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Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  160 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
***Winner of the 2017 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology***

Crystal Lake Publishing and Bram Stoker Award-winning editor Doug Murano, are proud to present BEHOLD! ODDITIES, CURIOSITIES AND UNDEFINABLE WONDERS.

Embrace the odd. Satisfy your curiosity. Surrender to wonder. Witness as the finest talents of our time bring you tales of the strangeness at t
...more
Published July 28th 2017 by Crystal Lake Publishing
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Bark
I took one look at the cover and decided I had to read this. I wrongly assumed it was about the carny life and ever since reading Geek Love I’ve been drawn to those types of books. These stories aren’t about sideshow freaks and pop-up carnivals but they’re mostly pretty good despite that.

The book is broken up into three sections. Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders. I enjoyed more of the stories in the first two categories and started to feel a little fatigued by the end. This is ty
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Renee Young Decamillis
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A photographer whose pictures can transport you in time, an objectified woman who can control your matter with her mind, a garden gnome that commits horrific acts if kept indoors, a garden that will sprout what you’d never expect . . . These are only tidbits of the magic that awaits in Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders from Crystal Lake Publishing, edited by Doug Murano. This is a collection that will keep you up all night—reading to the end. If you dare close your eyes and ...more
The Grim Reader (Beavisthebookhead.com)
Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Unidefinable Wonders is Crystal Lake Publishing’s BIG anthology for 2017. It features an all-star cast of writers from all over the world, including Neil Gaiman, Bentley Little, Lisa Morton, and Clive Barker to name a few. Last year saw Crystal Lake and editor Doug Murano compile Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories; an incredibly well-balanced, thoughtful collection that featured some breathtaking tales. I had high hopes for this anthology due to the familiar cast ...more
July Is The Shadow Out of Time The Haunted Reading Room
Release July 28

Review: BEHOLD: ODDITIES, CURIOSITIES, AND UNDEFINABLE WONDERS (edited by Doug Murano)

Crystal Lake Publishing is an infallible go-to for exceptional "Dark Literature," and in BEHOLD, champion editor Doug Myrano curates an incredible line-up of outstanding authors who bring readers unforgettable stories. So powerful is the content offered herein that this reviewer highly recommends savouring one story per serving, as surely you will wish to fully revel in each entry, while it absor
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Todd
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was provided a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I’m going to be honest: I rarely finish reading anthologies. Sometimes, the work just doesn’t resonate with me; other times, I simply don’t have enough time to read through it before the Next Big Thing on my reading list is released. So, when I accepted an ARC of Behold! Oddities, Curiosities, and Undefinable Wonders, I did so with the explanation that I’d try to have a review ready for launch day, but would make no promises.

But then
...more
Laura Thomas
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The moment I got my greedy little hands on this book I was giddy with glee. I love the strange, unusual and creepy and this had it all.

The story has three parts, Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders. Not wanting to risk spoilers, I’d say that sums it up nicely. Creepy gardens, gnomes, clowns, mysterious whatevers and more all await your curiosity.

There is just too much awesomeness in this collection to single out any favorites. Some of these talented authors are old friends and some are
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Dave-Brendon Burgh
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First shout-out has to go to Josh Malerman for an incredible foreword – it’s not often that a foreword truly captures the essence of what the reader is going to be reading, but Josh did an incredible job; so much so that you’ll probably find yourself re-reading the foreword, as I did. And if you’ve yet to read Josh’s work, the foreword alone will make sure you do; the man has an enticing, evocative and lyrically rhythmic turn of phrase which seems perfectly suited to Horror. (and yes, I too have ...more
Melora
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I expect short story collections to be “uneven,” but this was particularly the case with “Behold.” By which I mean, there were a couple excellent stories, several that were fine, and a lot of “meh.” My favorites were “A Ware That Will Not Keep,” by John Taff, and “Knitter,” by Christopher Coake. “LaRue's Dime Museum,” by Lisa Morton, is odd but interesting, and Neil Gaiman's “Chivalry” is cute, though it felt familiar (perhaps I've read it before?). “The Baker of Millepoix,” by Hal Bodner, is sw ...more
Chad
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I think this is a cool concept for an anthology and for the most part, the stories assembled here are entertaining. Crystal Lake has a well deserved reputation for the quality of work which they put out and this is no exception.

The cover art for this book is beautifully done although it did create an expectation in my head that caused some of the stories to fall outside what I thought the theme was. I was kind of looking forward to stories centered around freak shows and carnivals and old-time
...more
Noelle Kelly
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a colourful kaleidoscope of weird, wacky and bizarre stories and poems.

Best read lying in an empty grassy field on a splendid sunny day or in a giant tent, while sipping on something magical.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of this book for months and I’m delighted to have received a launch day copy to review! Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders is an anthology from Crystal Lake Publishing, edited by Doug Murano and featuring a vast array of authors, including Ne
...more
James Sabata
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely judge this book by its cover. It’s human nature to do so, no matter what we say to the contrary. Just as it’s human nature to want to see the freak show. This cover is a big top, drawing us in. Gorgeous. Intriguing. Inviting. The Fancy Pants announcer, standing outside the tent, demands our attention, “BEHOLD!” he says, “Oddities, Curiosities, and Undefinable Wonders!” So we enter, punching a ticket to pull back the curtain. Escaping one world of freaks to enter another.

But what this
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Kelly Rickard
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great collection of stories featuring work from Clive Barker, John Langan, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Brian Kirk, Hal Bodner, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Erinn Kemper, John F.D. Taff, Patrick Freivald, Lucy Snyder, Brian Hodge, Kristi DeMeester, Christopher Coake, Sarah Read, and Richard Thomas. With a foreword by Josh Malerman.

'Slide into the spaces between the ordinary. Embrace the odd. Indulge your curiosity. Surrender to wonder. Witness as the finest talents of our time bring yo
...more
R.B. Wood
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Step right up, if you dare…

I was provided an Advanced Release Copy (ARC) in return for an unbiased review.

I have a secret obsession with dark, disturbing, weird, and well-written anthologies. Crystal Lake Publishing has come out with a few of my favorites over the past few years, and BEHOLD! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonder is the latest favorite, following on from last year’s Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and their annual Tales from the Lake collections.

The Short Review:

Buy it.
...more
Darrell
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A solid collection full of excellent stories. Behold! Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders edited by Doug Murano includes both original stories and reprints (although if you haven't read them yet, they're new to you). Some of the stories are straight up horror, others are horror-comedy, and still others are straight up comedy. There are also a couple poems, a couple fairy tales, and even a couple stories that I'd classify as literary.

"Larue's Dime Museum" by Lisa Morton is a horror st
...more
Stephanie
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This collection was received free in return for an honest review from Crystal Lake Publishing.

The new weird has arrived. A collection of the strange and the freakish, the dark and the fantastical. Divided into Oddities, Curiosities and Wonders, this is a literary cabinet of alternative delights.

Oddities starts off with the freaks of LaRue’s Dime Museum, a frozen image of a past thought dead and buried. But is it? Wildflower, Cactus, Rose ponders the eternal question of the nature of beauty and
...more
Michael J.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthology, horror
There is plenty to like here. BEHOLD! is a premium collection of stories, many deserving of multiple readings for full appreciation. This is a collection worthy of a permanent place on the bookshelf as well as a book that should be shared and recommended to all fans of quality horror story-telling.

As an avid reader of horror, I always approach new anthologies with curiosity and expectations. I begin by searching the back cover description for the theme, and then review the list of contributing
...more
GaborH.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best anthology of the year

"BEHOLD! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders" is the latest anthology from Crystal Lake Publishing and it's the best dark fiction short story collection in 2017 so far. Among other great writers you will find here England's very best: Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman. The editor was Doug Murano and he did such a fantastic work with this volume.
As the title suggests the stories are categorized into three groups: oddities, curiosities and undefin
...more
Darrell Grizzle
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Behold! is an anthology of 16 stories and 2 poems, divided into three sets, as indicated by the subtitle of the book: Oddities, Curiosities, and Undefinable Wonders. This is an eclectic collection of stories, ranging from the whimsical (“Chivalry” by Neil Gaiman) to the poignant (“Larue’s Dime Museum” by Lisa Morton; “The Baker of Millepoix” by Hal Bodner) to outright horror (“Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament” by Clive Barker). Part of the joy of reading anthologies like this one is discov ...more
A.E.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Behold marks yet another stellar anthology of horror fiction from Crystal Lake Publishing. Editor Doug Murano has assembled an intricately quilted patchwork that collects a unique combination of well-written stories that continue the theme of beautiful horror established by his previous anthology, Gutted, itself a stunning masterpiece. As with any anthology, some stories will resonate more with certain readers, and everyone will have a different list of favourites, but the pages of Behold contai ...more
Maegan Heil
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders is beautifully bizarre. Reading this book was like finding a magical portal that transported me to places my mind didn’t know it could imagine but needed to find.

Each story stretches you in a different direction, taking you stop-by-stop on a tour of the unusual, and giving you ample time to marvel. A journey so thoroughly vivid, you’ll feel like you belong, and only wish you could stay a little longer.

Five stars for fantastic fiction.

I was
...more
Ann Keeran
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A serious collection of short stories written by some of the finest authors of our generation. Some in this wondrous collection will keep you awake all night, some will have you saying, "what if?" Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders will leave you saying, "awesome".
Debbi Smith
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best anthologies I have read this year, and the best I have read from Crystal Lake. A horde if awesome authors and wondrous stories to totally lose yourself in. I loved having a book with such notables as Neil Gaiman,Clive Barker( my favorites) and so many others in one book.

I received a copy to this from the publisher and chose to review it.
Yvonne Davies
One thing that Crystal Lake Publishing can do well is put together some amazing anthologies and this is another example of their work. This anthology has a mixture of stories and poems that will play with your imagination. Old photos, ash monsters, gnomes and even the Holy Grail all play their part in the stories. For this review; I will pick a few that I enjoyed.
The Baker of Millepoix by Hal Bodner: To get over the death of his husband, Henri decides to move to Millepoix. To help occupy his mi
...more
Doreena
Aug 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not a fan of this one. I'm in the minority again. I just expected so much more from this book. It wasn't at all what I expected.All of the stories just seemed to be missing something and then they ended abruptly. This was one that I had high hopes for and it just kind of let me down a bit.
The Behrg
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
Fantastic anthology, full review to come ...
Aisha-Kimberly Starrdette Hashmi
Hurry, hurry, hurry, step right up, this big top book is ready for your viewing pleasure. Behind door number one, be prepared to view some photographs that just may take you we here you don't want to go... then continue through the tent to a woman who controls things in an unusual way, a garden that grows some things you don't expect, and much more. All this for a low, low price... hurry, hurry, hurry, step right up....
Chad
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is Crystal Lake Publishing’s second anthology with Doug Murano acting as editor—the first being Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories. It’s also their second anthology that brought in some very big names, which no doubt aided in healthy sales, securing a nice spot at the top of Amazon’s anthology charts. The ironic thing is, those big names (Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, and Ramsey Campbell) brought the weakest stories to an otherwise very solid collection.

I like that.

Don’t get me wrong, the vetera
...more
Cyrene Olson
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uncaged Book Reviews

This is a vast mixture of odd stories if you are of a curious nature. Some are unknown authors to me in this book, as well as a few known to me, for example Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker. A story that was my fave is an old women visits a charity shop and in the middle of buying some books she spots an ornament that she thinks will look good on her mantelpiece. What she doesn’t know is what she took home was the holy grail. I think all sorts of people will enjoy this book I hig
...more
Brandon Petry
Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders from Crystal Lake Publishing blew my socks off. It’s a wonderful and varied anthology that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Edited by Doug Murano, I had high hopes after last years excellent Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories anthology, and I was not disappointed. This is the type of anthology I want to read. For me, horror anthologies sometimes feel penned in by their theme or affiliation. I mean I enjoy Lovecraft and am always willing to check o ...more
David Watson
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We’re all fascinated by things that are strange, odd and just plain different. Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders edited by Doug Murano is an anthology that embraces weirdness. When you start reading this book you know to expect the unexpected from the first story. In Larue’s Dime Museum by Lisa Morton. The story follows a woman who is obsessed with the past and finds two photos that transport her back in time. I loved how this story opens leading you to believe it’s about a c ...more
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“The world is a mirror,” he said. “What we see is a reflection of who we are.” 1 likes
“Marriage changes things; it’s like a mutation. Sometimes your relationship gets superpowers, but sometimes it goes malignant.” 1 likes
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