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Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 1  By  cover art

Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 1

By: Cheryl Mullenax,Randy Chandler,Kristopher Triana,Jeff Strand,Jack Bantry
Narrated by: Joe Hempel
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Publisher's Summary

Excerpt from the introduction: 

Editors Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax put the call out to horror writers and editors of extreme stories, the hardcore stuff that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos, the transgressive tales you can't "unread" (as Chuck Palahniuk says). We staked out our territory and nailed this to the wall to guide us: 

Year's Best Hardest Horror 

Not your mama's best-of horror annual. This stuff comes from the edge of the abyss, stories you read at your own risk because you feel the abyss looking right back into you through the tainted lens of each twisted tale. 

Some of the stories you'll find here are loaded with very graphic descriptions of violence, sex, and depravities, while others may contain only one shocking moment of brutality. In others, the hardcore aspect may be less graphic and subtler than you might expect. Some of these quieter tales offer the listener some time to recover from the more disturbing ones preceding. 

Most of the stories collected here are from small and specialty press anthologies, with a few from periodicals, like the prestigious Splatterpunk Zine in the UK and Thuglit here in the US. Bizarro is also represented with a couple of tales from the unlikely anthology Blood for You: A Literary Tribute to GG Allin from Weirdpunk Books. (If you're not familiar with the late GG Allin, you can find snippets from some of his outrageous and obscene punk shows online, which will increase your appreciation of those two tales.) 

So for now, forget about that neighbor you suspect is a serial killer, don't worry about the drunk driver that could take you out on your next trip to the store, push those troubling news stories to the back of your mind, and immerse yourself in the imaginary horrors at hand. 

But don't be surprised if you sense something dark staring back at you from between the lines. That is to be expected when you enter these forbidding realms. With any luck, you may find something useful to help you survive the approaching Apocalypse. 

Full list of authors includes Adam Howe, Robert Essig, Adam Cesare, Clare de Lune, David James Keaton, and Monica J. O'Rourke.

©2016 Comet Press (P)2016 Comet Press

What listeners say about Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 1

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Truly horrifying

I'm a big fan of extreme horror, and these are some of the most vile and disgusting stories I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. I actually had to space this out over several days because some of the conjured imagery was so nasty. Super happy with the narration. A lot of times,anthologies have different narrators for each story, and sometimes it's appropriate, but in this case, I'm glad they stuck with just one.

21 people found this helpful

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More violent than scary

It wasn't my cup of tea just because I prefer the supernatural/bump in the night sub-genre, this is more literary slasher porn.

9 people found this helpful

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Weak Year for Horror

The majority of what I listen to is horror and not just mainstream horror; but, real psychological and messed up stuff. This was mostly light horror but I still enjoyed some of the stories. Much of what was "hardcore"about it was the gratuitous gore which seemed to be used for the sake of being gory, which becomes boring. The other stuff often was just plain lets be as ridiculous as possible and see how that works, which becomes sophomoric. The narration was great and I would be happy to listen to more books by Joe Hempel.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

9 people found this helpful

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OH BOY. ANYTHING (AND EVERYTHING) GOES HERE.

Any additional comments?

I was provided this audiobook through Audiobook Boom at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.

It's taken a bit of time to get this review out because I had to stop between stories... often. This has a bit of everything. Horror in fear, to the horror of disgusting vileness. Supernatural, apocalyptic and way to real. All there. A story for every (dis)taste. IMO, some stories were very engrossing and others were just gross. LOL.

Joe Hempel is very talented and does an outstanding job.

If edge-hanging horror is your genre, don't miss this large selection of shorts!!

8 people found this helpful

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These are truly hardcore, extreme stories

I thought this collection of 19 horror stories would be suitable listening for Halloween week and it did indeed end up to be very captivating and entertaining. I don't actually listen to/read much horror and don't very often pick short stories, so this was quite a change for me. Perhaps because of that, I was only familiar with one of the authors, The Behrg. But since finishing this I had to check out the work of some of the others because I was impressed by their stories.

The marketing blurb for this is actually true for once. These are truly hardcore, extreme stories that disregard taboos and boundaries. I'm not very squeamish and tend to enjoy dark and graphic stories but some of these actually had me screaming "yuck" and "gross" repeatedly. However, they weren't actually as scary and creepy as I was expecting them to be but with a much stronger focus on sex than I had anticipated. So be warned, while I would wholeheartedly recommend this collection, it definitely isn't for everyone.

Nonetheless, some of the stories are actually quite subtle and leave you time for a breather. There is a good range of different themes covered. From serial killers to supernatural occurrences, from strong females and weak priests to zombies, there is a lot of variety. Out of the 19 stories, I can honestly say there were only maybe two that I didn't particularly care for. One of the GG Allin stories? Maybe it's because I'm a mother, but I was glad to get to the end of that one!

The really strong point for me was that all the stories made you feel something, and I don't just mean the obvious terror or disgust. Monica J. O'Rourke's "Exposed" about a woman hunting down child abductors packed a powerful emotional punch. Considering these were short stories, the characters were surprisingly well developed. It wasn't short of humor either. Jeff Strand's "Awakening" had me laughing out loud, and “The Most Important Miracle” by Scott Emerson was pretty funny, too.

The entire anthology is narrated by Joe Hempel and he does a great job. His normal narrating voice was smooth and pleasant to listen to with great pacing, and when he voiced the different characters he used the right amount of acting, different accents, and tones to make this into a vivid, consistent and engaging performance. The production was faultless.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

8 people found this helpful

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Kept me glued and drawn in....

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book has it all for horror fans. It's not for the faint of heart. Great collection of stories which define the depths of craziness. Great job by Joe as always.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it really got me through long drives to work with great ease.

Any additional comments?

"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."

7 people found this helpful

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Visceral - not for the faint of heart

All in all this was a very well done collection of short story horror. The narration was well done too. For me, the strong sexual narratives were a bit over the top, but each story appealed to me in some way. That in itself is not common. I enjoyed the fresh perspective brought out by these writers. Some stories completely original, others had excellent twist on existing themes such as zombie apocalypse. I would recommend this collection to anyone who likes this genre especially in short story. Well done.

6 people found this helpful

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Horror

Any additional comments?

I successfully scared myself again. Excellent collection of horror stories written by several horror writers. I recommend this audiobook who love this genre.

6 people found this helpful

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Years Best hardcore horror Volume 1 review.

Where does Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

High among favorites.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Downtown Dixonville Dismemberer.

Which character – as performed by Joe Hempel – was your favorite?

The same answer to the previous question.

Any additional comments?

Enjoyable and exciting to listen to.

6 people found this helpful

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Years Best Hardcore Horror

I have this book all 5 starts because the story and performance exceeded my expectation. This book does discuss death, gore and sex. I do not recommend this book to children but an adult horror fan will love it. It's pretty raunchy.

5 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for alexandra wassenaar
  • alexandra wassenaar
  • 12-23-16

Hard hitting

For fans of horror definitely a good buy. Range of story's covering a vast array of topics but all equally harrowing. Not for the faint of heart

3 people found this helpful

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  • Louis
  • 03-08-18

crap/ no good/ boring/low energy/very slow voice/

crap no good boring low energy very slow voice still have no idea why I bought that crap.
never again.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Peter Germany
  • Peter Germany
  • 12-16-18

A Good Collection

It’s always hard giving a collection a rating. Like all the collections I’ve read there were some that I liked, some that were okay and some I really liked. But I didn’t come across any that I didn’t like.
The odd story didn’t feel that extreme, but for others they might have been.
All in all, a good collection that I enjoyed.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Dean Thornton
  • 08-14-18

Useless

Took ages to download and then when I tried to listen to it it did not even work

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M-Dog
  • 09-07-22

Great variety of stories

I really enjoyed that. Lots of random weird horror stories. The ideas and concepts that are played with here are excellent.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • alison blackbeard
  • 09-02-20

rubbish

you get what you pay for. What a load of trype. pitty there aren't minus ratings

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  • Cannibal
  • 10-26-17

If you’re a sensitive wee flower with a nervous disposition... move along. Nothing to see here!

On the other hand... if you’re a depraved fiend like me, look no further for your next read. Packed with explicit sex, offensive language and Themes. Plus plenty of gratuitous violence. It does just as advertised on the box. Both volumes, 1 and 2, are equally capable of scratching even the deepest horror itch.
Daniel Inwood.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sasha
  • 03-14-19

Great variety, amazing narration

As the introduction says, these aren't the most amazing horror stories you'll read, but they'll stay with you. They are really brought to life by the stellar performance. Sometimes it felt like someone else was reading each story.

Even the weakest stories were fun and enjoyable. A very well put together collection.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jordan
  • 04-24-22

The most unscarred I’ve ever been

I listened to this during a long drive and I must say I’ve never done so much eye rolling in my life. This anthology has been compiled by someone who believes that in depth descriptions of incest, rape, torture and gore is enough to make something scary.
Many stories don’t even follow horror tropes to the point where I had no idea what was meant to be scary about them until the end.

One might say the book is smart for avoiding all the horror tropes but I seriously disagree. There is nothing scary or subtle for that matter about anything that’s meant to be scary. When they say Hardcore Horror that just mean that the stories contained some of the most heinous subjects they could think of.

For example I couldn’t believe someone had seriously written a story where two people are trapped in a train that is stopped in time that are forced to fill out each other’s sexual desires however one of them is a sadist. And then they fall in love. The dialogue was cringy and the only notable part was how visceral the detail of the sex and the fire was. Waste of time for people who like psychological horror or scary horror for that matter.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-26-22

the multiple organisations had me cringeing

you can tell some of these are women written by men with porn as their main source of information.
kinda had me laughing at what otherwise are good stories.