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Black Heart Boys' Choir

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Great art demands sacrifice.

Lucien Beaumont is a teenage misfit and musical prodigy ostracized by his peers and haunted by familial tragedy. When he discovers an unfinished song written by his dead father—a song that holds terrible power—Lucien becomes obsessed. As he chases after the secret nature of his father's music, the line between gruesome fantasy and real life vio
Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Published September 8th 2019 by Wyrd Horror
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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BLACK HEART BOYS' CHOIR required a bit of time on my part for everything to sink in. Once it did, I felt liking shouting BRAVO and throwing some roses at the author. A friend took me aside and told me this was frowned upon, so I decided to write this review instead.

Lucien has recently lost his father to suicide. Shortly after that, he loses his mother to grief, (among other things.) To top it all off, he and his mother are required to move from their rather posh house, to a humbler home in a con
Andrew Fowlow
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
A young man's world drastically changes after his father is found dead, hanging from a nouse. Now, he's left trying to scrape by while dealing with a mother who is in the depths of addiction until one day he finds something that calls to him. It's the unfinished musical work his father started which quickly consumes his entire being. His father's legacy becomes the only thing that matters and the music holds a demonic secret that possesses a gateway to the world's end. The Black Heart Boy's Choi ...more
Evans Light
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-it, horror
In Black Hearts Boys' Choir, Curtis M. Lawson conducts an eloquent, page-turning symphony of destruction. It's a brave, singular vision of unbridled rage.

The book commences with rather dense prose composed with a nearly lyrical flourish. If that's not your cup of tea, fear not—the story spreads it wings quickly and takes flight. The underlying concept could have easily encouraged an overwrought execution, but Lawson skillfully dodges self-indulgence in favor of a tense and ever-escalating plot.

"I shall be immortal in my art, the best parts of me captured in stave and song. Neither death nor Hell can undo that magic."

Few books make me want to throw it across the room and exclaim 'hurrah!' in ecstasy. If you do not feel the overwhelming urge of joy after reading this book, than you are most likely dead. I don't just say this because I consider Curtis my friend, but because this book is simply that good.

Lucien Beaumont is an insufferable prick, but once you understand his home life, yo
Tracy Robinson
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
The end of the world, as it expresses itself at this place and in this time, is set to music. My choir sings as one, and bodies fall all around us, each a universe unto itself, now forever extinguished.” – Curtis M. Lawson, Black Heart Boys’ Choir

I love horror. I love music. When Curtis Lawson put a call out for reviewers, I couldn’t turn down this synopsis. Music is as wide and varied as the horror genre and I think there just isn’t enough musical horror out there. Recently I’ve read Scapegoat
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Black Heart Boys' Choir is the first novel I've read by Curtis M. Lawson, and I loved it! This story is creative, dark, and entertaining. It begins at the end, and then jumps back to the beginning to explain what happened to get there. I feel like this format worked really well for the story that was being told, and I anticipated seeing how everything unraveled.

The main character, Lucien, is complicated. Lucien is technically the protagonist, but he's also a villainous character. He kind of rem
T.C. Michael
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've never read music horror before, let alone music speculative fiction in general. But, I was pleasantly surprise by Lawson's Black Heart Boys' Choir. I'm a huge horror fan and a big believer in the "anti-hero, somewhat villainous, pretty ass hole-y" type of protagonist. Lucien is just that type and I love it. Not a perfect hero, not a save the world perfect man, not a rescue the damsel in distress for love. None of that. And, it works beautifully. The story kicks off with the end, but learnin ...more

Lucien Beaumont is a teenage musical prodigy who has fallen on hard times after a family tragedy. When he discovers an unfinished piece of music by his late father he becomes obsessed with completing it. It is no ordinary song, and Lucien will discover that great art requires great sacrifice.

Music horror is one of my favorite things, and this is an excellent take that kept me fully engaged right from the start. Even knowing the endgame, the journey to that end was full of surprises and little co
Well Read Beard
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
4.5 stars

"Great art is not born without sacrifice."

This is my 2nd experience with Curtis Lawson's work, having only read one of his short stories in an anthology. For me, this books screams originality, it screams dangerous. I would describe it as risky. Some of it is left to interpretation, at least I feel it is. I feel that it is an original take on a real life problem that we see with alarming frequency in the daily news. I will leave you to find out what that real life problem is.

Fact is, I
Jason Parent
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A dark melody that transfixes you to the page... you cannot escape.

To paraphrase the author's demon, great art cannot be achieved without great sacrifice. Given the quality of this novel, I wonder just what the author might have sacrificed to create it. Certainly, a lot of his time and effort, and perhaps a good chunk of his heart and soul.

I should note that I know this author and think very highly of him as a person and an author. I am also a true fan of his writing style, dark sense of humor,
Alex | | findingmontauk1
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Was a 3.5 until the last 40 pages or so totally flipped it up to that 4. Full review to come!
Zakary McGaha
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review is also at Zak's Brain Fluid: https://zaksbookandmoviesite.wordpres...
Black Heart Boys’ Choir by Curtis Lawson is a novel destined to be misunderstood by those too sensitive for its message. To call it “controversial” would be an understatement when you consider the world we live in today, but it’s the book we need.
The story centers on two main aspects: a school shooting and a cursed song. However, when one really thinks about the plot, the message starts to show itself. Said message
Bookwyrm Speaks
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Author: Curtis M. Lawson

Length: 252 Pages

Release Date: September 8, 2019

Publisher: Wyrd Horror

Being a fan of the author's other books, including his book Devoured and his Bad World series, it was a pleasant surprise to get an advanced review copy of his new release, Black Heart Boys' Choir. It is definitely a step back towards his horror roots after a swing into urban fantasy with Bad World and Weird West with The Devoured.


Lucien Beaumont and his family have fallen on hard times. His
Andrew Boylan
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
It must have been sometime during junior high. A man with long, sticky hair, a neck tattoo, and piercings stuck in a wide variety of places along his face arrived at our church to warn us about the devil. Apparently Satan had infiltrated the music we were listening to, the toys we held onto from childhood, and the dice games we played in our basements. Because this man looked like he escaped a heavy metal band or was living on the streets hustling for heroin he seemed authentic enough that the c ...more
Kallie (pageandparlor) Lou Weisgarber
Lucien is a choir boy. Literally. He got his love of classical music, singing and composing from his father. But after his father’s suicide, Lucien was just left with his mom. His mom only felt she was left with the bottle though and quickly blew threw their hefty inheritance on pills, booze and neglecting her teenage son. When the money dried up, Lucien and what was left of his mother were forced to move to a condo in a much less affluent part of town. Lucien was also forced to attend a less pr ...more
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author in response for an honest review.

Overall, I liked this book quite a bit, but I wouldn't say I loved it. It's well-written and imaginative, and the plot was somewhat predictable but otherwise fairly well plotted.

The main character/narrator is a pretentious, formerly-rich, fallen-from-grace white kid (named Lucien Beaumont, because of course) with a penchant for classical music and American Psycho-esque violence who's suffering from the doub
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Axl Barnes
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Although I'm not big into supernatural horror, I fully enjoyed this book. It's a literary page-turner, aesthetically pleasing, and action-packed. From the first pages, I was in love with the main character, Lucien Beaumont, a musical prodigy with an uncompromising anachronistic style, savage elitism, and Nietzschean disdain for his decadent contemporaries. Lawson powerfully alternates the sublime moments when Lucien is uplifted by classical music with scenes of graphic, sordid violence, to show ...more
Lixa Roncone
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I had to DNF this. Now don’t get me wrong, the book is brilliant! Is well written and have an awesome plot, horror made with music. I just couldn’t handle it my self. If you like books with horror, gruesome killings and devil talks then this is the book for you! like I say the book is not bad, I just couldn’t handle it. it was a little too much for me.
Michael Cushing
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First book that I've read by Curtis Lawson. This was a truly original Horror Story. It reminded me of a mix between H P Lovecraft's "The Music of Erich Zann" and Anthony Burgess' "A Clockwork Orange". ...more
Jennifer *Last Book on the Left*
“Madness often takes up residence in the gifted”
Wow! This was an amazing book! Come listen to the music of Hell and follow Lucien Beaumont, an egotistical, entitled teenager that has to start at a new school because his mother, in her grief, drank her way thru all the money left by his late father. He always wears a suit to school and prefers classical music to pop songs. Seen as the weird new kid at school he becomes the brunt of jokes and bullying, he doesn’t care much for his fellow students
Joshua Rex
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A stunning and honest contemplation of the nature of abuse, neglect, and despondency and the resulting violence they can produce. The protagonist wears his suit like a carapace against an unfeeling world, and his music is a cry of anguish and retribution which stokes and billows the flames and forces of hell. Essential reading for this day and age.
Chris Miller
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Terrific coming of age horror with a beautiful interspersing of musical theory and a decent into madness or hell (or is it both?) Well done, Mr. Lawson. Wonderfully told in first person, present tense and you’re never sure how reliable your narrator is, but what you are sure of is the horror he is seeing and inflicting. Terrific book.
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A relentless sonata with a constant lingering sense of dread. A page that will stick in your head long after you finish it. It reminded me a bit of Clive Barker, especially during his Books of Blood era.
Mike Salt
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This novel was so good. I really wasn't sure it was for me, but went with it anyways. I'm glad I did. The entire story kept me entertained the entire time, I wish it was a little bit longer, but was still pleased. ...more
Robert Defrank
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A fun creepy and atmospheric story that really takes advantage of musical elements in Lovecraft's stories that is often ignored. The integration of music and the musical outlook is very well done. A new and different story and worth giving a read. ...more
john chesnut
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite book I read in 2019. I can't recommend it enough. It has a very strong, yet not preachy, message about the effects of bullying, wrapped up in a horror package. ...more
Kenneth Cain
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a fun story. really enjoyed the whole evil unicorn aspect. Kind of felt like a YA version of A Clockwork Orange. ...more
Kallie (pageandparlor) Lou Weisgarber
Lucien is a choir boy. Literally. He got his love of classical music, singing and composing from his father. But after his father’s suicide, Lucien was just left with his mom. His mom only felt she was left with the bottle though and quickly blew threw their hefty inheritance on pills, booze and neglecting her teenage son. When the money dried up, Lucien and what was left of his mother were forced to move to a condo in a much less affluent part of town. Lucien was also forced to attend a less pr ...more
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Curtis M. Lawson is a writer of unapologetically weird, dark fiction, poetry, and comics. His work includes Black Heart Boys' Choir, It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World, and The Devoured.
Curtis is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association and hosts the Wyrd Transmissions podcast.

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