Reviews of Dark Fiction

The Essential Sick Stuff by Ronald Kelly

The Essential Sick Stuff was such a fun collection of stories! It was a perfect way to distract myself from the dumpster fire that is life in 2020.

I was a bit worried that these tales would be too extreme for me, but they weren’t all all. My favorites among them were:

DIARY-The diary of a sociopath waiting for death by electric chair.


MASS APPEAL-The truth of this story slowly unfurls until you find yourself horrified.

OLD HACKER-Ewwww. That’s all I’m going to say.

MOJO MAMA-Don’t mess with her!

CONSUMPTION-Caterpillars, ugh! I found this one particularly disturbing because we had a caterpillar infestation a few years ago and there were so many, our driveway was like a moving carpet of them. I shudder just thinking about it.

EXIT 85-Don’t run so low on gas that you’re forced to get off the highway in the middle of the night. Just don’t do it.

SNAKEHANDLER-A crooked preacher comes to town.

THE THING AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD-Don’t pull over to look at it. Don’t do it!

CELL NUMBER NINE-Jail sucks! The inmates are just the start of it.

SUCKERS-I thought this story was hilarious and creative. Who doesn’t love a good mad scientist tale?

MISS ABIGAIL’S DELICATE CONDITION-It is indeed, delicate, but it’s not what you think!

Ronald Kelly is legendary in the world of horror but it seems that not enough people are aware of that, and it’s a true shame. The man can write anything, particularly stories of the American south and all the beauty and darkness that surrounds it. He seems like a nice enough guy, but I have to wonder because these stories are just what the title suggests, sick. What fun!

Highly recommended!

Thanks to Silver Shamrock for the e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback.

The Essential Sick Stuff Book Cover The Essential Sick Stuff
Ronald Kelly
Horror, Dark Fiction
Silver Shamrock Publishing

In the foul and fetid darkness, it awakens. 

Vile, unstable, brimming with ill intent, like pus on the verge of eruption. Repulsive to gaze upon and even more disturbing to comprehend. It reaches out and discovers that the others—its siblings—have abandoned this cancerous womb long ago. Angry and alone, it thrashes violently…tearing, clawing its way from dormancy into daylight…and onto the dark playground of your bookshelf.

Amid these pages, Southern horror master Ronald Kelly has brought together a loathsome assemblage of stories that cut deeply and expose the raw nerves of fright and revulsion. Joining his extreme horror collections, The Sick Stuff and More Sick Stuff, is a third installment of yarns both new and old…Even Sicker Stuff. Combined, they meld and morph, forming The Essential Sick Stuff. Twenty-three abhorrent tales to tantalize and torture the fragile psyche; to cause the stomach to revolt and gooseflesh to crawl as though something, visceral and alive, lurks just beneath the surface...

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