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The Twilight Pariah

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  724 ratings  ·  163 reviews
Three friends go looking for treasure and find horror in Jeffrey Ford's The Twilight Pariah.

All Maggie, Russell, and Henry wanted out of their last college vacation was to get drunk and play archaeologist in an old house in the woods outside of town. When they excavate the mansion's outhouse they find way more than they bargained for: a sealed bottle filled with a red liqu
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Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Tor.com
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3.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  724 ratings  ·  163 reviews


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Char
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone knows that you don't disturb buried skeletons. Everyone except Henry, Maggie and Russell, that is. With the summer off from college, three high school pals get together as Maggie has convinced the other two to help her with her amateur archaeology project. They're going to dig up an old outhouse pit and see what they can find. Not only do they find a buried skeleton, the skeleton is very small and it has horns. Anyone sane of mind would leave that thing alone, fill the hole back up and ...more
Edward Lorn
Paul Tremblay says that THE TWILIGHT PARIAH is "Richard Linklater meets Stephen King meets Indiana Jones meets, well, Jeffrey Ford."

Fuck you, Paul, you talentless turtlefucker. This book is none of those things. In fact, I'd like to see you defend how the fucking hell you managed to compare this shit-smeared bagel to any one of the things you mentioned. I'll wait...

What a massive disappointment. Easily my biggest letdown of the year. THE TWILIGHT PARIAH goes nowhere, and does nothing new. But I
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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Isn't the cover absolutely ominously stunning? I have to admit that part of the reasons for me to want to read this book was the cover and of course the fascinating blurb. Who doesn't love a devil child, and brutally murders? Well, not everyone perhaps, but I love horror books like this.

I especially liked the historical part of this story, when Maggie, Russell, and Henry learn more about the horned child skeleton that they found when they started to dig around the house in the woods. What I fel
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Petrik
Review copy provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review.

The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford has an interesting premise and ideas but unfortunately they were quite poorly executed.

In their last college vacation, Maggie, Russell, and Henry wanted to get drunk and play archaeologist in a mansion located in the woods outside of town. During their excavation, the found a disturbing skeleton of a horned child which lead to their lives becoming a living hell wherever they go. Sou
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/09/14/...

An innocent summer project undertaken by a trio of college students quickly turns into a nightmare in The Twilight Pariah, a novella which drew me in with the promise of history and horror. But while the premise itself held plenty of potential, the end result did not pack quite the punch I expected, due to the slightly underwhelming execution of the story.

Maggie, Russell, and Henry are childhood friends who have all return
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Annika
description

Okay, um... I'm confused. Look, this book wasn't bad. Actually, it was pretty good and thoroughly entertaining. But it was good for the wrong reasons.
Let me explain.

The cover, the blurb, the shelving... all those things promised for this to be a creepy and tense experience. So that is what I was expecting and looking forward to. Some scares, some blood, and lots and lots of suspense and atmosphere.
What I got instead, though, was... humor? And I'm not even sure whether this was supposed to be a
...more
Bob Milne
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford was a book I came close to abandoning to the DNF pile. There was a lot of pot use here, and aside from being disgusting, it always make me wonder if it's going to be one of those questionable tales where the horror might have been real, or might just have been stoner hallucinations. Screw that. Be stoned and paranoid on your own time. I want the horror to be real, brutal, and unflinching.

As for the story, I liked the archaeological approach to exploring an aba
...more
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
What goes together better than drinking and archaeology? Jeffrey Ford decided to take this concept and run with it. He tossed in a disturbing horned child in an abandoned outhouse for good measure.

The Twilight Pariah was a good little story. Ford captured my interest early on, had some intriguing characters and the story had some definite creep factor. For some reason, though, I found the story unmemorable. I really can’t put my finger on it, but once I was done, I was done. I’ll call it a timin
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Kirsty ❤️
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a creepy little book but one I, for the most part enjoyed. The three friends decide to dig up an out house in a long abandoned house. At night. Just asking for trouble there. They find a mysterious bottle and the skeleton of a deformed, possibly demonic child (it had horns in its skull). This triggers a series of horrific events with loved ones being brutally killed. 

My issue was the length of the book. It's quite short and I think that it could have benefited so much with more descripti
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Bonnie
“You can’t kill the dead. You’ve got to outsmart them.”

Tor.com released a “Tor.com Publishing's Fall of Fear Sampler” sampler which included A Long Day in Lychford by Paul Cornell, Switchback by Melissa F. Olson, The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson, and this title. This one enticed me the most. I’m also a terrible sucker for a great cover, and this one is a winner. It gives you the impression the story you’re about to embark on is atmospheric and eerie, and something perfect for an
...more
The Behrg
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
So if this was a song on an album by your favorite band it'd be the one you forget about until you listen to the album in its entirety, then remember you like it and wonder why you don't listen to it more often, yet never changing your habits of choosing it over the other tracks.

A decent read with an interesting take on a ghost story, but lacking that something extra that could have really made it stand out. Certainly worth checking out, and I wouldn't mind picking up more of Ford's work to see
...more
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
3.5 Stars
I loved the premise involving an archaeological dig unearthing the remains of a possible demon child. Yet, while this novella was well written, I never quite got hooked by the story, which ultimately affected my overall enjoyment.
Melissa
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I can always count on Jeffrey Ford to entertain me, engage my imagination, and make me laugh. I like to think we'd be friends if we ever met in person. I was first introduced to him when I picked up THE SHADOW YEAR at the library a number of years ago. That book is up there on my list of favorites for so many reasons. THE TWILIGHT PARIAH is a novella, which made it easy to read in fits and starts over a span of a couple of days. Every element that makes a book a good fit for me was present - hum ...more
Albert
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford is an old time Gothic horror novel that hearkens back to the early tales of Bradbury and Lovecraft. It has the pace of a pounding heart and the dark intensity of a past best left alone, disturbed.

It is the last college vacation for Maggie, Russell, and Henry. But rather than party and relax, Maggie has a different plan. She wants to dig up an old house in the woods outside of town as preparation for her college thesis. They visit the old abandoned home and dec
...more
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.

I got this for my September PageHabit box and, well, wasn't too excited about it. I trust an author who is a reviewer first and foremost. He said it wasn't good. Sadly, I have to agree with him. I started this on Halloween because I wanted a short and spooky read. However, it reminded me of Ghost Adventures.

I hate watch that show. It's stupid. The people in it are absolute idiots who have no credibility with what they do. It's a goddamned jo
...more
Donna
May 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Three college friends do an archaeological dig on an old outhouse and find a demon baby.

Based on that summation, this book should have been a lot better than it was. There was nothing creepy or scary (at least to me) in this book. People got killed - I didn't really care, just read along waiting for the part that would affect me. An elderly lady has been held in torment for over a hundred years - unh hunh. I wanted to be turning pages at a quick clip (and it was a quick read) but I also wanted t
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Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I had really high expectations for "The Twilight Pariah" despite seeing some well-trusted bloggers who eluded it didn't quite meet their's. I should have trusted them because I had a really difficult time finishing this novella and it took me forever to read something that shouldn't have taken so long.

Maggie, Russel and Henry are on summer break from college. Maggie has switched her majors (again) and now wants to be an archaeologist so she convinces her friends to start a dig on an abandoned to
...more
Nikki
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am a total wuss. Complete and total. So I expected to have the pants scared off me for picking up a horror novella, and it didn’t really happen. There were a few creepy moments, but mostly I found myself wondering why it felt like an episode of Scooby Doo. (Considering Scooby Doo on Zombie Island gave me nightmares as a kid, that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be scary, but… I don’t know.)

The actual haunting part seemed solid and interesting. It was the characters and the way they went abou
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Ryan
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One summer between college semesters, Maggie announces that she wants to become an archeologist and she solicits Henry and Russell to help her explore and excavate an outhouse from the 1800s on the property of an abandoned house on the outside of town. They discover deep in the dirt the skeleton of a baby with horns. This awakens something sinister in the town and the trio must find out what it is and how to stop it.

I was browsing the new fiction section at the library and I found this novella.
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lucky little cat
Baby skeleton with horns and tail is unearthed in an archeological dig in the outhouse pit of an old mansion. Haunting ensues.

I don't usually read horror books, but I loved the first Jeffrey Ford book I read, The Shadow Year. The two books have little in common, though. Here, Ford mimics the tone of the old Alfred Hitchcock Presents story collections, a sort of ghostly Amazing Stories yarn. A likable (but weed-woozied) circle of Gen-Y friends get up to the usual Scooby-Doo-style yoiks and zo
...more
Matthew Bielawa
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had not read anything by this author before, so I didn’t have any expectations. The story started out well and has an interesting premise. But the writing style of this novella just wasn’t for me. A quick read (even for me, a slow reader) not so much because it was a page-turner or grabbed my attention, but rather because the storyline and characters were so simple....as if for a very young reader (though some of the material was clearly not YA). Was it rushed for a deadline? Was it meant for ...more
Jack Haringa
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I feel as though Ford has somehow tapped into a source of myth and crafted a kind of urban legend in book form. I suspect the story is somehow going to sneak off the page and inhabit those late-night gabfests where the stories come out to play. The novella has moments of creepiness interspersed with moments of great humor and leaves at last with a sense of deep humanity.
Lynn Williams
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 of 5 stars
https://lynns-books.com/2017/09/14/th...
I read the Twilight Pariah a couple of weeks ago. It’s a fairly short story (approx 180 pages) and is actually a very quick read with some really good elements. I didn’t quite love it as much as I hoped but I can’t deny that it was an enjoyable read with an interesting premise.

The Twilight Pariah brings to us three young friends spending what is likely to be their last vacation together. Maggie, Russell, and Henry. At the insistence of Maggie
...more
Sana
I finally opened the door, and we stood peering down into the darkness for a while. 'If I was in a horror movie, I wouldn’t do this,' I said.

This was such a delight! Almost equal parts humorous and creepy, The Twilight Pariah is really more about the three friends and their bond of friendship on one side and about their discovery of the baby demon skeleton on the other.

There were definitely some unsettling moments in here but the one thing I loved about this is how Maggie, the female friend, is
...more
Nicholas Kaufmann
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable and breezy novella, THE TWILIGHT PARIAH showcases one of Jeffrey Ford's many strengths, in this case his almost effortlessly authentic characterization. For me, the story at the center of PARIAH takes a back seat to the delightful characters and their deep friendship. Henry, Maggie, Russell, and Luther all felt very real to me, an accurate and genuine depiction of the lasting friendships we make in our high school and college days, if we're lucky. The story itself, which involves a ...more
mary-anne
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
A good, quick read. Even though it's advertised as a horror, it feels more like a mystery/suspence kind of novella with some aspects of horror added in. Regardless, it was engrossing and you found yourself reading to the end, which works because it's really short. A detriment to this is that I feel like some characters served as only a function rather as being fleshed-out characters. (Sondra, Luther, Henry's father, etc.) My frustration is probably because of how much I like characters though, h ...more
Megan
A fast read and a squirly little book in all the best ways, Twilight Pariah is a horror novel that doesn't take itself too seriously but manages to give us interesting characters. While not a deep character study, our Scooby gang has a very strong but very flawed female lead, gay jock (and it's not a big deal) and his boyfriend, a creepy old professor who smokes weed and researches cryptozoology, and for the cherry on top, a male English major who shows fear and does not perform masculinity as v ...more
Matt Glaviano
Meh.

Occasionally creepy and atmospheric, this ultimately didn't work for me. Horror-wise, nothing jumped out as being genre-bending (or leading), and what was included felt like pretty standard material.

I guess the books most interesting alteration is the age of the core characters, mostly college attending millennials. They usually don't forget their flashlights, because they just use their phones.

In a book dedicated to his students for making him a better writer, Ford seems pretty damn cynica
...more
Andrea Blythe
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fic-horror
Three friends come home from college and start a project of excavating a site at an old mansion. While digging up artifacts from the past, they also uncover dangerous secrets. A fun horror read, with a great twist on the concept of supernatural hauntings.
Jessica
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Did anyone else wonder how the baby skeleton remained articulated?

Anyway, a pretty fun academic haunted house/monster story that sometimes made me feel like I was watching an episode of Scooby-doo, but all the characters were baked.

The ending was a bit disappointing.
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Jeffrey Ford is an American writer in the Fantastic genre tradition, although his works have spanned genres including Fantasy, Science Fiction and Mystery. His work is characterized by a sweeping imaginative power, humor, literary allusion, and a fascination with tales told within tales. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he studied with the novelist John Gar ...more
“No one gives a shit if you write a book or not.” 6 likes
“It’s every man for himself,” he said, and went back to reading. After my mother had died and he’d been laid off from his machinist job over in Milton, he’d retreated into near silence and the print reality of other worlds. Connection was tough for him and only getting tougher as he aged. Maggie asked me once if the reason I wanted to become a writer was to somehow make contact with him.” 1 likes
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