
I thought this collection of 19 horror stories would be suitable listening for Halloween week and it did indeed end up to be very captivating and entertaining. I don’t actually listen to/read a lot of horror and don’t very often pick short stories, so this was quite a change for me. Perhaps because of that, I was only familiar with one of the authors, The Behrg. But since finishin
...more
Nathan Robinson
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthology, horror, crime
Okay, there a few stories in this that made me think WTF. So I knew what I was getting into with a title that includes Hardcore and Horror. There are definitely some “out there” stories in this, but the mix is good. It’s not all dead babies and pints of fecal matter. So I’ve dived in and picked the highlights.

“Worth The Having” by Michael Paul Gonzalez is a fantastic opener to this collection. It’s old school, be careful what you wish for, spooky horror, with a little bit of blood to lubricate t
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Kim BookJunkie ~ Editor & Proofreader
STORIES: 3 stars
PERFORMANCE: 5 stars
OVERALL: 4 stars

*WHY I GAVE THE STORIES IN THIS ANTHOLOGY 3 STARS*
The majority of the stories in this anthology were exceptionally well written. Most contained eloquence and graphic detail that led to a sense of believability despite how unrealistic the paranormal entity and it's bizarre behaviors were. For totally fantastical tales of things that can and will never happen in real life to be written so well that they were somewhat believable says a lot about
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The Grim Reader
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Comet Press’ anthology of hardcore horror features some of today’s brightest (or should that be darkest?) stars currently operating within the genre. I have read a great deal of work by many of the authors featured here and although there are a few gems, sadly there are some duds too. The title is a little misleading in that quite a few of the stories weren’t in fact very hardcore at all. That’s not to say they weren’t good stories, but the suggestion is that these tales would turn the stomach a ...more
Shane
Aug 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
Every single thing about this book is embarrassing.

The amateurish stories, the attempts at being "edge" that come across trite and awkward, and especially the fact that stories that lack any depth other than sexual violence against women make them "cutting edge." This is one of the most poorly put together volumes I have ever read, and compared to all the other more "conventional" 'best of' collections for horror, the stories in this feel like cliched retreads of tired horror themes from a crowd
...more
Scott
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't write spoilers, but this book is well worth the read but not for weak stomachs. :)
Justin
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: free-to-review
A solid collection of stories. i enjoyed every one but they're where a couple that I loved enough to add the authors to my tbr. I wouldn't really call most of these hardcore horror though, a few where comedic (Jeff strands being the best one) a few where certainly hardcore as far as shock value but they just weren't what I would consider horror, just violence that isn't written in a scary or ominous way at all and mostly told from the point of the killer, or some brutal tourture/rapes There is t ...more
Daniel
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
If you pick up a collection boldly entitled „Year‘s Best Hardcore Horror“ I guess it is a reasonable expectation, that the stories contained within go one step further than the usual stuff found in other anthologies of the genre.

I am not necessarily talking about further in terms of over the top violence and gore ala Edward Lee and his likes but also in terms of psychological boundaries being pushed or conventions broken. Unfortunately two thirds of the stories in this anthology do nothing to se
...more
William M.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
While I was expecting and hoping for more "hardcore" entries, this was a solid and overall satisfying anthology. When I review horror short stories, I look at originality, character development, story, atmosphere, how scary it was, and whether the word count merited the impact. In general, a five page story that can achieve the same effect as a thirty page story is a superior tale. The true highlights in this volume were "Worth The Having" by Michael Paul Gonzalez, "Reborn" by The Behrg, "Eleano ...more
Peter
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Gross, Disgusting, Sick --- but Cool !

This review is from: Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 1 (Audible Audio Edition)

As anthologies go for hardcore horror, this is one of the better ones. Because of the intense subject matter, it's best if digested in small, bite-size (body) parts! Are all the stories killers? No, but the ratio of "OMG!" reactions to "meh" or "yawn" is very high. If you don't like taboo-breaking defilement of bodies (not dead, near-dead, or dead) and graphic, in-your-face des
...more
Annie
Jul 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
While some of these stories did entertain me, I found myself indifferent or tired with most.
A lot of these added sex in the mix with gore/horror, and of course rape, sexism, ableist were part of the deal... so be warned. Anyway, I wouldn´t recommend this anthology. I think a good anthology should be more diverse because I could just sort them in two groups: those that happened in the dessert and those in the woods (with the sole exception of the one that was settled in Puerto Rico)... also most
...more
Michael
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: splatterpunk, e-books
When it comes to hardcore horror or splatterpunk there are two distinct types. The first goes straight for the gross out without any thought to plot, and the second layers the gore into the story sort of like a literary cake. A lot of anthologies like this either lean too far to one side and favor the gore while sacrificing the plot which tends to alienate readers. Hardcore isn't just another anthology it's boastful and wants to be different. It wants people to feel comfortable in the fact that ...more
Andre
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

This is great collection of hardcore horror stories. There's something to satisfy pretty much anyone who loves horror. Here were my personal favourites:
"Where The Sun Don't Shine" by Pete Kahle was a really good creature feature.
"Awakening" by Jeff Strand. I love pretty much everything Jeff Strand writes.
"Dead End" by Kristopher Triana. A nice unexpected t
...more
♥ Marlene♥
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Damn. This happens when I do not review the books i've read immediately.Now I do not even remember if I liked it. (A little more than a week ago.My memory is getting so bad)

Okay Let me look at my kindle and scroll through the chapters.

I liked Worth The Having by Michael Paul Gonzales. Scary and disgusting and in this case that was a good combo. :)

Awakening by Jeff Strand Is just not for me. I want to be sacred or at least a little bit anxious but this was a dark humour story and I am known fo
...more
Hannah Stoutenburg
Nov 19, 2018 marked it as put-aside
Shelves: audiobooks
Putting a list here as a reminder for myself. Hate when there's anthologies with a few stories I like but I can never remember which ones or if the physical book is worth adding to the collection for their sake.

Not a fan of the narrator. He has one inflection.

1. Worth the Having/Havoc (audiobook, can't tell): Bored, skipped.
2. Awakening: I think that was a comedy? It was almost insultingly bad. Would have skipped but it was polite enough to only be about 9 minutes long so that's nice.
3. Readings
...more
Amy
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
The title of this anthology should have been Year's Best Gore for Gore's Sake Volume 1. I love horror and dark fiction. But, with the exception of three of the stories (which were actually decent and had a story and rationale behind the violence, and they are why I gave this book 2 stars instead of 1, as on their own they would have been a solid 3.5 stars), it seemed the only motivation was to out-gross the other authors. I mean, really, I can handle the violence and gore when it serves as a veh ...more
Carrie
Sep 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Sadly, I did not care for this book. The stories were not scary or even creepy, really. I love scary. The scarier, the better, but these were just weird. To be honest, I kind of checked out at the dead baby story. The one thing I thought was good was the humor in the stories. I think it was too much of a weird mix though. It either should have gone down a dark comedy path or left the humor out.

Joe Hempel is wonderful and did well with the material he had.

This audiobook was provided by the autho
...more
Kristen Rooney
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”

I loved this collection. "What You Wish For" by Lilith Morgan was my favorite.
Douglas Ogurek
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read many extreme horror short story collections. This one is among the best. The majority of its works are entertaining and several are exceptional. My two favorites (and perhaps the most extreme) are "Bath Salt Fetus" by Jorge Palacios and "Bored with Brutality" by MP Johnson. The former follows a woman whose pregnancy results in something unexpected. Johnson's piece has to do with an individual who transitions from a complete maniac to a respectable family man . . . if only it weren't fo ...more
Shannon Lawrence
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a solid collection of horror stories. A couple made me wince and horrified me, and that's rare these days. There were only two I struggled to get through, not due to being horrific in subject, but because I did not enjoy the writing, but that's inevitable in any collection. It should be clear without a disclaimer that this is hardcore horror, so don't read if you will be offended at harm to children or animals, or crimes on women, etc.
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