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A chilling collection of psychological suspense and literary horror from the multiple award-winning author of the national bestseller The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.
A masterful anthology featuring nineteen pieces of short fiction, Growing Things is an exciting glimpse into Paul Tremblay’s fantastically fertile imagination.
In “The Teacher,” a Bram Stoker Award nominee for best short story, a student is forced to watch a disturbing video that will haunt and torment her and her classmates’ lives.
Four men rob a pawn shop at gunpoint only to vanish, one-by-one, as they speed away from the crime scene in “The Getaway.”
In “Swim Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as Swim Thinks,” a meth addict kidnaps her daughter from her estranged mother as their town is terrorized by a giant monster . . . or not.
Joining these haunting works are stories linked to Tremblay’s previous novels. The tour de force metafictional novella “Notes from the Dog Walkers” deconstructs horror and publishing, possibly bringing in a character from A Head Full of Ghosts, all while serving as a prequel to Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. “The Thirteenth Temple” follows another character from A Head Full of Ghosts—Merry, who has published a tell-all memoir written years after the events of the novel. And the title story, “Growing Things,” a shivery tale loosely shared between the sisters in A Head Full of Ghosts, is told here in full.
From global catastrophe to the demons inside our heads, Tremblay illuminates our primal fears and darkest dreams in startlingly original fiction that leaves us unmoored. As he lowers the sky and yanks the ground from beneath our feet, we are compelled to contemplate the darkness inside our own hearts and minds.
“[Growing Things] brilliantly takes ordinary situations—an author reading, an AP history class, a family vacation—and seamlessly sprinkles in a sense of unease that quickly builds to a sense of pure horror. . . . These are stories that live in the increasing popular space between literary fiction and horror, where speculative terrors and very real universal truths collide.”– Booklist (starred review)
“Tremblay’s unsettling prose, filled with poetic metaphors, sets an ominous tone, and readers will be sucked in from page one.”– Library Journal
“It is a terrible thing to read a Paul Tremblay story. . . Terrible because you know, going in, that it’s probably going to mess you up. That his stories and his words have this way of getting under your skin. Of crawling inside you like bugs and just . . . living there. They become indistinguishable from memory. . . It’s terrible to read these stories, but you do it anyway. . . They’re fun because they’re dangerous. Because, word by word and title by title, I can feel the damage accruing. The scars.”– NPR
“These frighteningly imaginative slices of horror are often far more chilling than their relatively mundane inspirations. . . . . From high fantasy to monsters to (literally) Hellboy, [Growing Thingshas] something for everyone who digs things that go bump in the night.”– Kirkus Reviews
“Paul Tremblay has mastered creepy, interstitial spaces with his own brand of supernatural-adjacent horror. This collection proves again that in any form, at any length, Tremblay is a must-read.”– Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers and Invasive
“Those hoping for the perfect balance of terror and psychological insight that makes for the most frightening reading should flock to Growing Things.”– Los Angeles Times
“A skilled purveyor of the uncanny who always seeks meaning amidst the fear, Paul Tremblay is one of the key writers who have made modern horror exciting again.”– Adam Nevill, author of The Ritual
“Paul Tremblay’s writing has a way of sneaking under your skin and messing with your head. . . . Growing Things is a collection of bite-sized, disturbing and brilliantly observed stories . . . Some will make you question everything you thought you knew about the craft of writing.”– Sarah Lotz, author of The Three and The White Road
“A short story collection from a favorite author is just the best possible thing in the world; Growing Things is among the best of them.”– Cemetery Dance