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To Wallow in Ash, & Other Sorrows

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4.73  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Written during the black-depths of early widowhood, To Wallow in Ash, & Other Sorrows explores grief, loss, and the alluring comforts found within the heart of oblivion. In the spirit of J.G. Ballard, Georges Bataille, and Kathe Koja, these nine Sorrows are a cross-section of literary splatterpunk, transgressive fiction, and weird horror, which seek to illuminate the terro ...more
Paperback, 159 pages
Published October 9th 2019 by NihilismRevised
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Janie C.
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
These stories contain more truth than many of us can bear. They pay homage to the raw existence of loss and grief and the horrors that accompany the void of privation. The author's angst is palpable, and he molds each story around the empty shapes that are left behind by the death of a soul mate. Emotions, sexuality, and the depth of physical purgatory are explored in detail, leaving the reader feeling deeply moved and as emotionally purged as the author. Magick and hallucinatory offerings also ...more
Ben Fitts
Horror might be a unique genre in that it is widely associated with one specific emotion rather than the variety of life that one otherwise tends to look for in storytelling. However, as any member of the initiated can tell you, horror can run the gambit of feelings and emotions. But if there was ever one book to prove that fact, it would be To Wallow In Ash and Other Sorrows.

This collection would be deserving of a five star rating based on the strength of its opening title story alone, but it’s
...more
Leo Robertson
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A harrowing, raw collection of what I suspect is the original definition of "grievances." (Just looked it up: from the French, grever, "to burden", combined with "grieve.")

An excellent collection and a perfect fit for what NihilismRevised does best, which is to find the void and give it a good telling to.

I've definitely found that chaos is best written about once you can look back at it. So I hope, in a weird way, that Richard has just begun to write about his grief, and suspect that this is a p
...more
Steve Stred
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 star review coming to Kendall Reviews!
Charles
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sam Richard has really carved himself a niche in the world of horror. And I'm writing as a reader who has read a lot of horror. Ghosts, demons, serial killers, monsters, backwoods psychos, rapists, plagues, elder gods, witches, warlocks, ecological disaster, abound in good stories and bad, as that is horror after all, but after a while it can all seem sort of the same. Not so in To Wallow in Ash and Other Stories. To be sure the reader gets their fair share of gore and nastiness, but from an emo ...more
Brendan
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At its core, To Wallow In Ash and Other Sorrows is a mediation on grief accomplished through a lens of horror. The collection is bookended by two of the most honest, heart wrenching, and emotionally disturbing pieces of short fiction I’ve read in years. Especially the final tale, Deathlike Love. It’s one of those rare horror stories that leaves you in a funk for hours or even days after reading it.

Though the majority of the stories are metaphorical tales dealing with grief, loss and pain, some c
...more
Shayne
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've had a hard time trying to write about this book. It's a great book, I can get that out of the way pretty fast, but when I try to say something, anything really, about it words just kind of break up into a runny alphabet soup. This is a book about grief, but not like any book about grief you'll ever read. There is no silver lining, there is no release from these dark chains at the very bottom of the deepest chasm. There is no "I got over it and am happy now." That's not really how grief work ...more
Tim Murr
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I reviewed it for Biff Bam Pop and included the link below for a more detailed review. This book is a wrecking ball and stretches the boundaries of horror fiction. It should be on everyone's shelf.
https://biffbampop.com/2019/10/16/31-...
...more
William Tea
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
***this review originally appeared on The Ginger Nuts of Horror website***

Sam Richard knows a thing or two about putting together literary tributes. As owner of Weirdpunk Books, he’s edited and published such anthologies as Blood for You: A Literary Tribute to GG Allin, Hybrid Moments: A Literary Tribute to the Misfits, and The New Flesh: A Literary Tribute to David Cronenberg.

Now he’s released his own debut short story collection, To Wallow in Ash & Other Sorrows (published by NihilismRevised).
...more
Lucas Mangum
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
I read this collection after an entire month of reading almost nothing but Richard Laymon and Bryan Smith. Amid all that bloody good pulp, it was nice to read something meditative, personal and moody. The collection opens with an introduction that contextualizes the stories and lets us know upfront that it won't be an easy read. Nearly all the pieces contained within this collection explore loss and its many dimensions. My favorite of the bunch is probably "Nature Unveiled," though they all punc ...more
Jo Quenell
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a short but very heavy collection that jumps between horror, crime and transgressive fiction, all emphasizing heavily on the theme of grief from a recent widowers' perspective. While there's not a bad story in here, the two standouts (for me) were 'Deathlike Love' and 'We Feed This Muddy Creek.' The former is one of the most viscerally upsetting stories I have read in a long while, while the latter evokes heavy Lansdale/Norman Partridge feels.

Reading this in one sitting made for a rathe
...more
Kyle Rader
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This one is not for the faint of heart. The author makes this painfully clear to you, the reader, from the start. Here is a collection of horror--both real life and fiction---centered around grief and loss, about what it means, really, really means to exist after one you loved has gone on. The stories run the gamut from darkly poetic to pulpy science fiction and there isn't a wasted word in the entire collection. Highly recommended.
John
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very solid collection. Everything from grief and loss to humanity to joy and love.
Jessica (Spooky KidLit & We Who Walk Here, Walk Alone)
To Wallow in Ash & Other Sorrows is so visceral and intensely personal that part of me feels like reviewing it is an act of violation. Sam Richard’s stories are raw, his words laying bare his grieving, bloodied soul. Mostly written after his wife’s death, they explore the pain, sorrow, and guilt that rage through his widowhood. He grapples with faith and the cruel vagaries of the cosmos, exorcising demons while clinging to his lover’s ghost. This astonishing collection of weird, dark fiction wil ...more
William Wheeler
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The title is perfect for what lies within those pages. Love....has no boundaries. Love is infinite.
Zé Burns
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Written soon after the passing of his wife, this collection was Sam Richard’s way of coping with that loss. The product is powerful, well-crafted prose you can feel in your core. Knowing the truth behind the stories made it one of the most touching books I’ve read in a long time. And the fact that many stories were written à clef made it all too real.

The collection starts off with the titular story, written sixteen days after his wife’s death. Not-fully-realized grief coats the story of a widowe
...more
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The owner of Weirdpunk Books, Sam Richard is also co-editor of the Splatterpunk Award-nominated The New Flesh: A Literary Tribute to David Cronenberg and editor of Zombie Punks Fuck Off. He is the author of Sabbath of the Fox-Devils, To Wallow in Ash & Other Sorrows, and his short fiction has appeared in Oculus Sinister, LAZERMALL, Breaking Bizarro, and many other anthologies and magazines. Widowe ...more

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