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Growing Things and Other Stories

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  3,126 ratings  ·  544 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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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
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
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 Mother Horror
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
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
Aug 04, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fantasy
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
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.
D Dyer
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads, horror, owned
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
Audra (ouija.doodle.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
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
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
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.
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
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,
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
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
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
The Nerd Daily
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Beth Mowbray

Growing Things and Other Stories is a collection of 19 intensely gripping stories from horror writer Paul Tremblay. Grounded in real-life situations slowly infused with fear and unrest, Tremblay uses a very personal voice which allows his writing to unfurl naturally, feeling so familiar the stories seem to be telling themselves. As they descend into the realm of horror, each story keeps the reader guessing. Are these situations reall
Beth M.
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
Micah Unice
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been really cool watching Tremblay's language evolve. He's one of my favorite authors, but I've always had a hard time with the self-awareness of his prose. Here he's reached a new plane. There are so many voices in these stories. Every single entry is poignant. (Merry and Marjorie from A Head Full of Ghosts even make an appearance!) I tried limiting myself to one story every two days, but that didn't last. I hope his career is a long one.
Rachel  Drenning
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Well. I have come to the conclusion that I am just not a Tremblay fan. I've tried! DADR was decent, but that's the only one I even somewhat cared for.
I didn't read all of the stories in this book, but after reading over half ..I just wasn't impressed.
avery (avereads)
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
“All we’re doing is going through the motions because we can’t stop and think and accept that the pit of dread in our stomach is a pit of knowing. The big bad is coming.”

Growing Things and Other Stories is a collection by the master of ambiguity. I broke down all the stories because they do all have different things to offer. There’s so many different methods of story telling, from notes to interviews to photograph descriptions to choose your own stories. Anyways here’s a lil peak at what I thou
Armand Rosamilia
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
As with any short story collection, there will be hits and misses. The misses are few and far between in this one, luckily. While I didn't love every story, there weren't any clunkers.

Standouts (for me) include "Something About Birds" and "It Won't Go Away"

I'm a big fan of this author's novels and it's nice to see he can excel in shorter fiction, too.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book starts with a Shakespeare quote, so I'll start this review with one:
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

I've always taken that literally. Was Lovecraft paraphrasing when he wrote, "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."? (Note to self, rewrite Hamlet where the ghost of his father is a harbinger of the Elder Gods ASAP before anyone here can steal it.)

The fear of the unknown is to me the worst kind of fear. Or maybe t
Beverley Lee
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've rated this as a 3.5 star because some of the stories fell a bit flat for me whilst others were a definite 5.

Tremblay is what I call a watchful writer. Most of his stories contain details that only a person who watches other people can know. There are lines in It's Against the Law to Feed the Ducks that my granddaughter came out with just after I'd read it which messed with my head a bit!

And can I just quote this snippet from Something About Birds I had to close the book and flail about at i
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Horror Aficionados : September 2019 - Growing Things and Other Stories 23 139 Oct 21, 2019 05:07PM  
Bloody Good Horror: October 2019 - Growing Things 2 26 Jan 06, 2019 07:47PM  

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Paul Tremblay is the author of DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL'S ROCK and the award-winning A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS. His other novels include THE LITTLE SLEEP (Henry Holt), NO SLEEP TILL WONDERLAND (Henry Holt), SWALLOWING A DONKEY'S EYE (Chizine Publications), and the YA novel FLOATING BOY AND THE GIRL WHO COULDN'T FLY (co-written with Stephen Graham Jones, as P. T. Jones).

He is the author of the short sto

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