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Various States of Decay

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  13 reviews
From the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of What Do Monsters Fear? and A Penny For Your Thoughts come twenty new tales of terror!

Including the Irish Short Story of the Year-nominated 'Intercepting Aisle Nine.'

From a white doomsday crawling with abominable beasts to the bizarre case of a marketing company advertising within people's dreams, these stories explore the extr
Mass Market Paperback, 290 pages
Published December 15th 2019 by Poltergeist Press
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Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Various Stages of Decay we are presented with 20 short stories by Matt Hayward. This collection contains many different stories that show that the author is not content to write about limited subjects or write in a specific style. I found each of these stories different from each other and all were very interesting and enjoyable. Most of the stories had elements of horror in them but some also had fantasy settings. Overall these stories show a writer who is confident in his abilities. These s ...more
Michael Hicks
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
My review of VARIOUS STATES OF DECAY can be found at High Fever Books.

Shamefully, I’ve only read a very small portion of Matt Hayward’s output, but what little I have read has been more than enough to convince me that I need to buckle down and get to his back-list posthaste. The nice thing about a short story collection is that it can give you a number of lovely samples of an author’s style and works in pretty quick order, and if Various States of Decay proves anything, it’s that Hayward’s Bram
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you’ve been following my book-related posts and reviews, you might’ve noticed that short story collections and anthologies have been taking up more space on my shelves lately. I love a good novel, but I feel there’s something special about a collection of short fiction. It showcases not only what an author can do with fewer words, but also gives the reader a taste of the author’s range.

Matt Hayward is gifted with a vast imagination and a natural talent for storytelling. VARIOUS STATES OF DEC
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! I’m usually not a big fan of short stories and prefer full length novels. However, Matt’s way of writing each story has a way of pulling you in every time and making you love short stories as much as novels. There are several in this book that made me sad to not be able to continue reading their specific story like Rodent in the Red Room, More Will Follow, Comes With The Rain and Knock, Knock. I love when an author writes in a way that you literally have no idea where the story i ...more
Aiden Merchant
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review coming soon to ...

"Hayward had me glued to the page...his expert writing and variety in style kept things fresh and enticing throughout...the hype surrounding this author is well-earned."
Kim Napolitano
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart stopping collection!

I can’t say enough how much enjoyed this book, terrifying, heartbreaking, sweet and with some creatures thrown in (a baby dinosaur anyone?) Something for everyone, there isn’t one story less then a 5 stars in here. The last story in the book just about killed me. This collection deserves every award that it can gather and you’d be remiss not putting this on the top of your TBR list. Other reviewers will do a story by story break down so search them out. What I can say
Yvonne (go.for.a.walk.chuma)
Excellent Collection

Mit Anthologien ist das immer so eine Sache … von gut bis mäßig ist oftmals alles dabei, ein Querschnitt des Könnens eines Autors, vergleichbar mit einem Scribble – ein bunter Strauß voller Überraschungen eben. Bei »Various States of Decay« fallen diese Überraschungen allerdings durchweg positiv aus, was bei 20 Geschichten (und ich habe jede einzelne davon genossen!) eine echte Glanzleistung darstellt.

Bereits mit »Brain Dead Blues« konnte mich der für den Bram Stoker Award no
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Various States of Decay was something else. I’ve already got nothing but amazing things to say about Hayward’s work and this is no different. It’s the kind of material that sits in the back of your mind to make you rethink everyday things, like cleaning between your couch cushions or catching your everyday transportation. I couldn’t recommend him anymore than I already do but I will say this, go out and get this book NOW, you won’t regret it. Even if you haven’t read him before, I don’t think th ...more
Suz Jay
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This collection contains twenty horror short stories by Matt Hayward, co-author of the phenomenal novel A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS, and a great introduction from Kelli Owen, which coins the phrase “conveyer belt story. “

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My favorites in the collection are as follows:
In “Intercepting Aisle Nine,” Ronald is compelled to make a late night convenience store run and discovers something more concerning t
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
What a damn fine collection we're given. My full review can be read here ---> ...more
Kallie (pageandparlor) Lou Weisgarber
In Various States of Decay, Matt Hayward shows off his imagination and his ability to turn massive concepts into solid short stories. Kelli Owen's introduction was beautiful and it was a great way to start off this collection. I find often that short stories have a hard time with character development and pacing due to the lack of space to do so. It's simple; the shorter the story, the less time to build these things up the right way. However, Hayward has a knack for setting up his characters an ...more
If you’re looking for hope within the stories in Matt Hayward’s collection Various States of Decay, you will be disappointed. Few, if any, of these protagonists are heroes. Not many of them can even be called likable, yet Hayward’s fantastic writing grips the reader all the same, drawing them deep into these tales and the situations a variety of different characters find themselves in.

Full review at Dead Head Reviews
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
That lobster story was awesome! So was the one where that house has traps set around it to collect people for food!
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