But You Scared Me the Most: And Other Short Stories

But You Scared Me the Most: And Other Short Stories
Genre: Short Stories
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Publication Year: 2016
ISBN: 1613734751

This collection of twenty-six dark but often humorous short stories features a pantheon of disturbed and disturbing characters, human and otherwise.


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About the Book

Many of the stories are modern takes on classic monsters crafted with twisted plots. The Wolfman of “Wolfman and Janice” is doing the best he can under very trying circumstances, especially when confronted with eating his elderly neighbor’s cat. There’s an adolescent vampire-wannabe who is suffering badly: in love for the first time. “Frankenstein and His Mother” is a terrifying story of a grown man who wears a Frankenstein mask, lives with his mother, and watches TV and eats corn chips all day, too afraid to work.  “Dracula’s Daughter” turns a pretentious hippie into an honest ghost. And Bigfoot—lonely, sexually frustrated—tells all.

Other stories feature characters who seem perfectly normal until they’re alone. Phil, for instance, is never so happy as when he’s with his inflatable girlfriend, Vanessa—until she tells him the devastating truth about himself. Elderly Ellen is running out of patience with her dead husband George, who’s turned prankish. “Bob and Todd” tells the story of a hitchhiking ride gone bad that will have readers squirming in their seats. More than just standard monster stories, the tales in But You Scared Me the Most reveal the dark heart of human nature

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"...plumbs the depth of domestic horror in these fleeting but beguiling stories about ghosts, murders, monsters and madmen." "Clever fables about nightmares both real and imagined."
– Kirkus Reviews
“I love this writer. He is a master of the short vignette that leaves you unexpectedly moved. This is just as wonderfully original as his other work.”
– Monica Wood, author of The One-in-a-Million Boy
"From stories about monsters that seem all too human to stories about humans who seem all too monstrous...this collection was a delight to read. Manderino's sense of humor is on point."
– Left Bank Books
"It is the effortless way in which the fever dreams of imagination are wrangled and subdued that makes these stories resonate so strongly."
– Cory Johnston, The Literary Review
"Manderino infuses each story with wit and well-observed detail."
– Publishers Weekly
"John Manderino has captured the fearful, wonderful, strange and inscrutable experience of being alive."
– Karen Crighton, Horror Talk
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