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Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  315 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Addiction starts like a sweet lullaby sung by a trusted loved one. It washes away the pains of the day and wraps you in the warmness of the womb where nothing hurts and every dream is possible. Yet soon enough, this warm state of bliss becomes a cold shiver, the ecstasy and dreams become nightmares, yet we can't stop listening to the lullaby. We crave to hear the siren son ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published January 10th 2020 by Wicked Run Press (first published January 4th 2020)
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Mark Matthews Not directly, but... Kealan Patrick's Burke story is about a couple who have a short drug and sex-fueled love affair.
John FD Taffs' story is the only…more
Not directly, but... Kealan Patrick's Burke story is about a couple who have a short drug and sex-fueled love affair.
John FD Taffs' story is the only one that ventures completely outside of a 'substance addiction' and is about the obsessive urge for cutting and the highs that come with pain and has a sadomasochism element where the cutting becomes sexually charged with partners. (less)

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4.5/5 stars!

Heartbreaking, haunting and memorable, these LULLABIES FOR SUFFERING will stay with you for a long, long time.

Here we have a collection of 6 novellas, all of them from authors I've read before, so I was eager to start listening when my request to Audiobook Boom was approved.

Kealan Patrick Burke's SOMETIMES THEY SEE ME: When the lives of two addicts collide and interrupt suicide attempts, you know the story won't end well. Stories of addiction rarely do.

Caroline Kepnes' MONSTERS: Thi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Hicks
My review of LULLABIES FOR SUFFERING can be found at High Fever Books.

For his follow-up to Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror, Mark Matthews has once again put together a line-up of indie and small-press horror A-listers for Lullabies for Suffering. This antho features six long short stories and novellas, all of which focus on the theme of addiction. Even though heroin features heavily here, the stories are far from repetitive and the surrounding plots are creative, forceful, and, at ti
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lullabies for Suffering was my first venture into addiction horror, and I’ll definitely be seeking out more stories like those in this anthology. This book includes six novella/novelette-length tales, and it begins with a brief introduction by Mark Matthews, which provides the reader with a bit of information on the authors and their story topics. I thought that the introduction was a nice touch, as it gives the reader some background on addiction horror, and also prepares you for the story topi ...more
Steve Stred
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

Mark Matthews returns with seven stories to inflict emotional suffering. His previous effort (Gardens of Fiends) has been recommended to me a number of times. It is sitting on my TBR waiting to be read.

I read this collection over the course of a week, reading a new story each night. Matthews opens up with an introduction and within he says that each tale is novella length, allowing for each author to have the space to let their story grow and
Roxie |The Book Slayer| Voorhees
My anthology drought is over! This collection of six novellas is an intense depiction of the real horror surrounding addiction. Most of these stories tell of heroin and other opioids abuse; a serious and real problem in America today, then others depict alternative addictions. Whether it is pain, drugs, or the need to take care of someone, it is evident that nearly anything can slip into the tragic cycle of addiction.

Although not as horrific as other
Aiden Merchant
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it

Edited by Mark Matthews (Feat. Gabino Inglesias, Kealan Patrick Burke, Caroline Kepnes, John FD Taff, Mercedes M Yardley, Mark Matthews)

If you haven’t really considered it before, consider it now: addiction is pure horror. 

Prior to Lullabies for Suffering, I thought of addiction as a staple ingredient in literary drama; horror hadn’t really occurred to me. After reading this collection, it seems like such an obvious overlook on my part. How did I ever miss it? Addiction is
Will Blosser
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lullabies for Suffering is the second addiction themed anthology edited by Mark Mathews. The six stories within these pages tell of the life-destroying effects of addictions of all varieties. These stories are personal. They are brutal and hard to read. If you have ever been touched by addiction, either your own or that of a loved one, you will find something here that resonates deeply with you. These authors give a blunt and honest peek into the mind of those battling with addiction. The lies, ...more
Amanda (spooky.octopus.reads) Turner
Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror was a new type of horror for me. I didn’t know what to expect from “addiction horror” going into this one. The stories contained in this beautifully dark book explore the devastating desperation of various types of addictions.

I am sure in some way we have all been affected by addiction, whether we have a loved one who struggles to overcome the stranglehold of substances or obsessions or maybe an acquaintance who took a dark path years ago and g
D.K. Hundt
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it

‘Lullaby aims to portray this affliction with honesty, empathy, and understanding.’

The tears began and refused to stop as I read ‘Love is a Crematorium’ by Mercedes M. Yardley, the last story in this anthology, one of many I will never forget.

Not many genres other than Horror, in this reader's opinion, can so effectively tackle the harsh dark reality that is addiction for so many. One of whom I hold dearly in my heart, always, lost their battle from addiction so many years ago - in my m
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, read-in-2019
These tales of addiction are heartbreaking and will wreak havoc with your emotions. My review is posted here ---> ...more
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
First, I want to thank the publisher for an early copy to review!

Ok! Let's start with the fact that this is a collection of novellas/novelettes by quite some talented writers (some new to me and some familiar to me) This book comes with heavily armed trigger warnings in the intro, as it's a sub-genre of horror called addiction horror. Now, this is the very first time I've ever read this kind of horror and OUCH did it hurt like Hell! This kind of horror is not your average bloody, gory, slasher
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-read
This was a great collection of novella-length short stories based around the subject of drug addiction and written by some of my favourite authors, notably Caroline Kepnes, Kealan Patrick Burke and Mark Matthews, and introducing me to several other authors whose work I shall now be seeking out.
I really enjoyed the characters, horrible as some of them were, and didn't dislike any of the tales (unusual in a short story collection) so would recommend this collection to lovers of short fiction - 9/
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“We crave to hear the siren song as it rips us apart.”

Sometimes They See Me By Kealan Patrick Burke - It’s not blood. It’s paint. I needed red.

Monsters by Caroline Kepnes - She wants to slide. She doesn’t want to stick.

Lizard by Mark Matthews - Seduced by a sweet lullaby full of promises but finding only suffering.

The Melting Point of Meat by John F.D. Taft – I saw everything. Each time I saw more clearly.

Beyond the Reef by Gabino Iglesias - Smells like cigarette smoke, wet carpet and broken d
Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Every person you meet is two or three bad decisions away from being a junkie, homeless, dealing with a horrible disease, or getting a bullet to the back of the head. The kicker? All humans are born flawed, naturally defective."

Addiction horror is new to me. This is my second book I've read about it. We all already know addiction is ruthless, scary and sorrowful. Some of the stories in this book have a weird paranormal type twist to them. Not even paranormal but just out there. It was interestin
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My emotions are exposed and raw, my stomach tangled, my shoulders sagged. This open-veined collection tore me up.

When Lullabies for Suffering began circulating social media, I knew I wanted to review it and my expectations were high. I hoped for a hauntingly gritty, yet delicate portrayal of various addictions, not just alcohol and drugs. I hoped for stories that illuminated without romanticizing. I wanted to experience the disease fester in the character’s minds while longing for a happy endin
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I will admit Lullabies For Suffering was not only a cover buy but also an author buy. There are some stories by some amazing authors in this book!

In saying that, this book is addiction horror. I was going in blind on a book based on its authors. This was probably the wrong book to do that with. The only thing I've ever been addicted to is cigarettes but this book covers a variety of different addictions and it's not pleasant.
The stories are dark, horrific, and absolutely heart breaking.

I've had
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brennan LaFaro
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Before the genesis of this collection, I didn't realize that addiction horror was a thing. Now it makes all the sense in the world. One of the best things I've discovered through reading more independent horror is my own expanded definition of what horror means, what it can be. 
There are stories in this anthology like that of Gabino or John Taff that fit a little more neatly under the horror umbrella, with other-worldly creatures. Other stories like that of Caroline Kepnes and Mercedes Yardley ...more
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Have you ever read a book that simultaneously horrified you and broke your heart? Well, Lullabies for Suffering does exactly that to its readers.

When I first received this book, I had no idea what addiction horror was. I mean, I had some idea of what to expect, but I wasn't quite prepared for all of this. The stories, as the theme suggests, are all tied together by one common topic: addiction. Each novella is written by a different author, and they all deal with the subject matter in a differen
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this collection so! It was deep and raw and heartbreaking and so very good. Read some authors I’d never read before, and some proven favorites. I’m sorry I missed the first book in this collection, but I’ll be going back to read it. These stories are called addiction horror, and maybe having had this touch my life in different ways made it more stark, but I’d recommend it to my fellow horror fans ;)
Becky Spratford
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
STAR review in Library Journal January 2020 issue:

Three Words That Describe This Book: chilling, thought provoking, timely issues

Draft Review:

Matthews, a recovering addict who works in the field of substance abuse treatment, has been vocal about how horror has helped him through his own struggles. From the introduction of this collection, “Horror has the capacity to speak to trauma in a unique fashion. It's a tone and technique as much as a genre, and wha
Aaron Nash
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is quite simply the best story collection I've ever read.

I loved reading the stories by the authors I knew. Kealan burke set the stage with his first tale, with a sad twist ending that I didn't see coming. Caroline Kepnes told the second tale with her own unique voice. It made me uncomfortable throughout. It was dangerous and I felt dirty reading it. Gabino Iglesias came up with something different and unique, with some otherworldly villains that were genuinely scary.

It was the stories by a
Armand Rosamilia
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brutal in a really good way. These stories will rip you apart, whether you've dealt with addiction personally or in your family/friends. I had to take a break after each story and reset before going back to it. I won't bore you with the stories I loved, I'll let you decide. There was only one story I thought was alright, the rest were great. ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve never been this obsessed with an anthology. I can’t wait to write more about this stunning and horrifying collection. Review to come!!
Lars (theatretenor) Skaar
Finished this beauty tonight! Feels weird to say beauty as it’s filled with such tragic stories. Horror novellas dealing with forms of addiction. I got it for Kealan and Caroline (who have great stories in here, don’t get me wrong!) and ended up staying for the authors I didn’t know!
Star of the show goes to two cause don’t make me choose - Gabino Iglesias and Mercedes M Yardley. Coincidentally the last two stories so the book really ramped up in the end! Left a nice book hangover.
And then John F
The Story Girl
I only read Caroline Kepnes's short story in here, and before anything even happened on the first page, I just got an 'icky' feeling about it all, and there were just some pervy parts of the story, and just... no. I could have lived without reading this particular story. ...more
Mike Wallace
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have an affinity for stories about addiction. Probably because I'm a longtime recovered addict. All the stories in this collection are superb but The Melting Point of Meat John FW Taff really takes the cake. Killer collection! ...more
Michael Kress
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, horror
This is not actually written by Caroline Kepnes. She only wrote one story in the collection. It would be more accurate to give Mark Matthews writing credit, since he arranged it and wrote one of the stories. That being said, Kepnes is the reason I got the book; she has a good track record with me, and now I've read everything I know of by her. Her story was great, and so were the others. Heroin is a great theme for horror. Creepy and disturbing. ...more
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in my Night Worms February 2020 package.

Wowie! This was an amazing book. I absolutely loved every single story. The order of them was impeccable, too. I can't say enough about this collection of "tales of addiction horror." When I finished it, I felt like I lost a friend. Surreal, horrific, traumatizing, and so often brutally real. This collection will pull your heart out gently while you lie back in a state of malevolent bliss.

I am finding it difficult to put these in orde
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