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We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  319 ratings  ·  77 reviews
A new mother is pursued by mysterious men in black. A misguided youth learns the dark secrets of the world from an elderly neighbor on Halloween night. A housewarming party where the guests never leave. A caretaker tends to his rusted relic of a god deep in the desert...

In his debut short story collection, Bram Stoker Award finalist Ronald Malfi mines the depths and
Kindle Edition, 379 pages
Published November 2nd 2017 by JournalStone
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Johann (jobis89)
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I made a mistake."

20 short stories exploring the dark underside of religion, marriage, love, fear, regret, and hunger in a world that spins just slightly askew on its axis.

Holy cow. First of all - Ronald Malfi can WRITE. Make no mistake about that. The stories themselves may have ranged in quality throughout this collection, but the standard of writing remained HIGH. He's definitely an author I will be reading more of - potentially starting with his novel December Park, which I ordered within
4.5 stars!

WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT WELL ENOUGH ALONE is a collection of 20 short stories by Ronald Malfi. These stories range from psychological horror, atmospheric horror, outright horror, thriller, supernatural, and to the inexplicably "weird", in terms of content. As in all story collections, different topics will "connect" with different readers. Going by the huge variety of theme in this volume, I feel confident that aficionados of horror, mystery, and strange tales will ALL find something here
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This collection of short stories came in one of my Nocturnal Reader's Box subscriptions and is my first read by this author. I love, love short story collections. I think it's an entertaining and comprehensive way of experiencing the skills and diversity in narration that one author possesses.
In this case, Ronald Malfi is capable of telling a variety of tales with different narrative styles. I'm really impressed. Most the stories were five star, home runs for me. Some stand outs are:
The Dinner
Frank Errington
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 of 5 Stars Review copy

We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, the debut short story collection from Ronald Mafi, is a bit of a mixed bag. Although the twenty shorts included do make for an enjoyable read, I have to say I much prefer Malfi's recent novels to the tales included here. Little Girls made my top ten list in 2015, The Night Parade did the same in 2016, and Bone White is my favorite read so far in 2017.

The Dinner Party - The story of a paranoid housewife with an OMG ending. One of the
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lena by: Horror Aficionados BOM
The best story is the first one and by the half its a case of diminishing returns. The stories lose that end punch and rely on the vague and mysterious.

The Dinner Party ★★★★★
"I made a mistake."
Oh damn what a strong starter! This is an absolute nightmare of postpartum anxiety. Something in my gut dropped at the end. I felt physically sick... and then wildly impressed (by the story), lol.

Learned Children ★★☆☆☆
That was a dash of Children of the Corn but too vague.

Knocking ★★★★☆
An adult version
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like to peruse reviews after I finish a book, and after quickly looking through a number of them for We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone I came to a couple of conclusions. 1) Most people like novels more than short story collections, and 2) this is particularly true with Ronald Malfi. Actually, I started to slowly realize that a lot of people are not huge fans of short stories when I started reading collections more and reading their reviews. Personally, I love them, and in particular this ...more
Ashley Daviau
I was left feeling a little underwhelmed by this short story collection if Im being honest. Now I didnt hate it by any means, but I definitely didnt love it either. The stories werent bad but they didnt make me FEEL anything. I felt no uneasiness or shivers, just nothing. As each story ended, the only thing I could think was that was an okay story. That basically sums it up for me, a collection of okay stories. ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
Can a book of goosebumps and dark surprise twists be a fun beach read too? This book does all of that. We Should have Left Well Enough Alone is a collection of short stories of horror which made me grin.

Gentle reader, if the writer OHenry (The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories) had been a horror writer, he might have written similar stories as Ronald Malfi. Many of the stories in this collection seem to be about a man or woman under the stress or duress of a work or relationship difficulty, or
Chelsea (chelsea.wilde)
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this collection in my Nocturnal Readers Box forever ago.. I just picked it up this month and man, I can not believe I waited so long. The collection is well written with almost* every story being a 5/5. There was 1 or 2 I was kinda like okay okay but not good enough for a 5 so thats why my rating is a 4/5. I would give it 4.5 if I could!

This is my first read by this author and I will definitely be reading more. The first story in the collection really set the tone for the rest of the
Vicki Willis
This book contained 20 short stories that covered multiple genres (horror, suspense, thriller, mystery, supernatural, ghosts, crazy and bizarre). There was something for everyone in there and I thought almost every single one was worth 5 stars (only 1 I didn't "get").
Some of my favorites included The Dinner Party (now that's the way to start a book), Knocking, The Jumping Sharks of Dyer Island (not what I expected), The Housewarming (loved the play with time), The Pet Shop (so everyday and
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was easily one of my favorite books this year, and among the top three short story collections I've ever read! Malfi's stories will stick with you long after you've read them, and for this reason it took me a few months to get through this book. After I'd read a story or two I had to put it down just to revel in the terror. Highly, highly recommend this one!
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I did not finish this book. At first I loved the vagueness of the stories but near the end, I just felt stupid and like I was missing something. I love Ronalds novels but I guess Im not a fan of his short stories. ...more
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
This is my first Malfi experience and I know it won't be my last.

These are the types of stories that worm their way into your brain, leave little trails of gasoline, and then light everything on fire when you least expect it. And they aren't just interesting and inventive stories, they are immaculately written too.

One thing that I found interesting was the wide variety of narrators that are used throughout the stories. And it didn't seem to just be a writing exercise for Malfieach story was
Missy (myweereads)
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Theyre always out there watching...searching..

We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone by Ronald Malfi is a collection of short stories written to demand a reaction from the reader and that it very well did from me. I received this book part of the Nocturnal Readers Box and it was my first read by this author who is known for his several horror and thriller novels.

The book consists of 20 short stories. The running theme in them is the horror of human nature. How we think and react to the monsters
The Scary Reviews
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
There is some damn fine storytelling going on here. I've been a fan of Ronald Malfi for a few years now, going back to his book titled Little Girls. I recently finished BONE WHITE and he just keeps bringing it and I'm digging his writing in a big way. Full review coming soon.
 Reading Reindeer Emigrates To Pluto

Lately I've been reading subtlety often, particularly in Horror--well-done, for the most part. But I'm certain I hadn't encountered the Master of Subtlety until I commenced reading Ronald Malfi' s short story collection, WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT WELL ENOUGH ALONE earlier this month [December 2017]. Mr. Malfi has stated that these stories had been written over a long period of time, and that they are non-themed. I believe there is a theme,
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of twenty stories. Most of them have already appeared in print. You can tell, that Malfi, put a lot of feeling each tale. Most of the stories are really good but there are a few of them that fall below par. Some of my favorite tales from this collection are, The Dinner Party, Under The Tutelage of Mr. Trueheart, The House on Cottage Lane and Learned Children. Malfi Stories themes include, Mysteries, Supernatural, Thrillers, and Plenty of Horror. "We Should Have Left Well ...more
A really decent collection of stories. This was my first of Ronald Malfi's works, but his writing is so excellent - it definitely won't be the last.

My favorites:
The Dinner Party
The Jumping Sharks of Dyer Island
The Housewarming
the first couple of stories were so! good! but the second half was.... not great and the endings didn't make as much sense or have as much creep-factor
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great stories

I loved these stories! Delightful collection from one of my favorites:) Definitely worth checking out, some a little shocking with the twists!
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
I got this from the Nocturnal Reader box. And I actually enjoyed it. I don't tend to pick up short story collections ever, unless they're from Stephen King (I kid you not; of the 1300 books I've recorded here, only 8 are short story collections.) Not even of series I love. I just don't feel like the majority of authors these days can write decent short stories. And I have read a couple books by this author (I didn't realize this until a story or two in.) So I'm surprised I liked this one.

I think
Stephanie (That's What She Read)

This is my first time reading anything by Ronald Malfi, and he is definitely a talented writer. This short story collection opens up with one of the most unsettling stories I have read in a while called The Dinner Party. The stories were a little hit-or-miss for me as usually happens with short story collections.

Some of my favorites were The Jumping Sharks of Dyer Island, The Housewarming, and Under the Tutelage of Mr. Trueheart.

I have a few Malfi novels on my TBR that I defintely will be
Horror DNA
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: steve-pattee
Last year, Ronald Malfi's The Night Parade made my list of favorites for 2016. This year, his Bone White has all but solidified its place on my favorites of 2017. My first introduction to Ronald Malfi's work was his novella, Skullbelly, an atmospheric romp that relies more on your imagination than most and outside of a problematic ending (which I bring up for a reason), it's solid entertainment. After having stellar works in both the novel and novella form, it was only a matter of time before ...more
Bridget Thomas (Cruisingthroughpages)
I'm a big fan of short stories. They are just so much fun to read. This collection was very interesting. It ranges from very dark, to extremely weird, to even a random love story. I really enjoyed the collection as a whole, but there were definitely some hits, and a few that didn't quite do it for me. Here's a quick rundown of my thoughts on each story:

The Dinner Party: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Wow! What a wonderfully horrific way to kick it off!

Learned Children: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Creepy! Very reminiscent of Children of the
E. Adeline
This collection came in one of the Nocturnal Readers Boxes I got. I find their selections pretty hit or miss. This was a miss. These stories are just okay. I'd even venture to say they made me feel "meh." Some are better than others, and some have themes or even just sentences that irked me. Greatly.

The greatest offenders in this collection:
rape fantasy sceneslisten, I read a lot of horror and I watch a lot of horror. I'm over using rape as a plot progression point in horror stories. It's
Eddie Generous
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Unnerving Magazine Review
We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone is a collection demanding a wide berth as the stories vary in exploration in such a way that this will never pin neatly into any genre, and do so with a special kind of tact.
Theres obviously horror in the midst, my favorites of this collection fall into that category (surprise, surprise). They carry a tone of shock and under layers of crass humor in a way that Bentley Little has perfected and Stephen King used to play with in his
Kimberly van Pinxteren
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was given this to read right after I gave birth....and boy this is exactly what I needed in between preparing bottles and putting up with a lot of baby tears.

It's astounding to know that every story in this collection has been written by the same author as they are all so diverse. The writing is absolutely incredible and it sucks you in from the start up to the end. Usually short story collections always include a few that leave me cold, but that isn't the case here. There's a lot of dark
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I like a lot of things about Malfi's work, from character development to the way he delivers atmosphere, but after reading We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, I found another thing to like; his versatility. In this collection you get a little bit of everything, from a woman suffering from paranoia in the book's opening story, "The Dinner Party", to a normal vacation that turns rather ugly and brutal in "The Jumping Sharks of Dyer Island" to a rather sweet ending with the final tale, "There is ...more
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's been a while since I've read a collection of short stories. I'm glad this is one of the books I broke my short story fast with. While not every story resonated with me, which is the good/bad part of collections. The good defintely outweighed the bad. The creeping horror of "Knocking" stuck with me, partly because it connected personally thanks to whatever is living in my ceiling and walls, but the tale itself was claustrophobic. The Housewarming shared the common claustrophobic feeling ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was my first book by Ronald Malfi and I really really liked it. Definitely going to read more by him.
Malfi has a great writing style and it doesn't happen too often that I sit and read and forget everything around me. While reading I really dived into the stories.

My favourite one was The Dinner Party, but I really liked every story in there. This one just was, I don't know, after Stephen King's 'N.' the best short story I ever read.
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Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller genres. In 2011, his novel, Floating Staircase, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for best novel by the Horror Writers Association, and also won a gold IPPY award. His most recent novel, Bone White, about a man searching for his lost twin in the wilds of Alaska, is currently in development ...more

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