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Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  785 ratings  ·  114 reviews
From Bram Stoker Award-nominated publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, and the editing duo who brought you the best-selling and critically acclaimed small-town Lovecraftian horror anthology Shadows Over Main Street, comes Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories—a disturbing journey into the beauty that rests inside the very heart of darkness.

Awe meets ache.

Terror becomes transcen
Paperback, 380 pages
Published June 24th 2016 by Crystal Lake Publishing (first published 2016)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  785 ratings  ·  114 reviews

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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This anthology has everything going for it. The editors, Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward are favorites of mine in the industry. Crystal Lake Publishing has become a clear front runner in independent horror fiction. They publish a huge volume of books I want to own from authors who are either on my radar or on my list of insta-buys.
I love that the "theme" is Tragically, beautiful horror stories--basically ambiguous enough to cast a wide net but specific enough to appeal to readers like me who l
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is quite possibly one of the best horror anthologies I've ever read. The book has some big names contributing, but all of the stories are absolutely stellar. I also appreciate that there are a number of women who are included in this anthology, and I was excited to finally read a story from some folks that I hadn't read before. Most of the names are familiar, I just had yet to get around to reading everyone.

GUTTED: BEAUTIFUL HORROR STORIES is such a perfect title. All of these tales have a
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Already recognized as a successful indie publisher, with a Bram Stoker Award nomination and a slew of well-reviewed titles over the past few years, Crystal Lake has really stepped up their game with Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories. While there were a few entries I didn't care for, it was more a matter of personal taste/triggers than literary quality.

Doug Murano & D. Alexander Ward have pulled together an impressive mix of authors here, and that diversity is big part of what makes it such an int
Maxine Marsh

A very nice selection of stories, most of which are very well done with the usual couple of duds that didn't work for me. Another treat is the artwork that accompanies the first page of each story, it was very impressive.
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to be advanced a copy of this book prior to publication. And I mean fortunate. This book is destined to generate strong sales, firstly on the strength of the names involved (Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell), and then on the strength of the poem and stories included.
Stephanie M. Wytovich leads off with an effective piece of verse, which leads into what I think is the best story in the book: Brian Kirk's "Picking Splinters From a Sex Slave."
That story illustrates
Belinda Lewis
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think that this is the best multi-contributor horror anthology I have ever read (although yes, possibly the stories aren't all strictly speaking horror).

Generally I find anthologies have a couple of amazing stories, a bunch of good stories and a sprinkling of blah stories. This book is about 80% amazing and 20% really good.

The Problem with Susan, a dark reimagining of what happens to Susan after Narnia, is particularly both beautiful and horrifying.
Deborah Sheldon
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous collection of suspenseful, heartfelt and (occasionally) gut-wrenching stories. A couple of entries brought me to tears. Added bonuses are the wonderful artwork that accompanies each story, and the evocative cover. Recommended for lovers of not just horror, but well-written literature.
David Brian
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I scored each story individually and then added and divided to give an average rating of 3.56 rounded up to 4 stars.

Reading Gutted turned out to be a bit of a strange affair. Even though a majority of the stories in this collection are technically on point, the tone of most tends towards grim and dull rather than entertaining horror (beautiful or otherwise).

Stories of this nature aren't necessarily a problem in themselves, but it is fair to say that a collection where the majority of content fai
Angela Crawford
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this anthology.

Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories is fantastic! Most multi-author collections have some stories that I love and some that are just ok, but Gutted is filled with wonderful stories. The tales found here are touching and horrific, heartbreaking and full of hope. None of them are disappointing. A few of my favorites are:
The Problem of Susan by Neil Gaiman — A very dark twist on
Thomas Joyce
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful collection. Included are some of the best short stories I have ever read. Every story showcases each author's impressive ability to display both beauty and horror from so many angles. I loved more than a few of them, but I thoroughly enjoyed every single one. And it isn't often that I can say that about a multi-author collection.

Favourites include 'On The Other Side of the Door, Everything Changes' by Damien Angelica Walters and 'Cards For His Spokes, Coins For His Fare' by John
L.F. Falconer
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent collection of the dark kind! Highly recommended for the horror aficionado.
Heidi Ward
I'd love to write a really thorough review, but that's always difficult when it comes to an anthology. Overall, the stories were of high quality, though as is also the case with most anthologies not all of them were up my alley. I'll settle for highlighting a few stories that really worked for me.

1) Clive Barker's "Coming to Grief" may be the most gut-wrenching, yet eerily calm, portrayal of bereavement I've read. This story of a middle-aged woman coming to terms with her mother's death is profo
Bryan Nowak
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am a firm believer in the usefulness of horror. People who equate horror with gore completely miss the point. Horror can be gory, but it can be funny, intellectual, attractive, and it can communicate the depths of love that even a love story cannot truly reach. It is the depths of love where you’ll find the treasure that is, "Gutted".

"Gutted" is a horror anthology of many different authors and edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward. My personal favorite stories were “The Morning After was
Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: collections
Okay, that was beautiful.

I've recently taken to doing this thing with short story collections; after finishing a story that I really enjoyed, I'd go back to the table of contents and mark the story (in the case of Gutted, with a heart). I found myself enjoying this so much, that by the end of the book, I had marked every story. Every single one. What a beauty that was.

These stories are descriptive, emotionally resonant, character-focused.. Oftentimes they focus on, or are allegories to, real
The Hissing
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous fabulous book!

Stories that can make you cry, hurt, get under your skin, burrow deep inside and haunt you, bringing forth dark memories... Its all there
Eden Royce
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was excited to read this upcoming release from Crystal Lake Publishing, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories. I was also fortunate to get an advanced reading copy of the anthology. Crystal Lake is making quite a name for itself in the horror and dark fiction categories since their opening in 2012.

This year Crystal Lake walked away with two Bram Stoker Awards at Stoker Con in Las Vegas, one for Mercedes Murdock Yardley’s Little Dead Red and Alessandro Manzetti’s Eden Underground. One of the authors
James Sabata
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It’s one thing to expect a book to sell well when it features short stories by the likes of Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, and Ramsey Campbell. It is another when every story in the book is a solid look at horror with some sort of light still shining at the end of it. Such is the case with Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories. We’ve grown accustomed to horror that pulls us into the depths and leaves us there, but this compilation shows that even at the worst times, humans instinctively cling to any ray ...more
Nerine Dorman
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, edited by Doug Murano and D Alexander Ward, most certainly gave me a little of everything to enjoy, though there were a fair number that I felt weren't necessarily horror so much as simply dark fiction. The mood is apt to change – some tales are quite literary and magical, while others give more of that visceral gut punch one expects from a good horror tale. While I'm not going to go into exhaustive detail with every story, I will highlight those that stood out ...more
Sarah Beaudette
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: killer-horror
It lives up to its title. I enjoyed taking my time with these immersive, contemplative, creepy stories by some of the best horror authors of our time. Though you'll find a range of styles, voices, and subject matter, every story runs toward emotion. This is what I love about horror--it allows you to trace the full range of human experience, and while it's often dark, these stories are rarely either hopeless or maudlin. Every story plumbs the most painful, weird, and vital chambers of the heart, ...more
N.B. Williams
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror-macabre
To be honest, I'm only partly through this book, but I'm not sure I'm going to make it through the entire volume. Many of the stories seem focused on contrived language patterns rather than compelling storylines and, while some descriptive passages were genius, they were too few and far between to make me want to keep reading. I was especially disappointed in Clive Barker's story. In my opinion, he spent far too much time dwelling on inane details that had no real place or impact on the tale. He ...more
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of unique horror

These are not average horror stories. The collection deals with humanity's monsters and the ghosts that we carry in our heads, though many of them do have a supernatural aspect to them as well.
These stories won't be to everyone's liking, but I personally loved them. Some were good, some were great, but all them are well written and if not thought provoking, then at least entertaining.
I recommend this for those who enjoy experiencing what I call high horror, mental a
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This highly anticipated book is all that and more!! You can see my full review here... ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully creepy and perversely beautiful stories
Feb 10, 2019 marked it as to-read
Caught me at Gaiman :-D
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Out of 15 stories, maybe two caught my attention.
Brian Mcclain
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic anthology, highly recommended.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was unsettling, disturbing, the crawl into your bones creepy that you can't shake for a while. I can't say I liked it - but I can say the wiring was good, too good almost. This was not one to read in the middle of the night.
Mark Lukens
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really good collection of stories, but the story by Brian Kirk "Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave" really stuck in my mind ... the best of the bunch.
Darcia Helle
This is a fantastic collection of "beautiful horror stories". The beauty is literary, in phrasing and in the way the words paint a portrait. These are not the kind of stories that rely on graphic violence for shock, and there are no stereotypical characters. Instead, these are stories that wreck us psychologically, get under our skin and make us shudder.

Sometimes reviewing a collection of stories by various authors can be a challenge, as not every reader will like every author. I didn't have th
Molly Ison
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have yet to read any of the other reviews, but am amazed that this has a collective rating of over four stars. It simply wasn't a very good collection and I don't know what else to say about it. Almost none of the stories were "beautiful" (or had beautiful prose) and almost none of the stories were horrifying except a few in the Hallmark commercial turns tragic vein.
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