Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales” as Want to Read:
Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  15 reviews
“Enter this freakishly inventive cabinet of curiosities if you will, every story providing a redly drippy skull-window straight into the id-vortex of a modern horror master–gape in awe, laugh out loud, feel your mental mouth start to water.” –Gemma Files, from the introduction

Orrin Grey has a knack for cruel stories.

Contes Cruel, to be exact.

Sardonic Tales like the fourtee
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Word Horde
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  45 ratings  ·  15 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The silver screen flickers and then gleams in sharp detail and uneasy contrasts. Every corner of the screen is filled with monsters, films as the esoteric text, forbidden cults, and body snatchers. The popcorn is covered in atmosphere straight from the yellow nozzle.

I love films and television shows as the eldritch text, and Orrin delivers these to me in healthy servings that always have me coming back for more. Considering this, “Dream House” is an excellent place to open the collection. A stor
Dominique Lamssies
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Orrin Grey has a way of taking presented concepts and doing something not only completely original but fun and sometimes heartbreaking. It may not sound like a good, or even feasible, mix but in Grey's capable hands, it is.

This book also accomplishes a rare feat: None of the stories in this book are "meh." They are all consistently good. And there is a solid balance of lighter and darker (though make no mistake all the stories have an element of darkness to them, thus the "Sardonic Tales" part o
Logan Noble
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect October collection. This book is filled with stunners that creeped me out but also made me smile at the same time. Many of the stories look to the past to find their horrors, which is one of the quintessential themes of this genre that we love so much. Frequent film and video game references run through the stories, ranging from the beloved to the obscure. The reverence and references give Orrin his unique style and set him apart from his contemporaries in the field.

I want to
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m a big fan of Orrin Grey’s work, and look forward to anything bearing his name. Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales is a mix of new and previously printed material, but I was happy to re-read even those stories with which I was already familiar. I enjoyed every page, but if I had to pick a handful of favorites this time ‘round…

“Dream House”: Perfect opener for an Orrin Grey collection.

“The Lesser Keys”: Fantastic Jazz Age story set in Kansas City. If you enjoyed Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Blac
Micah Castle
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales is Orrin Grey's third collection, following his wonderful collection, Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts, and what a follow-up it is. Guignol, unlike previous collections, shows that Grey can dip his skeletal fingers into other dark genres as well and do so beautifully, while remaining knee-deep in weird horror all the while.

My favorite stories from this collection are: "Guignol," "The Blue Light," "A Circle That Ever Returneth In," "The Well and the Wheel, "D
John Jacobs
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This collection makes a big to-do about the stories contained being “cruel” and some of them are definitely nasty, but Grey has a sort of gleeful and roving joyousness in the way he tackles what you might think of as old horror tropes and stands them on their head so that you have to look at them in a new way.

Orrin Grey is proving to be a master of the short-form, alongside writers like Laird Barron and Stephen Graham Jones. You should get this one, for sure. And Never Bet the Devil. *Side note
Donald Armfield
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Grey has such unique storytelling techniques.
Enjoyed this collection.
My favorites:
-The Lesser Keys
-the Phantom Planet
Alex Ferland
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Orrin Grey is one of those guys who, as far as I know, is doing things with the horror genre that no other author is doing (if anyone is, please let me know!)

Having thoroughly enjoyed how fun, classic, and pulpy his two other books were - "Painted Monsters" in particular- I approached this new collection's assertion that it would be darker and crueler with some measure of trepidation.

It turns out my fears were unfounded. Yes, there are some stories like Shadders and Invaders of Gla'aki that hav
Sam Edwards
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Maybe I'm the only one who reads introductions and afterwards prior to reading collections, but Orrin describes his stories in this collection as "cruel." Those who have read his previous collections may expect a bit of hack-and-slash action horror. There's a bit of that here, especially with "A Circle That Ever Returneth In," "Baron Von Werewolf Presents" and "The Cult of Headless Men."

But the cruelty is in the relationships, in the characters and the things they get put through. "Dark and Deep
Chris McMillan
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fun collection of stories, with author notes after each tale explaining Grey's inspiration, including a bunch of B-movies mentioned. Even when I was able to figure out how a few stories would end, it was still quite fun to read them through to the conclusion. I have to admit, my favorite was the sword and sorcery/Lovecraftian choose-your-own-adventure, which I wish was longer and with a few more endings. And anyone who mentions The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake as an inspiration for one of his s ...more
Leland Merritt
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this collection. This book was full of scary, yet deeply emotional stories. My favorites were:

“A Circle that Ever Returneth”
“The Well and the Wheel”
“Haruspicate or Scry”

This is a strong collection and I definitely recommend.
Ashley Jacoby
Aug 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a book compiled of short stories. Some of them a struggle to get through, others very good. Worth the read.
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I really struggled to get through this -- every time I started to settle into a story, I'd run into an unsubtle reference to a movie/book/whatever or a particularly clunky turn of phrase that pulled me out of it again. The concepts were genuinely compelling and unique, and I was impressed at how many different elements and subgenres Grey incorporated into one story collection. However, the author seems really hung up on making nods and references to things without actually incorporating those th ...more
Andru Kerner
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
I made it 5 stories in and put it down. The stories are almost entirely derivative and don't offer much in the way of originality to the table. I found myself cringing at the tropes the author decided to implement and yawning when the horror kicked in. ...more
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Review to come.
rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2018
Jordan West
rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Apr 14, 2021
rated it it was amazing
Sep 29, 2018
J.T. Glover
rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2018
rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2019
rated it liked it
Jun 06, 2020
rated it really liked it
Feb 25, 2019
Barry Hill
rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2021
TEELOCK Mithilesh
rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2021
Carson Winter
rated it really liked it
Sep 21, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Sep 11, 2020
rated it really liked it
May 06, 2021
rated it it was amazing
Nov 02, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2020
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • She Said Destroy
  • Furnace
  • A Hawk in the Woods
  • Corpsepaint
  • An Augmented Fourth
  • Battle Ground (The Dresden Files, #17)
  • Children of the Fang and Other Genealogies
  • Sefira and Other Betrayals
  • Cinderella Is Dead
  • Full Throttle
  • Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell
  • The Year of the Witching
  • Bloodline
  • Gideon Falls, Vol. 3: Stations of the Cross
  • The Once and Future Witches
  • Infidel
  • Helmie
  • The Arrival of Missives
See similar books…
Orrin Grey is a skeleton who likes monsters. When asked, he claims to mostly write oubliettes.

Related Articles

Trying to bust a reading slump? No time to sink into a long novel? Prefer plots that can be contained in a handful of pages? Then a short story...
71 likes · 7 comments