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Nightmares And Geezenstacks

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  554 ratings  ·  78 reviews
47 short and short-short stories by a master of the humorously macabre.


1 · Nasty
2 · Abominable
5 · Rebound [“The Power”]
7 · Nightmare in Gray
8 · Nightmare in Green
9 · Nightmare in White
10 · Nightmare in Blue
12 · Nightmare in Yellow
14 · Nightmare in Red
15 · Unfortunately
16 Granny’s Birthday
18 · Cat Burglar
20 · The House
22 · Second Chance
24 · Great Los
Mass Market Paperback, 182 pages
Published July 27th 1979 by Bantam USA (first published 1961)
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This was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of short stories, superbly narrated by Matt Godfrey. I can see now why Stephen King gave Fredric Brown and specifically this collection a special mention in his non fiction book about influential horror written during the 1950's through the 1970's: Danse Macabre.

Within this volume, there are nearly 50 stories, most of them very short. There were some sci-fi tales mixed in, but most of these were horror. For whatever reason, these tiny gems brought me b
Presumably my first striking read and my favourite collection of short-short stories :)
Vivid and dreamlike, Nightmares and Geezenstacks encases a formidable collection of 45 short to very short stories, all of which are dangerously fun.

The tone is made sarcastical, curious points of view are chosen, and the end is clever and stunning, more often than not! The style borrows from detective stories, science fiction, crime fiction, the Fantastical. Some short stories are even scathing as to America
Brandon Petry
What fun. These short stories (most are flash fiction before that had a name) from pulp icon Fredric Brown were a delight. Like dark genre O'Henry stories most of these end with a twist that I almost never saw coming. And one in particular (view spoiler) made me laugh out loud so hard I woke up my significant other. There's a lot of stories here and some were misses for me but it was an enjoyable read.

Valancourt books did a great job resurrecting this little collect
Michael Adams
Delightful collection of short stories. Several possibly qualified as micro-fiction, being very short, but all were perfectly paced and tersely plotted, with nary a word out of place. Some were ribald, some were scary, most were humorous, and all had a perfect element of a twist ending or surprise reveal in them. Very much recommended to fans of classic SF & Fantasy and all-around well-written stories
Apr 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This one is a collection of shorts - most of the stories are only a page or so long, so it's a quick and terrifying read.

Somewhere between suspense and horror, each of these little gems leaves you torn between putting the book down for good, and turning on to the next...

There's not much else to say - other than I suppose it isn't something for the easily frightened. Fred Brown is a genius with arranging words and ideas into nightmarish scenarios that would shock and amaze even the most avid hor
Riju Ganguly
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fredric Brown is a master storyteller whose works, after thrilling and enthralling entire generations, seemingly vanished from the market.
Yes, NESFA Press had released his shorter & longer seminal Science Fiction in two beautiful hardcover volumes. Yes, Haffner Press has undertaken the massive task of bringing back his entire corpus belonging to the mystery genre, which would undoubtedly be released in hardcovers befitting the reputation of that agency.
But what about the pulp-loving people, who
Oleksandr Zholud
Jun 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a collection of short stories by Fredric Brown. There is a mix of genres: horror, SF, mystery, humor. Several stories use puns, so they ought to be explained. Almost all stories heavily depend on a punch line, but because they are often quite short, it is still fun to re-read them from time to time.

The strongest of the bunch for me were:

Three connected stories Great Lost Discoveries, about lost secret of invisibility, invulnerability and immortality
Jaycee about a generation of men born b
Ben Loory
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
i'm tempted to give this book 5 stars, even though there's not a story in it i would give more than 3 on its own (and most are more like 2 or, let's face it, even 1)... but the thing is, there are just so many of them! and all so punchy and unexpected and free-wheeling and fun! it's just a candy store of ideas and characters and situations and all of them just whizz past and you're like oh my god, this is amazing! even though they all tend to fizzle a bit, or (usually) end in some kind of lame j ...more
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
My original Nightmares and Geezenstacks audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

This book was originally published in 1961.  Many of the stories feel charmingly dated by its mid-20th Century writing and observations.  Venusians posing as humans, closets full of radio equipment and silly electronic weapons.  The stories hold up well with time and this not a deterrent, just a message to the listener to understand what you are getting.  The 47 stories are mostly quite sh
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are kind of like Twilight Zone episodes, some even short and sharp enough to be stand up routines. Full of gallows humor. A hybrid of Saki and Cornell Woolrich.
Eddie Generous
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some stinkers, but there's like a million stories. Dude had a fantastic imagination and a way with the pulpy good stuff. He's also mastered all the tricks to shock and surprise in tight spaces. Most of these are good, some were great. Truly a fantastic book, even if there are a dozen or so wee flash tales to skip. ...more
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
This collection really does take the term 'short story' to the extreme. Many are less than a single page long, in fact, and are really more of a series of tableaux than actual stories.

Still, there's some interesting ideas here; very much in the 'shocking twist' style of its Twilight Zone-era contemporaries (writers such as Rod Serling, Richard Matheson and Ray Bradbury).

Unfortunately, I couldn't help but feel that some of what's on offer here has aged fairly poorly - particularly when that rathe
Erik Graff
Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: horror fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I believe I found this for sale, used, in Chicago's Old Town when the neighborhood was still the only hippie enclave in the city. Mr. Bloomdahl, the father of two friends, occasionally took us boys there to see the sights: hippies for us, girls for him.

This was the bedtime read for several nights while still in Lincoln Junior High. The fifty or so stories are short, punchy and, at the time, quite unsettling. In fact, other than Lovecraft's 'The Colour Out of Space', this is the only book recall
Mar 02, 2011 rated it liked it
OK. Am I missing something here? I see the other 5 star reviews, but I'm just not getting this. I learned of this book when Stephen King's Danse Macabre first came out, and have been wanting to read it every since. Someone mentioned it here, and I borrowed it through my ILL dept. These are occasionally amusing, but I can guess the outcome 99% of the time, and they read like a dated Twilight Zone episode. Frankly, I'm pretty disappointed. Not sure if I even want to finish them or return the book ...more
This was the first collection of stories by Brown that I read. These stories are delightful, creepy, hilarious, silly, unnerving and/or horrifying. With 137 stories over 182 pages some are very short, only a page (or less) long. But regardless of the length they are little gems, worthy of re-reading over and over again.
John Defrog
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fredric Brown was an influential and prolific SF/pulp mystery writer who wrote flash fiction before flash fiction was cool. His specialty was short short stories that ran under two pages and featured a twist ending. He was very good at it, and this collection of short stories from 1961 is solid evidence of that, even though the last ten stories are actually more of a standard length.

Anyway, the stories here are Brown’s usual mix of pulp SF, mystery and horror – sometimes humorous, sometimes hor
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Frederic Brown was someone I read in High School. He was a science fiction writer almost like no other - gone are the scary space invaders and fantastic advances of science - in their place are humor and irony.

In one set of short stories he describes a series of inventions which have been lost. One, Immortality, describes an inventor who discovers as potion which can assure immortality. The inventor can't decide whether to take his own creation. But at one point he gets very bad flu and decides
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you were a fan of Mars Attacks! Or The Twilight Zone then this is for you! It was a bunch of small stories that individually packed creepy and often darkly humorous punches.
Riju Ganguly
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fredric Brown is a master storyteller whose works, after thrilling and enthralling entire generations, seemingly vanished from the market.
Yes, NESFA Press had released his shorter & longer seminal Science Fiction in two beautiful hardcover volumes. Yes, Haffner Press has undertaken the massive task of bringing back his entire corpus belonging to the mystery genre, which would undoubtedly be released in hardcovers befitting the reputation of that agency.
But what about the pulp-loving people, who
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This is a book mostly of short-short stories, and they seem pretty classical now. They're a lot of fun, even though they tend to be predictable. Some of the very short ones read more like jokes than stories, but there's a lot of imagination and charm, and a few moments of actual terror, although this usually comes through in the mundane, rather than monstrous. This book contains the story of Mighty Maxon, which is in my list of 10 Best Short Stories Ever, even though it's only about 2 pages long ...more
Sep 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: short story / horror fans
Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredrick Brown is one of the few books of short stories I have found worth reading. This collection is composed almost entirely of stories one to five pages long, with a total of forty or so stories. The twists, the surprise endings, the re-readability of these stories are what makes this such a unique find. This book reads like a collection of ideas for the Twilight Zone. Brown is a master of horror, suspence, and brevity.

Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A little miracle of a book! Every home should have a copy. First half of the book contains 1-page stories! Often humorous. Nearly every one a bit corny yet still a gem. A must read for devotees of the short story form. One of the most indispensable American humor/genre collections of the 20th Century.
Jim King
Jan 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Alfred Hitchcock could use have used almost every story in this book. The twist on almost every ending will really catch you off-guard. ...more
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
These shorts mostly hinge on surprise endings or clever twists. Unfortunately they didn't surprise all that often, and the cleverness often missed. As short as the book was, it still took me a long time to get through. My heart just wasn't in it. ...more
May 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Long out of print, but a collection of some of the most imaginative and creative short short stories ever assembled. Used paperbacks are occasionally available. Frederick Brown's Best. ...more
zaCk S
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
just about a perfect short story collection - maybe only a couple really good stories, but i love the sheer bulk and fun of all brown's ideas. ...more
Troy Ross
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not every story is a winner but some of the ironic twists are great!
Paul Lima
Nov 29, 2012 rated it liked it
More like a series of 2- to 5-page anecdotes. Some a quite humerous with fun twist endings. Some fall flat - thunk. But Brown is a witty writer.
Jun 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Weird,creepy,crazy... In all the best ways! My big complaint was the extreme brevity of each story. I'd like to see most of them developed further. ...more
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very clever with twists.
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Valancourt Books: Nightmares and Geezenstacks (1961) by Fredric Brown 8 18 Apr 18, 2015 01:57PM  

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Fredric Brown was an American science fiction and mystery writer. He was one of the boldest early writers in genre fiction in his use of narrative experimentation. While never in the front rank of popularity in his lifetime, Brown has developed a considerable cult following in the almost half century since he last wrote. His works have been periodically reprinted and he has a worldwide fan base, m ...more

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