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Objects of Worship

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Twelve strange, eerie, sensual stories by a bold new voice in weird fiction. Capricious gods rule a world of women. Zombies breed human cattle. The son of a superhero must decide between his heritage and his religion. Young lovers worship a primordial spider god. The apocalyptic rebirth of the god of the elephants . . .
Paperback, 276 pages
Published October 15th 2009 by ChiZine Publications (first published 2009)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  215 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quite honestly, I only really liked about half of these dozen stories, but because they were so well written, oozing with life and imagination, four stars it is.
Iman Danial Hakim
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I can't help but to notice how eccentric the writer is. The stories are unique, ranging from metaphysics, divination, history, science, superhero etc.

Oddly satisfying.
MB Taylor
Feb 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Finished Objects of Worship (2009) by Claude Lalumière the other day on the way to work. Objects of Worship is a collection of 12 short stories. Describing them as strange would be an understatement. This collection abounds with zombies, superheroes and gods.

About the only other contemporary writer I read much of whose short fiction is this strange, is John Shirley. But other than pure strangeness the two writers’ works have little in common. Shirley’s stories frequently edge into the horrific a
Kari Castor
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I picked this book up for cheap when a nearby Borders shut down, and well, I have to say that I'm glad I didn't pay full price for it.

I love short stories, particularly as a vehicle for weird or speculative fiction. Lalumière's book looked promising, full of superheroes and zombies and old gods. Unfortunately, while Lalumière does play with some interesting ideas here and there, too many of these stories function as little more than half-baked mashups retreading worlds, characters, and concepts
Mike Vasich
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Mr LaLumiere is an author worth checking out. His short story collection here is visionary, creative, and original. And often times disturbing, as well.

Here are my impressions on a few of the stories:

Objects of Desire
Very disturbing and weird. Thrusts the reader into a bizarre world where creepy little household 'gods' are worshipped, and they occasionally decide to knock up their exclusively female worshippers. It was icky, but compelling.

The Ethical Treatment of Meat
A zombie story from the po
Dec 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first tale in this collection of Weird stories ("The Object of Worship"). In its own peculiar--and I use that word affectionately--way, it captured the emotional complexity of the breakdown of a relationship between two women, particularly the surreal experience of realizing the person one lives with isn't who they once were/pretended to be, along with those odd,identity-shattering first moments of detachment and distancing when things finally fall apart. I wish that I enjoy ...more
Nicky Dierx
Dec 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I picked up this book at Polaris, and have to say I was pleasantly surprised by some of the stories in this book. I particularly enjoyed his take on zombies facing off against a Lovecraftian horror.
That having been said I was saddened by how distinctly underwhelmed I felt upon finishing it.
I can't help but wonder if perhaps something was lost in translation from Lalumiere's native french?

I can only describe the book as a whole thus:

It feels like watching an entire season of "The Outer Limits",
Feb 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A story by story discussion with the first lines (in two cases the first "relevant" lines) included; superb collection

The Object of Worship
The god settles on the table. Rose tears a piece from her toast, slathers a heap of cream cheese on the ear-sized morsel, and lays it next to the god. It consumes the tribute.

The first story and the one that names the collection starts the novel with a bang introducing a world in which gods are "real", physical and everywhere, demand worship while giving life
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ll have to lean away from James Morrow’s introduction, full of mad praise, and say that despite Lalumiere’s clear writing abilities as regards his style, this one still ends up a mixed bag of treats. Although, to be fair, the oscillations are not drastic – there is nothing truly terrible here, the scale just swings from “awesome” to “meh” way too much. Lalumiere tends either to eschew the traditional 3/5 act structure, or to throw ideas and sketches out as whole stories – this can sometimes wo ...more
Tian Gao
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read the first two stories ages ago and stopped and only went through the other ones in the last few days and I found that the last ten weren't quite on par, they were good but not on the same level as the first two. ...more
Tyrannosaurus regina
I can't believe I've owned this book for five years and never read it before now. Painful, beautiful, visceral, terrifying, and utterly breathtaking. ...more
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y2020
Another kick-ass collection. Every single story is enthralling, and more than one set me back on my haunches after reading it. You like dark fiction and unexpected endings? Read this.
Nov 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2011
An ecclectic mix of short stories that all focus around things that people worship/adore etc.

I have to admit that my absolute two favorite stories in this collection were both the zombie stories; The Ethical Treatment of Meat and A Trip to the Optomitrist. I actually ended up reading the first one out loud to my other half and had a fantastic giggle over it (though in retrospec I'm not sure that was the author's aim).

This was the first I'd ever heard/read anything by Claude Lalumière, but I rea
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I found this short story collection quite wonderful.

A lot of people have commented on the derivative nature of some of the short stories. I can't comment as I haven't read the original novels that those short stories were inspired by.

Despite being a fan of superheroes and comics I found that the weakest stories in the collection were the ones based on superheroes. This is quite odd considering almost all of the other stories have this sort of Heavy Metal/Metal Hurlant vibe to them, especially wi
Maggie Gordon
Claude Lalumiere writes some of the most bizarre and enormously creative fiction I have ever read. His prose draws you in with its fluidity and delicacy, and then hits you with something particularly odd, making it hard to tear yourself away. What is going on with this weird zombie family? How did ice destroy all the electronics in the world? Bio-developed megafauna? LaLumiere's stories are not full of answers, but they raise many interesting questions about the world, painting a picture of how ...more
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fine collection of short fantasy/horror fiction, with two particularly outstanding stories: the title yarn, and "The Ethical Treatment of Meat" (the latter is both brilliant and outlandishly ghastly). The range of subject matter, and the originality of ideas and images in these stories is very, very exceptional; even a Dunsany hommage ("The Darkness at the Heart of the World") is fresh and unformulaic. "Destroyer of Worlds" is almost as ingenious, but moves too quickly to sustain such a wealth ...more
Luke Harrington
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Like any collection of short stories, this is something of a mixed bag. It's at its best when it's seriously engaging with religious ideas -- by far the best story is "Hochelaga and Sons," a superhero tale that ponders the tension between purity and mercy in the Jewish tradition. The title story, which is something of an antitheist manifesto, is the second best, and is undeniably visceral and thought-provoking.

Less successful are the experiments in high fantasy, which (as is frequently the case
I had high expectations of this short story collection, coming from my favourite publisher of dark fiction. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment.

Many of the stories were interesting ideas, but that's all they were. Glimpses of something that could have been larger or more involved, but wasn't. They all felt unfinished, in a way that left me extremely unsatisfied. Nothing felt very fleshed out.

Because I hadn't read any of the works that the author was responding to with his stories, that aspe
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is another book for which I wish there were half-star ratings; it really stands in the 3.5 category for me. However, as the ratings system stands, the quality of the prose certainly earns more than a 3-star rating. The stories are very literary, which for me makes wonderful but not always entertaining reading, if I dare make that distinction.

When you want something really different, I'd recommend Objects of Worship.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was intrigued by the cover while looking through's bargain section, read the blurb and really liked the idea. My boyfriend went to get me birthday gifts and this was an early one I got :D

This book is so different. I really loved all the short stories but the zombie ones were my favourite :) I like a lot of the absurd things that happen, that seem almost like they could happen with how he writes them.
KV Taylor
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-fiction
Lalumière's characters, their lives, their identities are as difficult to pin down and categorize as the stories themselves. I read these at different times over the last few months, and every one was a treat. This is original, beautiful, thoughtful, emotional stuff -- a wonderful addition to any short-fiction-lover's library. ...more
Kate O'Hanlon
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Knowing fuck all about golden age comics a lot of this probably sailed over my head, in fact it's only the introduction and story notes (story notes!) that clued me in to the fact that so many of these stories are homages to Ditko, Kirby, et. al.

Still I enjoyed this collection of sometimes weird, sometimes scary, sometimes erotic, stories immensely.
Lee Thompson
Mar 29, 2012 rated it liked it
It's difficult to find books that are both challenging in concept and execution. I was hoping this would cover at at least some of that territory but in general the stories are neither exceptionally original nor particularly well-written. Not a bad collection, mind you, but a strong reminder (for me) of why I read so little genre fiction now. Two and half stars, If I had the option. ...more
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Usually I'm not a fan of short story collections as I like to become immersed in a work and hate being pulled out of it after a few pages. However, Objects of Worship was a fantastic collection. Each story has a thread that connects it to the next and the themes about gods and worship resonates well. ...more
Weird :)

My favorites were the zombie stories (The Ethical Treatment of Meat & A Visit to the Optometrist), which were hysterically funny.
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Clever and Quirky, my first bizzaro book of short stories that I really enjoyed.
Jul 13, 2012 added it
neat short stories- lots of variety that kept me engaged and entertained.
Amanda || eastofreaden
Aug 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012

Awful. Just ... awful.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: english
too weird for me I guess
Oct 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
Personally I didn't find these stories overly appealing or original. ...more
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Claude Lalumière is the author of the story collections Objects of Worship , Nocturnes and Other Nocturnes , and Altre persone / Other Persons and of the mosaic works The Door to Lost Pages and Venera Dreams: A Weird Entertainment . He has edited fourteen anthologies, including two Aurora Award—nominated volumes in the Tesseracts series. Hi ...more

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