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The Murders of Molly Southbourne

(Molly Southbourne #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  4,784 ratings  ·  954 reviews
Every time she bleeds a murderer is born. Experience the horror of Tade Thompson's The Murders of Molly Southbourne.

The rule is simple: don't bleed.

For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she's been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way and intent on her destruction.

Molly knows every way to kill herself, but
Kindle Edition, 122 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Tor.com
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mj depends on your definition of inappropriate. it's a horror novel, so there's a lot of graphic violence. there is sex, though not graphically. some tor…moredepends on your definition of inappropriate. it's a horror novel, so there's a lot of graphic violence. there is sex, though not graphically. some torture. (less)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  4,784 ratings  ·  954 reviews

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Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
We all bleed, right?
Yes. Yes, we do.


So. This is an addictively creepy little short(ish) story about a girl named Molly Southbourne.
And it's weird as fuck. Like, the premise makes no sense and it shouldn't work, but it totally does.
Every time Molly bleeds a doppelganger intent on killing her rises up from a hole in the ground.
WTF? <--is what you're probably thinking.


But if you are even slightly intrigued by the idea that someone might spend their entire life killing themselves over and over agai
Jun 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
i finally found a 5 star "doppelgänger" book !!!!
this was wild
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, novella
I read this in two sittings. That might not sound impressive due to its shortness, but I hardly ever read books, however short, this quickly. But I could not put this down, I needed to keep reading, and I needed to see where Tade Thompson would take this story next. He takes an already brilliant premise and then manages to make the execution an allegory for growing up female in a way that I found surprising. He does not shy away from from the most disturbing parts of his premise (like: what happ ...more
my very first monthly horror box from pagehabit!!

and for the first time ever with seeecret subscription boxes, i already had the book inside, but now i get to give my old, unannotated copy to greg as a halloween prezzie! and i get to hog for myself all the author notes and the booklet of deleted scenes, and a short story by Carmen Maria Machado as well as a bloody shower curtain(!!!!!!) and a bookmark and a library card pillow case and a little plastic pumpkin keychain that does this

while making
Heidi The Reader
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror, fiction
The Murders of Molly Southbourne is a short story about a girl who is born with a horrifying condition. Whenever she bleeds, the blood changes into a homicidal version of herself that won't stop until it, or Molly, is dead.

"The rules are simple. If you see a girl who looks like you, run and fight. Don't bleed. If you bleed, blot, burn, and bleach. If you find a hole, find your parents. Molly recites the lines to herself many times." pg 24.

I'm not sure I understood what the author was going for w
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very nice genre-bender, parts SF, Fantasy, and Horror, all surrounding the multiple instances of Molly every time she bleeds. Each time rising from the ground or floor to become a complete copy of herself.

This isn't a humorous novella, however. Indeed, the creep-factor is turned up rather high. Every time a duplicate comes up, she's forced to murder herself.

It works well on several levels. The literal is bad enough, managing to reach over to normalcy while being very horrific, but when
3.5 stars
Possibly the weirdest book I’ve ever read but so enjoyable! Nothing made sense and yet everything did. I can’t explain it. You have to see for yourself!
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tor.com is killing it with their novella line. I loved this. So strange and well-written and well-conceived. I read it in one sitting (when I wasn't planning to). ...more
Jun 18, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2022
The Murders of Molly Southbourne is a quick, unique tale about a girl whose blood spawns evil doppelgangers. If I had to put it into a subgenre I would call it Philosophical horror. Is that a thing? Probably.

With each failure, each insult, each wound to the psyche, we are created anew.

I enjoyed the tone and atmosphere of this book, and I'll definitely pick up the second in the series.
Schizanthus Nerd
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
💉 Halloween Haemorrhage Book! 💉

Trigger Warning: self harm

Molly Southbourne's parents teach her four very important rules:
"If you see yourself, run.
Don't bleed.
Blot, burn, bleach.
Find a hole, find your parents.

Sorry, but that's about all you're getting from me about The Murders of Molly Southbourne. If I tell you any more than what you read in the book's blurb I'm going to spoil the story for you.

This novella is a quick read and I needed to keep reading to find out how it was all going to be res
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

I thought this was striking and scary as a novella, but it concluded feeling a bit incomplete. As much as I loved the entire middle section as a story of Molly and the other mollys, I felt like the framing device for the novella itself was a bit weak and it made the entire thing a bit unbalanced. But overall, if you’re looking for a super creepy, quick read, I would still recommend this one.

TW: self harm, cutting, suicidal thoughts, body horror

Thanks to Tor.com for sending along a copy of
daph pink ♡
Apr 07, 2022 rated it really liked it
Murders of Molly Southbourne is a novella about doppelgängers and blood. Yes, and it's extremely graphic and strange in the nicest possible way.

It's a vivid and strange novel about trauma, about having no choice but to be a threat to oneself, and about attempting to control something that's both very intimate and horribly unexplainable. Not to mention the writing style, which was engrossing and inventive, putting a fresh spin on classic tropes and themes. Because the book is only 80 pages l
Richard Derus
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindled-no-lend
A near-enough future novella that blends the horror inherent in a mutating, collapsing Earth and the human response to it with the species-level will to live no matter what.

I was utterly sucked into the narrative early on:
An example has aspects of a thing, but is that the thing itself? The mollys have aspects of Molly, but that doesn't make them Molly, does it?

I'm not going to tell you what mollys are because this is a very difficult concept to get across. I want the whole reading experience to
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
3.5 Stars
The concept behind this novella was incredibly imaginative. This story reads like a tragedy, examining the psychological effects of living with such an unusual medical ailment. While more weird than outright scary, there are still some visceral and disturbing scenes in this little book.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one despite the story being downright bizarre.

It's about a girl who has to avoid bleeding because if she does a duplicate of herself is created from the blood and is intent on killing her!

The strength of the main character Molly kept me interested and made this work so well.

It's short, brutal and absorbing.

Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read, novella
Gripping and creepy. I loved the writing style and the compact yet complete storytelling Thompson accomplished here. I'm definitely up to read more by him. ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novella
"The rules are simple. If you see a girl that looks like you, run and fight. Don't bleed. If you bleed, blot, burn, and bleach. If you find a hole, find your parents. "

Such an original concept I was disappointed the story ended so abruptly. I will definitely be reading more by this author.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Don’t bleed.

I really enjoyed this, and despite it only being a novella I found the story incredibly well written and unique in its concepts.
Ever since she can remember Molly has watched herself die, hundreds of times. Whenever she bleeds, a ‘molly’ is born. Her twin in every way. Except all the mollys want to do is kill Molly. And as she grows, the mollys do too - and they get better at fighting back.

I’m amazed at how much detail t
K.J. Charles
Oct 04, 2017 added it
Shelves: horror
This was amazing. I mean, glom-in-a-sitting, cold-sweat, 'going to have to buy the whole backlist now' amazing. What a terrifying, imaginative, scary ride.

The premise is deceptively simple and weird: when Molly bleeds, it generates an identical copy of herself which after a short time becomes murderously determined to kill her. This is fun when her periods start. At first Molly's parents kill the mollies, and teach her self defence; as she grows, the mollies become more cunning and powerful, an
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
“Words used to be homework, a chore, but books make words do magic tricks.”

What a strange and creepy book. This has such an original concept, I’ve never read anything like this before.. and I also haven’t been so disturbed by a book in a long time.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Deeply unsettling and horrific in parts, this novella follows the life of Molly Southborne whose spilt blood generates doppelgangers bent on destroying Molly herself. Much of the horror comes because these doppelgangers seem to have been happening since she was a baby, painting an interesting picture of Molly's parents and what they've been doing to get her this far.

Ultimately it's all a fairly horrible philosophical metaphor made real, which makes for a predictable ending if you're familiar wit
lucky little cat
Pitch-perfect creepy novella, where the young heroine unintentionally produces a murderous doppelgänger every time she bleeds.

Science prodigy Molly doesn't mean to be threatening. But that doesn't mean she's not a menace. And since she's also cursed with a healthy sense of decency, she has to figure out what to do about herself. (Not unlike the reader's cursed dilemma: what will I do when I run out of Tade Thompson books to read? Must. read. more. slowly.)

Thompson's such an intelligent writer I
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and super creepy story of a girl who generates doppelgangers (hellbent on killing her) whenever she bleeds. Writing style is clear, oftentimes matter-of-fact, and makes for a very intriguing read.

Finished the book and feeling very unsettled and slightly uncomfortable.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well that was creepy AF!
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you see yourself, run.
Don't bleed.
Blot, burn, bleach.
Find a hole, find your parents

Molly Southbourne creates a perfect copy of herself every time she bleeds. Regardless of how much she bleeds or why (monthly periods, for instance) Molly creates another Molly every time she spills a drop of her own blood. And while the Mollys are initially docile and friendly, they soon become killing machines, bent on murdering their creator.

Molly's family has been dealing with Molly's condition since she wa
The more I think about this plot, the more this novella seems to be a nice, gross little bit of entertainment that's got too many things that don't hang together or make sense once the shock wears off (view spoiler) ...more
rachel ☾
I hate that I left this unread on my tbr for so long. Short little horror stories like this are my jam. It was bizarre and enticing and I loved it.

Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)
Cassie Daley
REREREAD 2/4/22: The 3rd & final book in the series comes out the May & Tor sent me an ARC, so you'd better believe I'm rereading the first two! SO GOOD.

REREAD 10/31/19: I wish I could give this novella more than 5 stars. Seriously, READ IT.


I absolutely loved this novella - way more than I expected to! The premise about a young girl who has to repeatedly kill clones of herself that are born from her shedding blood (in any way - papercuts, pulled teeth, Aunt Flow, etc!) ca
Rosaline (Rosaline's Rolls & Scrolls)
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who are stuck in a loop of similar books and are seeking to escape to something more fresh
This was fun!

I have not read a book like this ever! For me this story is very original, and I honestly did not know what to expect the entire time I was reading. I was glued to the pages and eager to see what would happen next. I was so curious where Tade planned to take this story, and I don't think there was any way I could be disappointed.

This is a story about Molly, a girl who has doppelgangers created out of her blood who are eager to kill her. This book made me realize how easily the huma
Aug 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, thriller
An odd little story ( but a good one) and a bit hard to categorize. I'd call it a thriller with elements of science fiction and a hint of horror.

Molly Southbourne has an identity crisis. She knows who she is ( more or less) but there are all these other identities who look exactly like her who show up from time to time, trying to kill her. Talk about your split personality! Or more like her personality is trying to split her.

It's a well written novella, with good plotting, pacing and charact
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Tade Thompson is a British born Yoruba psychiatrist who is best known for his science fiction novels.

Other books in the series

Molly Southbourne (3 books)
  • The Survival of Molly Southbourne (Molly Southbourne, #2)
  • The Legacy of Molly Southbourne (Molly Southbourne, #3)

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