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A Mixed Bag of Blood

av David Bernstein

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1131,729,326 (4.5)Ingen/inga
From a man seeking vengeance for a dead loved one, to a monster lodged in a person's nose, to starving vampires and samurai battling zombies, a bully meeting his gruesome demise, along with prostitutes being sacrificed, a boy who refuses to stop swearing, and the consequences of one man's night of unprotected sex comes a dark and disturbing collection of sinister tales filled with dread, bloodshed, humor and the bizarre. This is a Mixed Bag of Blood.… (mer)
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I have to admit that I'm not a big reader of short stories. I prefer stories that require more of a time investment. In other words, novels. However, the exception to that are horror short stories. I love them. I read my first scary short stories as a child. Remember those anthologies of ghost stories you could order from the Scholastic book flyer? I later graduated to Stephen King's short stories and many of his are among my favorites. I think horror works for me in short story format (unlike other genres) because horror can be such a fast paced medium. For instance, horror films are usually no more than 2 hours long, but they still pack a punch. Did I mention that horror films are my favorite? But I digress. What I'm getting at here is that I love horror short stories, especially those that are as good as the stories in A Mixed Bag of Blood.

I love horror that pulls no punches and this author knows his stuff when it comes to that. Some of the stories are a play on our fears of foreign invasion, whether it be in our world, or our bodies. Others bring forth the monsters we're terrified of...zombies, vampires, Bigfoot (we lived in a house surrounded by woods when I was growing up, and yes, I was terrified of Bigfoot. Don't laugh). Some are very gross, yet funny in their message while still being horrific. I'm not going to go into detail because short stories are very easy to spoil for others. Suffice it to say that each story has something to offer.

This slim volume of 125 pages contains 10 stories. I enjoyed every one of them. This "Mixed Bag of Blood" is a must read for any horror fan. I mean it.

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review) ( )
  TheTrueBookAddict | Mar 22, 2020 |
3.5 stars!

David Bernstein has written a surprising number of stories for such a young man. (At least, he looks young.) I have enjoyed all that I've read so far, and this book is no exception.

This is a short collection, so it didn't take me long to make my way through. I liked the fact that the tales all varied wildly from one to the next; I never knew in what direction a story would take me.

My favorites have to be:

The Booglin: That's no ordinary booger stuck up there.

Invasion: And that's no ordinary cockroach that kid just picked up.

Bad Cutlery: It would be so nice to blame my failed meals on bad cutlery. Unfortunately, this knife does much worse than destroy meals.

STD: A lot of the stories in Mixed Bag of Blood had a serious EWWW factor, but I believe this one was the EWWWIEST. Of course, I was laughing my butt off while reading it.

Overall, this collection was above average. I read, and have read, a LOT of story collections over the years, and as such, it takes a LOT to impress me in the short fiction department. The tales I mentioned above were excellent, but not quite enough to bring this up to a 4 or 5 star rating for me. However, if what I've written above sounds interesting to you, then I recommend giving this collection a shot, because your mileage may vary.

Recommended to those with strong stomachs who are also fans of short horror stories!

*Thanks to Sinister Grin for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!* ( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
Review Copy

I've read several works by David Bernstein in the last few years and I've mentioned once or twice that no one is safe in one of his stories. It's nice to know I'm not alone in this observation. Author Kristopher Rufty echoes that sentiment in his Introduction to A Mixed Bag of Blood, saying "Nothing, or no one, is safe in Dave's worlds."

There are some very good stories in this new collection of ten horror tales from a writer who knows how to push all of my buttons, scary, gory, gross, and at times humorous.

The Trojan Plushy - The collection starts with a tale of sweet revenge. When the man responsible for the death of Brad Raling's wife and daughter gets off on a technicality, he reaches out to a witch seeking vengeance.

The Booglin - A delightfully disgusting tale of an intelligent booger. Dave's imagination was working overtime on this one.

Eaten Un-Alive - A thoroughly enjoyable "what if?" story of what happens when the zombie apocalypse dries up the food supply for vampires.

It's Nice Not To Have To Share - A special set of twin sisters who share everything...until.

Invasion - The aliens are here and they plan to use cockroaches to get rid of humankind. This one is exceptionally gross. "Hundreds of cockroaches scurried out of, and across, his body. His left eye tickled from within, as if someone were brushing it with a feather. Immense pressure built behind the eyeball before it burst like a water balloon, the glutinous fluids inside running down his face, a cockroach crawling free."

Samurai Zombie Killer - The title says all you need to know about this unusual take on the zombie mythos.

Small Town, Big Trouble - A small town is terrorized for years by a bigfoot like creature. When the town guardians decide to take action, lookout for the twist.

Bad Cutlery - Knives don't kill people, people kill people, but knives can certainly talk them into doing the deed.

Potty Mouth - Peter has a bit of a potty mouth and his mother, who happens to be a witch, has had it. You won't believe the punishment she comes up with in this stomach turning gem.

STD - Not for the easily offended and certainly not for the kids. This cringe-worthy story was enough to cause me to consider a life of celibacy.

If you like to be grossed out by your horror and don't mind suspending your disbelief for a few hours, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy this demented collection of horror from David Bernstein as much as I did.

A Mixed Bag of Blood is available now in both e-book and paperback from Sinister Grin Press. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read this one at no additional charge and if you are an Amazon Prime member you can borrow the book for FREE from the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

Recommended.

David Bernstein is originally from a small town in Upstate New York. He now resides in NYC and misses being surrounded by chainsaw-wielding maniacs. David writes all kinds of horror, from hair-raising ghost stories to gore-filled slashers and apocalyptic tales of terror. ( )
  FrankErrington | Mar 14, 2016 |
Visar 3 av 3
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From a man seeking vengeance for a dead loved one, to a monster lodged in a person's nose, to starving vampires and samurai battling zombies, a bully meeting his gruesome demise, along with prostitutes being sacrificed, a boy who refuses to stop swearing, and the consequences of one man's night of unprotected sex comes a dark and disturbing collection of sinister tales filled with dread, bloodshed, humor and the bizarre. This is a Mixed Bag of Blood.

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