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Greener Pastures
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2017 Readings > February '17 - Greener Pastures Reading Schedule

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message 1: by CC (last edited Jan 26, 2017 07:49AM) (new)

CC Vep (violetanimals) | 76 comments Mod
In his striking debut collection, Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt shows why he is a powerful new voice in horror and weird fiction.

From the round-robin, found-footage nightmare of “October Film Haunt: Under the House” to the jazz-soaked “The Devil Under the Maison Blue,” selected for both The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and Year’s Best Weird Fiction, these beautifully crafted, emotionally resonant stories speak of the unknown encroaching upon the familiar, the inscrutable power of grief and desire, and the thinness between all our layers. Where nature rubs against small towns, in mountains and woods and bedrooms, here is strangeness seen through a poet’s eye.
They say there are always greener pastures. These stories consider the cost of that promise.


2/4/17 - Start
2/12/17 - Halfway Discussion (up to page 119ish)
2/29/17 - End Discussion


message 2: by DannyDavies (new)

DannyDavies | 4 comments I've finished the two first short stories in pretty quick succession, especially since I'm trying to really savour these stories as much as possible; a decision a came to promptly 2 pages into the first story as I decided they are a god damn delight.
Michael Wehunt's prose is absolutely phenomenal, especially in the second story Onanon. The storylines themselves are a little ambiguous and you really have to think to get a feel of where the story is going or what it's trying to tell you, but that's half of the fun here.
When I was reading Beside Me Singing In The Wilderness I at first thought his metaphor for a bleeding mountain was a volcano, not so creepy, but it turned out to be a literal bleeding mountain, very creepy.

A few of my favourite quotes so far:
"curled in the elbow of a dead giant"
"A heavy thump out on the porch woke him and he looked at the windows. Each seemed as though a face had pulled away" - goosebumps at this one.
"Something in the writing opened its jaws and he could almost hear them creak as he placed his head inside."

This sort of writing takes talent and I can't wait to continue.


Chase | 6 comments I need to start making notes as I read, because I think there's a lot to unpack here and it's tough to recall some things from the first couple stories.

Anyway, the concepts in these stories are pretty unique. In "Beside Me Singing In The Wilderness" you've got a weird sort of vampirism and a spring of blood. "A Discreet Music" is a physical transformation to somehow cope with loss and guilt. And "Onanon" is far the weirdest to me -- that one stumped me, so I'm looking forward to some other perspectives on it.

There are some really personal underlying themes in these, especially in "A Discreet Music" and "The Devil Under The Maison Blue". The former is my favorite so far, though the horror aspect of it was weird and I'm curious how others interpreted the ending.

"Greener Pastures" was a cool little story as well, and the most straightforward horror of the bunch so far.


Alyssa Gray (lycanthropologies) | 65 comments Mod
@Chase yeah Onanon made zero sense to me but it was deeply unsettling. Maybe someone smarter than me will figure it out lol


Chase | 6 comments Alyssa wrote: "@Chase yeah Onanon made zero sense to me but it was deeply unsettling. Maybe someone smarter than me will figure it out lol"

I'm glad I'm not the only one! Hard to wrap my mind around what was actually happening, let alone the meaning behind it. But yeah, it was unsettling


message 6: by Suki (last edited Feb 24, 2017 04:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 11 comments This is my second reading of this collection, and I am enjoying it just as much, if not even more, than the first time around. There isn't a single story in here that I didn't like.

*THERE ARE SPOILERS IN HERE!!!*

Beside Me Singing in the Wilderness was, to me, kind of an incidental horror story- what really moved me was the sense of loneliness and loss. It is possibly my favorite story of the collection. Onanon and A Discreet Music were creepy- the thought of unwanted, inevitable transformation into something you don't want to be. Greener Pastures- what waits in the darkness, hiding in the voices of the ones you love? The Devil Under the Maison Blue- I loved the jazz feel of this gentle ghost story. October Film Haunt: Under the House- what is it with people who see or hear of something horrible happening to other people, then have to rush to the spot to see if it would happen to them too? The film aspects of this piece made me think of House of Leaves- for me, this story had kind of the same feeling, even though the actual tales are very different. And those poor dogs!!! Deducted From Your Share in Paradise- at first, I felt bad and angry at the townspeople for their treatment of the "fallen" women, until it became clear that it was a necessary step and that the women were using the townspeople right back. At its heart, this is a tragic love story between Fen and Gloria, and the fact that he didn't abuse her ended up costing her her life. This is another favorite of the collection. The Inconsolable- I love the twist that this story puts on the Footprints in the Sand poem. Dancers- my third favorite of the collection. I love the imagery of the dancing trees, and the Lovecraftian overtones of the seed. Whatever becomes of the seed she planted, the romantic in my heart hopes that the trees continue to dance together. A Thousand Hundred Years- for me, this story had an echo of Murakami's 1Q84. The story is really nothing like the book, it was more the imagery of the little playground park in the moonlight, and the sense of parallel worlds. Bookends is such a bittersweet story, where the real horror is the twists that life takes, that you are helpless to stop.

I love the quiet horror of this book- it never overwhelms you, but it is always at the edge of things, watching... and waiting...


Chris Pederson | 54 comments A nice collection of short stories


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Wehunt (michaelwehunt) | 2 comments Hi all. I didn't want to join this group during February because it felt awfully nosy, but now that it's March and you're moving on to something else...thank you for all the comments! I'd never been the subject of a "book club" before, so this seriously made my month. I'll try to follow along with a future read with you all. :)


Alyssa Gray (lycanthropologies) | 65 comments Mod
Your book was really good and v spooky


message 10: by CC (new)

CC Vep (violetanimals) | 76 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Hi all. I didn't want to join this group during February because it felt awfully nosy, but now that it's March and you're moving on to something else...thank you for all the comments! I'd never bee..."
Thank you so much for commenting Michael, we really enjoyed the collection! Keep up the good work :) And please join us anytime!


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Wehunt (michaelwehunt) | 2 comments Alyssa wrote: "Your book was really good and v spooky" Thank you so much!!


message 12: by Suki (new) - rated it 5 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 11 comments Michael wrote: "Hi all. I didn't want to join this group during February because it felt awfully nosy, but now that it's March and you're moving on to something else...thank you for all the comments! I'd never bee..."

There are some good books coming up! I'm especially looking forward to The Lure of Devouring Light by Michael Griffin in December. I've already got the book, it's been really tempting to start reading it already. :)


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