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A Sick Gray Laugh

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Award-winning author Noelle Cashman is no stranger to depression and anxiety. In fact, her entire authorial brand, showcased in such titles as The Girl with the Gun in Her Mouth, Leather Noose, and The Breath Curse, has been built on the hopeless phantasmagoric visions she experiences when in the grip of paranoid psychosis. But Noelle has had enough, and, author brand be ...more
Paperback, 306 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Word Horde
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Char
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-fiction
WTH did I just read? I don't even know!

I can say that I liked it, that it was literary, and that it was beautifully written.

There were deep, dark, and gray ideas explored. If I had to put labels on it, (which is difficult to do), I'd use these:

metafiction
dark humor
weird tales
somewhat nihilistic
dense

After reading a few other reviews once I was finished, it seems that my favorite part was the least favorite part of others, and that was the middle. The first and third portions were more involved
...more
Kallie (pageandparlor) Lou Weisgarber
Noelle Cashman’s paranoid psychosis and depression has gone into remission. She sought out help from a doctor after she finally had had enough. The only issue? How can she keep up with writing her dark and hopeless books if she is no longer dark and hopeless? Staring out the window of her office, she realizes that her small Indiana town is dreadfully gray. Not just the weather. She sees a gray snotty film over everything that everyone around her seems to not notice. A Sick Gray Laugh follows ...more
Scott Kemper
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to come soon. It will be posted on Signal Horizon first.
Lucas Chance
A tour through the Midwest and the Mind

This is such an excellent, excellent book. It’s thorny, provocative, darkly hilarious, sweepingly historical, and it’s conclusion is so unexpected and visceral.

This is definitely a novel that defies characterization and comparison, but it stands alongside Michael Cisco’s _The Great Lover_ and Thomas Ligotti’s “The Last Feast of Harlequin” as one of the absolute best pieces of Weird Fiction I have ever read.
Nick Cato
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cushing’s mind-twisting tale will dig deep under your skin. Full review soon at thehorrorfictionreview.blogspot.com.
Jo Quenell
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one is nuts. Just like her previous novel, Mr.Suicide, Cushing took this book to places I couldn’t come close to expecting. It dragged a bit there in the middle, but the third act more than made up for it.
Paul
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sick, disturbing, engrossing, entertaining, twisted, fun. Nicole Cushing hits it out of the park with this tale of/by Noelle Cashman. At turns, N.C. relays a fictional history, epidemiological study, memoir, and manifesto. At the same time, the reader can see a steady change in the narrator's demeanor/well-being. It all flows together well and pulls the reader along in unexpected directions. Nicole Cushing manages to inject humor (granted dark humor - or should I say "sick gray humor") into her ...more
matthew
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Unlike much I’ve read in the best way: unpredictable, unique, weird, funny, horrifying, difficult, but always accessible. Kind of European in form but definitely horror in content. I will definitely read more of Cushing’s work
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
I adored Cushing’s Mr. Suicide—a strange, polarizing, gross-on-every-level story. So I went into this book with somewhat high expectations.

While definitely has that weird uniqueness that doesn’t give a single f***, I found it a slog to read.

This is one of those books that has a stylistic agenda, and once I get what it’s doing, I find it hard to keep reading on style alone. An extreme example of this “stylistic agenda” is A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and if you’ve had to carve your way through that book,
...more
Samantha
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this book in the November 2019 Night Worms package. At first glance, it appeared to be a bit out of place in a horror fiction package. Boy, was I wrong.

This book is terrifying, existential, hilarious, bitter, and utterly unique. I wouldn't be surprised if this later becomes a book shared by twisted professors and teachers with University and highschool students for the range of topics it discusses, or "unveils," if you will.

I admit to finding parts slow, but it always felt purposeful.
...more
Richard Leis
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Included in Night Worms' November 2019 "Feasting on Horror" subscription package, A Sick Gray Laugh is unlike anything I have read before. Nicole Cushing has crafted a slow burn rumination on history, literature, and (pop) culture kept from being tedious by a captivating mad persona narrator who anticipates reader questions while hatching unhinged plans. Uncomfortable and laugh-out-loud humor and madness lead to disturbed conclusions that make disturbing nihilistic sense. There is something ...more
bundledwithbooks
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars for me. This book had me question myself and what I was reading. Did I miss something, skip a paragraph or did I lose my mind and get lost in the gray? This book delves into a lot of history of a small town in the midwest (almost half the book). It was a bit too much for me and very drab. The beginning and ending made up for the lengthy history lessons. A book that talks about depression, sanity and suicidality and living in a world of "grayness" - this is life, but most don't want to ...more
Maritza Campos
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A strange book. Good and entertaining, but disjointed in a very disconcerting way.
Marie
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Required reading for anyone who lives in Indiana.
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Nicole Cushing is the Bram Stoker Award winning author of Mr. Suicide and a two-time nominee for the Shirley Jackson Award.

Various reviewers have described her work as “brutal”, “cerebral”, “transgressive”, “taboo”, “groundbreaking” and “mind-bending”. This Is Horror has said that she is “quickly becoming a household name for horror fans”. She has also garnered praise from Jack Ketchum, Rue
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