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Growing Things and Other Stories

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  5,353 ratings  ·  849 reviews
A chilling collection of psychological suspense and literary horror from the multiple award-winning author of the national bestseller The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.

A masterful anthology featuring nineteen pieces of short fiction, Growing Things is an exciting glimpse into Paul Tremblay’s fantastically fertile imagination.

In “The Teacher,” a Br
ebook, 352 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by William Morrow
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Chrystal Hays
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Carol Katarsky As usual, he doesn't give a pat, crystal clear ending, but my take is that she was essentially a human black widow -- he first meets her when she has …moreAs usual, he doesn't give a pat, crystal clear ending, but my take is that she was essentially a human black widow -- he first meets her when she has "stolen" a married man; now she appears to have poisoned/drugged his family as part of a scheme to work her way into that family. To what end? Who knows. (Also begs the question of what happened to his actual wife.)

But I think there are other, valid interpretations. (less)

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Will Byrnes
We all know the big bad is coming, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it, yet still we go to our jobs and we chitchat about nothing important with coworkers and we go to dinner and we go to the mall and we go to our dentist appointments and we buy groceries and we make plans with friends and family and we walk and love our pets and we watch TV or read or sit in the glow of our smartphones, and all we’re doing is going through the motions because we can’t stop and think and accept that the
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for BEST HORROR 2019! what will happen?

a collection of stories! from paul tremblay! in which "karen brissette" appears in one and MAYBE two of the stories. although it's pretty clear to ME that there's no 'maybe' about it, coyboy. between the observation of "The cheerful unhinged-ness" of KB's writing style and the mean-but-accurate grousing about "this obnoxious KB person" (well, i NEVER!!), i am absolutely certain of what those letters stand for. PAUL
4.5/5 stars!

Paul Tremblay first appeared on my radar with his book A HEAD OF FULL GHOSTS. Then came DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL'S ROCK, which really impressed me. He followed that up with CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD, which broke my heart. Now, here he is with a solid collection of stories that I ADORED.

GROWING THINGS is a hefty volume of tales, mostly told already in other publications, but they were almost all new to me. Among them, these stood out the most:

HER RED RIGHT HAND Something about this
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I was very excited to read this collection of horror short stories and give another shot to Paul Tremblay.

I listened to it as an audiobook and couldn't focus for the life of me. I listen to plenty of audiobook every year and I rarely have a problem but I could not do it with this one.

The stories weren't compelling enough, one of them had the narrator naming each character before each sentence ffs...

I might try the physical book to see if it will help but I don't think this is for me.
Sadie Hartmann
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cemetery-dance
This review originally published on Cemetery Dance (April 29th, 2019)

“I’m terrible at remembering plot and character specifics…if the story is successful, what I do remember and will never forget is what and how that story makes me feel.”—Paul Tremblay in the “Notes” of Growing Things.

Thank goodness Paul Tremblay kindly bestowed some Author’s Notes upon his readers in the end pages for Growing Things. I was not ready to let go! I needed Paul’s conversational and personal commentary on each story
Justin Tate
Apr 05, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish. Got through probably half the stories. Started reading in order and then skipped around based on interesting titles. Paul Tremblay is a talented writer and I enjoyed 'A Head Full of Ghosts' all right, but he hasn't quite mastered a level of readability that manages to glue me to the page.

These stories are particularly challenging because most are highly experimental or, more than likely, incomplete starts to discarded novels. The title story 'Growing Things' for example, spends e
What lies beneath the smelly tattered cushions of a worn out sofa?  Look up into the night sky aswirl with white moths, take time to regard a shadow painstakingly pieced together, beware the kudzu and bamboo growing rampant, and steer clear of a town with its very own brand of monster.  

Nineteen tales to give you pause, leaving you with a feeling of apprehension and disquiet.  My favorite was Something About Birds.  Those beaks, those talons . . .  cunningly designed to ruffle your feathers and
Aug 04, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
I was disappointed with this book. I love short story collections. I think that's because I like weird or unique story lines, and short story collections allow an author to write down all of their weird ideas that may not be strong enough to base an entire novel on.

There were two stories which I did really like: "Growing Things" and "Nineteen Snapshots of Dennisport"

There were a few stories which I was into, such as "The Teacher" and "It's Against the Law to Feed the Ducks," but they didn't hav
Jun 26, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

001 - Growing Things
017 - Swim Wants To Know If It's As Bad As Swim Thinks
031 - Something About Birds
053 - The Getaway
069 - Nineteen Snapshots of Dennisport
083 - Where We All Will Be
097 - The Teacher
109 - Notes for "The Barn In the Wild"
125 - _____
137 - Our Town's Monster
151 - A Haunted House Is A Wheel Upon Which Some Are Broken
175 - It Won't Go Away
191 - Notes From The Dog Walkers
235 - Further Questions For The Somnambulist
245 - The Ice Tower
253 - The Society of the Monsterhood
267 - H
Cameron Chaney
When I say the act of DNFing a book is a rarity for me, I mean I have only done it twice. That's it. Just two times in all my years of reading. I like to see books through to the very end even when I'm not meshing with them, just so I may know for sure who the target audience is.

My job as a horror book reviewer is to state my opinions on a book from my perspective, and then determine who would enjoy that book based on their tastes. That's one of the great things about working on a Bookmobile; as
Ashley Daviau
I wanted SO badly to love this because I adore Tremblay’s writing but it was just so MEH. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great and great is what I’ve come to expect from him. Maybe his strength lies in the full length novel or maybe I’m just crazy, who knows! All I know is this wasn’t as good as I was expecting and I was disappointed. It started off SO damn strong and I was so into the first few stories and amping myself up for the rest to be as great if not better. And that never happened, it just ...more
Some creepy short stories in here. Something about birds I enjoyed the most, more thriller stories than horror I would say. The first book I read from Paul was The Cabin at the end of the world and I loved it and was super keen to read more.

3.5 stars I give this collection
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tremblay's collection of short stories has a few entries that are right up there with his phenomenal novels, especially the title story "Growing Things" and "Notes for 'The Barn in the Wild'". Nearly every story is at least good, if not excellent, with "Notes from the Dog Walkers" being the only one I couldn't finish, because it wasn't that interesting and seemed like it wouldn't end. Overall, I was happy to find Tremblay can write as well in short form as he can in full-length novels. ...more
Steve Stred
Mixed bag. I really enjoyed the title story - as it related to a previous Tremblay release, but the rest were good to miss for me. I've really enjoyed the two novels of his I've read but the majority here were not for me. ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having liked this author's three horror novels, I found this short story collection to be a disappointment. Most of the stories were really just fragments of "weirdness" and didn't have a full plot. To me, the only stories worth reading were:

- The Getaway (3 stars)
- Nineteen Snapshots of Dennisport (4 stars)
- It Won't Go Away (4 stars)
- Notes From the Dogwalkers (3 stars)

Some writers are better at novels, some are better at short stories, and very few can be good at both. I think Paul Tremblay i
D Dyer
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, horror, 2019-reads
3.5 stars.
It took me a while to get into this collection. The first couple of stories were only OK for me but as I settled into the author‘s writing style and read some of his more experimental pieces, 19 snapshots, the teacher and notes from dog walkers being good examples, I began to enjoy it more. It’s less directly horrifying and more creepy, sometimes even existentially so, then I expected and the stories would best be enjoyed with some gaps in between reading them. Some of the voices have
Alma Katsu
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This collection is the perfect solution for when you want to take a break from binge-watching the latest sensation on Netflix but still want a steady IV-drip of mesmerizing storytelling. Paul Tremblay's work hovers between horror and speculative fiction, that familiar no man's land between dreams and wakefulness. The place where the hairs stand up on the back of your neck in recognition that something strange is going on, that things are beyond your control, and you're going to face a reality th ...more
Pantelis Andreou
Now see, I appreciate Paul Tremblay a lot. But most of these stories were tough to get through...
Michael J.
What I enjoy most about Paul Tremblay's work is how he skillfully negotiates the thin line between reality and imagination. His scares come from the paranormal, the supernatural, the unearthly, and contain just enough skepticism that readers are never sure if the disturbing events aren't internally created by one of the characters or just how they imagine things to be. A Headful Of Ghosts and The Cabin At The End Of The World are great examples of that. I'm curious to see if he employs the same ...more
Audra (ouija.reads)
If ever there were a case for reading short stories, Paul Tremblay is shouting it from the rooftops with this collection.

I can understand why some people aren’t as drawn to short stories. It is a lot of commitment to open up your brain to one new world every time you read a book, let alone twenty or so. But I just can’t get enough of them and constantly have a collection going. I love the complete freedom the short format gives authors and to see where some of them take it makes me excited to be
Jon Recluse
A masterful collection of uniquely told tales of horror, from the weird to experimental pieces that will linger in your mind, and your nightmares long after you close the book.
Tremblay's voice is refreshingly his own, even in tribute stories to Laird Barron (THE BARN IN THE WILD) and the one and only Hellboy (HER RED RIGHT HAND).

A must-have for fans of Tremblay, short stories, and damn fine writing.

Highly recommended.
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
I have a love/hate relationship with short story anthologies. I have GREAT respect for authors who write these as I feel these are harder to write than the full novel as you're putting an entire story together in under 7,500 words. Those that do it well, do it WELL and those are the ones I like but I'll be honest, it's very few and far between where they get me. I am one of those who prefer that full novel, or even the extended short story ala novelette/novella. It's hard to say I "want more" as ...more
Kat Dietrich

Growing Things and Other Stories by Paul Tremblay is an anthology of his stories.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher Harper Collins, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis…and Opinions
A few words about each of the short stories in this collection:

• Growing Things -- Plants take over the world. I enjoyed this one.
• Swim Wants to Know If It Is As Bad As Swim Thinks -- It’s about a monster,
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Don't know what it is about Mr. Tremblay, I either love or hate his books and this one, well, is in-between.

I own the book, couldn't wait to buy it, read it, taste it, sample etc etc, but...

Some of the stories are quite good. Classic horror, or classic horror with a modern twist, or written in a unique style or voice. Some feel experimental; others contain the trope of the 'ordinary family' suddenly thrown into a apocalyptic world. (World gone wrong; world with monsters; world which no longer ma
Scott Rhee
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, horror
Paul Tremblay won me over with his novel "The Cabin at the End of the World", one of the most disturbing horror novels that I have read in a long time. "Growing Things" is his collection of short stories, most of them previously published in a wide variety of magazines and other horror anthologies that celebrate the New Weird, a fairly new subgenre of which I have grown fond. Other writers in this genre include Laird Barron, Jeff VanderMeer, and James Renner.

What constitutes New Weird? It's hard
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2019 interview with Paul Tremblay On his Growing Things and Other Stories, his characters, writing, recommendations, and inspirations. | More2Read

Morbid tales, haunting, fears and longings, dwellings, ghosts, devils, creatures, monsters inner and outer, melancholy, sisters, fathers and sons, teachers, men and women, and Merry and Marjorie from Head Full of Ghosts back in the narrative.
A myriad of bat shit craziness presented before the reader, hypnotically evoking within the reader all kinds of
Chris DiLeo
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Some fears can only be explored by story. Some emotions can only be communicated by story. Some truths can only be revealed by story" (333).

That quote is from the "Notes" section of GROWING THINGS, an impressive collection of disturbing tales, and I share it here because that quest for exploration and emotion and truth through story is what motivates me to read and to write. If you want to know what I mean by "story truth," read THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O'Brien.

This book is not slated for
An entertaining, unsettling collection, I stopped reading this at night because I didn't want to have nightmares! At its core, the stories are about the struggle of living in a world that is cruel and filled with the unknown.

I read the author's previous short stories collection In the Mean Time a few years ago and a couple of stories stood out for me then; 'The Teacher' and 'It's Against The Law To Feed The Ducks'. These stories appear again here and I'm happy to say they are still excellent upo
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – a short story has a beginning, middle, and an end. It’s just SHORT. These stories barely had middles, let alone endings. And ending every story on a cliff hanger or a ?? moment is just LAZY WRITING. I had high-ish hopes because I DID enjoy A Head Full of Ghosts.

Also I keep asking myself: who picks these books for book group??? oh wait, it was me. sorry guys.

#1 – 1* didn’t like that it was only half a story with no ending and seemed like just one of marjo
Beth Mowbray
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Y’all. No, seriously. Y’all! This book just earned a spot on my top 10 of the year so far! 😱

Growing Things is my first experience with the work of Paul Tremblay and it definitely won’t be the last. He has a masterful way of beginning with a real life situation that is slowly infused with just the right amount of terror and anxiety. As the stories spiral into the realm of horror, they keep the reader guessing. Are these situations really as they seem? Are they fantastical? Or could there perhaps
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Horror Aficionados : September 2019 - Growing Things and Other Stories 23 144 Oct 21, 2019 05:07PM  
Bloody Good Horror: October 2019 - Growing Things 2 28 Jan 06, 2019 07:47PM  

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Paul Tremblay has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book awards and is the author of The Pallbearers Club (coming 2022), Survivor Song, Growing Things, The Cabin at the End of the World, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, and the crime novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the New York Times, Los ...more

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