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Stirring the Sheets

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  92 reviews
An elderly funeral home worker, struggling with the loss of his wife, finds an unnatural attraction to a corpse at work resembling his late bride in her younger years.

A story of desperation, loneliness and letting go.
Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published April 13th 2018 by Bloodshot Books
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4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  173 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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STIRRING THE SHEETS is the first novella I have read by author Chad Lutzke. After finishing this one in a single sitting, I am so glad I already have two additional books of his in my TBR pile to read next!

I'll admit, I've seen a lot of great reviews for various works by this author, but nothing prepared me for the emotional impact his writing would have on me! This is the story of a man named Emmett, who lost his wife of 50 years, one year ago. You might think that working in a mortuary--The Gr
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
STIRRING THE SHEETS is a novella by Chad Lutzke that left me wrung out on the floor, but in a good way!

When Emmett loses his wife of 50 years, he has a hard time getting over his grief. He seems fine to most of the outside world-he's eating, he goes to work at the mortuary and he talks to his neighbors, both the nice one and the not so nice one. His neighbors don't know that Emmett hasn't touched the sheets on his bed since his wife passed, instead he sleeps on the couch. There are a few other
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Chad Lutzke has done it again. If you've read, OF FOSTER HOMES AND FLIES or SKULLFACE BOY, you know what I mean. Lutzke has this way about storytelling that feels very much like he has developed a special way to penetrate past the page to hijack his readers' emotions.
Almost immediately, through careful character building, Lutzke begins to build bridges from his protagonist to my heart. These bridges are the means in which the words just walk right off the page. And sometimes, nothing really sign
Edward Lorn
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chad Lutzke is writing on an entirely different level than any other small press/indie author. His grasp of tone and theme is unmatched. He has the down-to-earth tonal quality of greats like Steinbeck and Hemingway. The simplicity of his narratives is deceptive. In the same way people talk about icebergs, there is so much more going on than what's visible at surface level.

Reading Lutzke's work is a pleasure. Opening a new book by him is like sitting down with an old friend and catching up for a
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my 4th book by Chad Lutzke (the third being his fantastic collaboration with John Boden for Out Behind the Barn) and no matter how many times I write a review for him, I never feel like it's good enough or that it articulates everything I need to say.

Lutzke gets people. And he is keenly aware of human emotions. He can put himself inside the mind of both a young boy and an elderly man with a skill that is unparalleled. In Stirring the Sheets, we see the world through the eyes of an elderl
Brandy Humphrey
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, Chad Lutzke did it again. I purchased this for my Kindle while I was reading his upcoming release, The Same Deep Water as You (coming January 11th. Definitely check it out) and although I have a ton of other books that currently need my attention, I decided to start on this one because it was calling my name. I've seen a few people refer to this as a book about necrophilia, but I'm going to have to disagree. This is a short story about loss and what it does to you. Sometimes losing someone ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"It's about surviving when all you want to do is wake up dead."

Holy hell, this book was sad. A couple nights ago, I worked a double shift, was in a bad mood, decided to start this one, and then found myself ugly crying on my couch at 2 AM. THANKS, CHAD LUTZKE.

Chad's brand of horror is unique. It's not in your face, and it probably won't "scare" you while you're reading it, but it will haunt you. He's incredibly skilled at writing about tragedy with a horror aspect, and they will creep up on yo
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A super solid novella and my first read from Mr. Lutzke.

**Mildly Spoilery Content**

I’m glad Emmett didn’t do anything more with the "not-Kate" than he did. Having no previous experience with this author, I wasn’t sure where it was going to go and I kept expecting it to get super ugly, over the top. Glad it didn’t. It would have ruined a very good story about the far-out extremes that grief can take you and the redemptive qualities of meatloaf.

Looking forward to more from this author.
Cameron Chaney
My Chad Lutzke binge-read continues with Stirring the Sheets, a book that was sent along in January's NIGHT WORMS package, which I suggest subscribing to if you haven't already. They pick some of the best horror books out there, and Stirring the Sheets is proof of that.

This novella follows Emmett, an elderly mortician who is grief-stricken after losing his wife of 49 years to a tragic car accident. When the cadaver of a young woman resembling his wife comes through the funeral home he works for,
The Grim Reader
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stirring the Sheets is my first time reading Chad Lutzke’s work and I must say I really enjoyed this sombre, thoughtful novella published by Bloodshot Books. Stirring the Sheets is a grief-filled story about Emmett, a funeral home worker, and his struggles to cope with the loss of his wife of 50 years.

Grief can do terrible things to people, it can pull you into directions you never thought you’d go and this is precisely what happens here. The feeling of loss hangs heavy over this novella like a
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
My first read from the Night Worms January package and this little ditty packs a walloping punch. Emmett is a character you just feel for right from the beginning. How do you cope when the person you love has passed - where is your identity now when it's been tied to someone for so many years?

In a manner of just over 100 pages, Lutzke brings us through Emmett just living to live. Working in a mortuary for decades and taking care of the dead... how does he now take care of himself.... and we see
Bethany | Wraiths and Roses
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yet another wonderful novella from Chad. I am so impressed with is ability to tell such a relatable story even in the midst of a heavy and dark plot. The protagonist in this book makes such a drastic choice and yet we still feel for him. Chad writes grief so accurately and with details that are so impactful. Anyone who has lost a loved one will find something in this story that they recognize. The writing isn't superfluous, just matter-of-fact to the point that it feels like the author is tellin ...more
Jeremy Hepler
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A character-driven, emotional story that speaks to the struggle of dealing with the death of a loved one. More directly, the struggle of wanting to cling to the past, but at the same time knowing you need to move on. Lutzke does a great job describing Emmett's grim, somewhat shocking yet understandable, journey through this process.
Lydian Faust
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good thing I'm a goth with a penchant for sorrow because many parts of STIRRING THE SHEETS were sad as hell. It's also a delightfully grotesque story with carefully crafted prose. Lutzke manages to elicit and maintain my sympathy for Emmett, the main character, even as he does something unthinkable to assuage his grief. The glimpse we get into Emmet's thoughts and the little gestures he makes to preserve memories of his departed are truly heartbreaking in their authenticity. I also enjoyed the p ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This short novella packs a lot of punch. The emotional ride I just completed will take a while to shake off. My full review is post here --->
Cassie Lola (holo.reader)
Blog review:

Ouch, my heart.

"This is about hating yourself enough to go to extremes. It’s about surviving, when all you want to do is wake up dead."

This is my first book by Chad Lutzke, and it definitely won't be my last. Based on this alone, I signed up for his Patreon and purchased 2 other books - it's that good.

I love things that make me sad - like, the more devastating a book is, the more I'll love it, because it'll destroy me and for some weird reas
Alex findingmontauk1
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I had to sleep on this review. I knew if I just went straight into writing it after finishing the book that I would sound like an uncontrollable hot mess who lacks the ability to express any sort of rational thought. This. BOOK! This book is solid gold, that's what it is.

The basic premise of the story is that "an elderly funeral home worker, struggling with the loss of his wife, finds an unnatural attraction to a corpse at work resembling his late bride in her younger years. A story of desperati
Brittany (brittreads)
This book was short and.....weird? Interesting? Creepy? All of the above. It really sucks you in for a book that’s only 103 pages. It makes you feel empathetic, sympathetic, and downright like you wanna cry, which I almost did a couple times.

I found myself really connecting with Rosemary, one of the side characters, and as weird as what this man does, you also sort of understand (??) which is the sign of great writing! I look forward to reading more by this author.
Ashley (bookishmommy)
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is what happens when A Man Called Ove turns into a horror story.
Nev Murray
Review Pending.
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
A novella that delves into the true horror of death and what happens to those left in its wake.

I wasn't expecting this quiet though realistically disturbing story, told from the perspective of an elderly mortician who is deeply mourning the unexpected loss of wife. Though he has a lot of experience being around dead people and dealing with people who have lost loved ones, his own loss has left him empty and adrift.

There is such an honest truth in Lutzke's main character, a man you might easily
Suzy Michael
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
Chad Lutzke's novella, 'Stirring the Sheets' is a story of love, loss and hope. It digs deep into how everyone deals with grief differently and how far some will go to overcome the darkness that comes along with losing a loved one.
Emmett is an eldery man who works at a funeral home as a "beautician for the dead". He recently lost his wife Kate, of over 50 years, unexpectedly in a tragic car accident. Leading an empty, sad, solitary life, Emmett arrives at work one day to see a young, beautiful w
D Gillis
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emmett is mired in grief after the loss of his wife of 50 years. He is not coping well and deals (or doesn’t) with his loss by keeping his house a shrine to his late wife. He works at a mortuary and when he receives the corpse of a young woman who resembles his wife, he does the unthinkable, stealing her body and bringing it home. Lutzke has a real gift for creating characters who we can empathize with. Anyone who has lost a loved one will recognize Emmett and what he is living with. This is a s ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
This is a very interesting take on losing a loved one and what grief and loneliness can do to a person. It's short but takes the reader on a journey of emotions. This one really packed a punch.
Michael Hicks
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bought, fiction
Grief does strange things. It changes people, and can sometimes ensnare them at their worst. When my mother died, my wife and I attempted to help my dad through that initial day of loss by picking out a set of clothes for her to be buried in. This act was not well received, and my dad set about berating my wife, calling her a grave-robber for rummaging through my mother's belonging, and reducing her to tears. My father was at his lowest point and lashed out at us in anger, and that's now how I r ...more
Armand Rosamilia
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazingly emotional story. The sparse set of characters are so multi-dimensional and lifelike. This book will make you cringe and laugh and everything in-between. A great job from the author.

I was given an advance copy of the book for review purposes.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first time reading anything by Chad Lutzke and I'm very pleased and I plan on reading more of his work.

Stirring the Sheets, follows an elderly man who works at a funeral home who is struggling to move on after his loss of his wife. He finds an attraction to a corpse from work who looks similar to his wife in her early years. I'm going to stop there and say that this book is so good that I can feel the grief from this man and his loneliness. Such a great story, I highly recommend reading this
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sub-box-books
“This isn’t about romance. This is intimacy. This is coping. And this is needed.” Touted as a story of desperation, loneliness, and letting go. While I personally wouldn’t call this horror (which is how it’s billed, since I received it in a horror subscription box) ... this was a dark tale of visceral fiction. Horror is, in my opinion, a subjective concept so I don’t feel bad saying for me — this isn’t horror. While the preconception of this being in the horror genre made the trajectory of book ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had found this author so much sooner! But, now that I have him in my radar, I'll be reading a lot of his work! This is such a beautifully told novella that pulled at my heartstrings in one sitting! It tells about a man lookjng for closure anywhere he can find it from losing the love of his life. I must say, I enjoyed his adventure finding it with him!
Lanie817 - Melanie
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing.... I can’t say enough about this book, I felt so many emotions while reading it. It really pulled at my heart strings and I felt for Emmett. It told a beautiful story in as little as 103 pages. Great job Chad Lutzke I’m looking forward to reading more of your novels!!!
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Chad lives in Michigan with his wife and children. For over two decades, he has been a contributor to several different outlets in the independent music and film scene, offering articles, reviews, and artwork. He has written for Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Cemetery Dance, and Scream magazine. He's had a few dozen stories published, and some of his books include: OF FOSTER HOMES & ...more