kode adsense disini
Hot Best Seller

Grudge Punk

Availability: Ready to download

Grudgehaven: “A city lost to the darkness, where acid rain drums on a hundred thousand corrugated iron rooftops and cold, mechanized eyeballs squint out of every filth-smeared window.” From the twisted mind of author John McNee come nine tales of brutality and betrayal from a city like no other. A granite detective has a date with destiny at a motel made of flesh. A severed Grudgehaven: “A city lost to the darkness, where acid rain drums on a hundred thousand corrugated iron rooftops and cold, mechanized eyeballs squint out of every filth-smeared window.” From the twisted mind of author John McNee come nine tales of brutality and betrayal from a city like no other. A granite detective has a date with destiny at a motel made of flesh. A severed hand is on a desperate mission to ruin somebody's evening. While a mob war reaches its bloody climax, the Mayor is up to his neck in dead prostitutes. And Clockwork Joe? He just wants to be a real boy. Bizarro Press proudly presents the latest in dieselpunk-bizarro-horror-noir. This... ...is GrudgePunk


Compare
kode adsense disini

Grudgehaven: “A city lost to the darkness, where acid rain drums on a hundred thousand corrugated iron rooftops and cold, mechanized eyeballs squint out of every filth-smeared window.” From the twisted mind of author John McNee come nine tales of brutality and betrayal from a city like no other. A granite detective has a date with destiny at a motel made of flesh. A severed Grudgehaven: “A city lost to the darkness, where acid rain drums on a hundred thousand corrugated iron rooftops and cold, mechanized eyeballs squint out of every filth-smeared window.” From the twisted mind of author John McNee come nine tales of brutality and betrayal from a city like no other. A granite detective has a date with destiny at a motel made of flesh. A severed hand is on a desperate mission to ruin somebody's evening. While a mob war reaches its bloody climax, the Mayor is up to his neck in dead prostitutes. And Clockwork Joe? He just wants to be a real boy. Bizarro Press proudly presents the latest in dieselpunk-bizarro-horror-noir. This... ...is GrudgePunk

30 review for Grudge Punk

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    There are a million stories in The Grudge and John McNee commits ten of them to paper in Grudge Punk. Not long ago, Arthur Graham, knowing my love of free stuff, detective fiction, and Bizarro fiction, tipped me off that this was free on Amazon. Hard to pass up free. Grudgehaven is a city of automatons, acid rain, and deception. In Grudge Punk, John McNee takes ten fairly standard setups for noir stories and places them in his bizarre city. A detective is hired to find the only flesh and blood wom There are a million stories in The Grudge and John McNee commits ten of them to paper in Grudge Punk. Not long ago, Arthur Graham, knowing my love of free stuff, detective fiction, and Bizarro fiction, tipped me off that this was free on Amazon. Hard to pass up free. Grudgehaven is a city of automatons, acid rain, and deception. In Grudge Punk, John McNee takes ten fairly standard setups for noir stories and places them in his bizarre city. A detective is hired to find the only flesh and blood woman in the Grudge. A crime lord hires a woman to be his biographer. A mayoral candidate has a fondness for killing hookers. Two lovers conspire to murder the female of the pair's husband. Now imagine the detective being made of granite and you'll have an idea of what Grudge Punk is about. The weirdness level is extremely high in Grudge Punk but all of it is fairly logical and doesn't stray into the realm of absurdity or being weird for the sake of being weird. The world has its own internal logical and all the short stories in this collection are linked and build upon one another until the final tale. By far, my favorite part of the mythology McNee has established is the ongoing war between Grudgehaven's two crime lords, the King of Eyes and the King of Broken Glass. I'd read a whole novel detailing the decades-long conflict. It's hard to review a book of short stories without giving too much away. Suffice to say, if you like weird detective fiction, you won't want to miss this.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Matthias

    This book has got everything that spells out "great beginnings". GrudgePunk introduced me to: * John McNee A great author with vivid imagination and vision. An architect of worlds with words. A mechanic of the character. * Bizarro Fiction An entirely new genre for me. I still don't know on which of my shelves to put this book, so I'm just keeping it on the nightstand for now. It might very well stay there, and that's saying something. If my books would come alive during the night, that's the place t This book has got everything that spells out "great beginnings". GrudgePunk introduced me to: * John McNee A great author with vivid imagination and vision. An architect of worlds with words. A mechanic of the character. * Bizarro Fiction An entirely new genre for me. I still don't know on which of my shelves to put this book, so I'm just keeping it on the nightstand for now. It might very well stay there, and that's saying something. If my books would come alive during the night, that's the place they'd all be vying for. The book throne, so to speak! "Book Story: Quest for the Nightstand". Winner: GrudgePunk, the one that just didn't belong. (I hope Disney is reading this.) * The city of Grudgehaven A dark place. A cold place. Think "Gotham City", only smellier, weirder and infinitely more interesting. At first sight, this is a collection of short stories with a singular focus on the "bizarre". The first page introduces one of the protagonists as speaking with whining springs in his brass-plated jaw, while someone in the back is clearing their throat, sounding like sewage churning up through a drain. It gets weirder. You start to wonder if the people from the city of Grudgehaven are, in fact, people, because as you go further through the pages you see something is off. Natural skin is considered as extravagant beauty, it's healthier to smoke a refreshing cigarette rather than breathe in the air and acid rainstorms are just another occasion to get rid of those dead bodies you piled up in your garage. There's more to GrudgePunk than the "weird"-factor and this is more than just a "series" of short stories. You immediately feel they're part of something bigger, part of the story that is Grudgehaven. John McNee manages, in very few pages, to make an entire city come alive. Every district, every street, every corner has got life in it. Every filth-smeared window has got a story lurking behind. The stories are all very engaging, some with surprising twists, all with an astounding cast of characters. Just to mention one: "The King of Broken Glass". Now you tell me with a straight face that this name doesn't intrigue you! The protagonist of one short story can be a simple passer-by in the next, the villain of one chapter the hero of the other. Plenty of perspectives are used and the result is a city teeming with life. Is this book perfect? I can't say "yes". But I can say "yeah, sure". Not sure if that makes sense, but I guess it will just have to do. I think this is a debut stand-alone publication with a publisher that allows an author some wiggle room for experimentation, and you've simply got to love publishers like "Bizarro Press". You got to. I insist. Thank you. *puts away dangerous looking metallic devices* Anyway, the prose is very simple and clear, really nothing fancy about it, so don't expect some steampunk Charles Dickens. McNee sometimes uses the first person perspective or the third, depending on the characters. Some situations aren't described as neatly, and at one instance there was suddenly a character that popped up in a room without any introduction and without it making sense she was there. But these are such minor gripes I actually feel ashamed mentioning them. They're a tiny speck on an otherwise perfectly green and fresh apple. To be perfectly honest, I don't think the book backflap is doing this collection a whole lot of justice. Yes, it's weird. Yes, it's brutal and deals with the underworld. But there is also warmth in these stories. And humour. And things supremely human. Just check out the quote with which I'll close. Then you'll simply go buy this book immediately after you're done reading this review. I trust no dangerous metallic devices will be necessary. Read the weirdness. Read the darkness. Read the warmth. Read all there is to read about Grudgehaven and hope and pray that there will be much much more to come. (*) (The following quote is about a mobster-gone-taxi-driver attending to his sick wife) Too exhausted to protest, she settled down while I got to work, unscrewing the lead plate in her side and exposing an interlocking network of skinny pipes and pistons. Installation instructions were printed on the inside of the filter head's box and I was careful to follow them as I identified and unscrewed the old part. I had to put in a little more effort than should have been necessary working it free, and when it finally slid out of its hole I saw that the open end had been worn down to the nub. I tossed it and pressed down on the nearest valve. Black bile bubbled out of the hole in a long, guzzling stream and poured into the lid. The stink of it - like rotting meat and vinegar - was ferocious, but I held my breath and turned my head to the side, trying not to let my revulsion show. Marianne was deeply embarrassed by the smells of her sickness. I pressed the valves a few more times to clean out the tubes, scrubbed away the crusted grime around the opening, then inserted the fresh part, gleaming with its factory-fresh newness. It secured into place with a neat 'click'. That done, I put the lead plate back, slid out the lid (now brimming with bile) and brought my face up to hers to tell her what a great job I'd done. She was asleep. I kissed her forehead, finding it cold and dappled with condensation, then left the room. * Rejoice!! The sequel has arrived!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Arthur Graham

    Call me conventional, but I don't typically read books unless there's reason to suspect I'll enjoy them. I probably seem to toss out an inordinate amount of 4 and 5 star reviews as a result, but that could be just because I choose my books so wisely, see? I'm not sure if it was the cover, the title, the description, or a combination thereof that convinced me to take a chance on this one, but Grudge Punk by John McNee just so happens to be the latest in my winning streak of wise choices to date. W Call me conventional, but I don't typically read books unless there's reason to suspect I'll enjoy them. I probably seem to toss out an inordinate amount of 4 and 5 star reviews as a result, but that could be just because I choose my books so wisely, see? I'm not sure if it was the cover, the title, the description, or a combination thereof that convinced me to take a chance on this one, but Grudge Punk by John McNee just so happens to be the latest in my winning streak of wise choices to date. What can I say? Lady Luck continues to shower her favors upon me. I couldn't say the same for most of McNee's characters, thoroughly mired in this roiling cesspit, the surface of which we're content to skim as tourists. So pull up a stool, buy us a round of motor oil, and don't forget to tip the lizard man behind the bar. Never mind the unkempt diesel dames or the severed hand crawling up your leg. Just kick back, relax, and let me tell you all about this place called the Grudge. Dark, dirty, and teeming with the same kind of action, let's just say that Grudgehaven won't be appearing on any "best cities to raise children" lists any time soon. On the other hand, it would be a shoe-in for best city to "live in horrid squalor," "abort your broken dreams," or "die a slow and painful death." Either way, you get the picture. After a day or two in the Grudge, you'll be longing for the good old days of steam power and soot in this city dominated by the internal combustion engine, where even the people run on fossil fuels. If you thought hurricanes were bad, you won't after surviving a category 5 acid storm. That is IF you survive... This world sets the stage for McNee's perverse brand of noir, replete with gear-driven gangsters, fragmented femme fatales, copper-plated crooked cops, and a host of other antiheroes so flawed readers cannot help but root for them. Interwoven throughout their overlapping narratives are dual threads of hope and despair -- desperate men and women on the verge of something big, a second chance, or one last score. In the cog-eat-cog world of Grudgehaven, your best friend is your foe and your biggest enemy is yourself, a losing battle on all fronts to make it big or simply survive. As alluded to above, my reviews tend to focus on my own subjective experience with books, rather than any kind of pseudo-objective critique (which I definitely got my fill of back in grad school). That said, Grudge Punk earns a full five stars not only for its appealing style and subject matter, but also for how well the book is written. McNee packs each story tight with lurid descriptions and dialogue, splashes them with kerosene, lights the fuse on the whole damned bundle and walks away. The bomb will blow, and as the dust settles and the sirens wail, you'll behold the twisted debris and marvel at just how well its piecemeal parts were once cobbled together.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jenn(ifer)

    "You are now entering the Grudge. Only fools come clean." If you were to browse my shelves, you would probably notice that they are not rife with noir, horror, dieselpunk or bizarro books. No. You'd probably see a bunch of pomo novels and dusty old classics. I'll just go out on a limb here and say that I am probably not the target audience for a book like 'Grudge Punk.' So why did I read it? Well, see, I read it because John 'The Scourge' McNee has "it." You know, that indescribable something t "You are now entering the Grudge. Only fools come clean." If you were to browse my shelves, you would probably notice that they are not rife with noir, horror, dieselpunk or bizarro books. No. You'd probably see a bunch of pomo novels and dusty old classics. I'll just go out on a limb here and say that I am probably not the target audience for a book like 'Grudge Punk.' So why did I read it? Well, see, I read it because John 'The Scourge' McNee has "it." You know, that indescribable something that needs no explanation. It just is, and if you have it, baby, that's all you need. I knew instantly that McNee had it when I read his story 'In the Flesh' published in Tall Tales With Short Cocks. This was my introduction to Grudgehaven, and also the first story to appear in Grudge Punk. I was so excited to revisit his Grudge world when another of his stories was published in Tall Tales With Short Cocks II. It was 'A Hand Walks Into a Bar', and it got me hooked. Sounds like the opening line of a dumb joke, am I right? I was all set to dismiss it for that reason. But the title makes no difference, you know why? That's right. It. I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting for this collection of short stories to come out because I couldn't wait to see what The Scourge would do with Grudgehaven and its band of nefarious citizens. I even got mad at my friend when he waited an entire week to tell me that the paperback had been released (okay, so not mad, but at least a little miffed!). Doesn't matter because it was more than worth the wait. I couldn't have imagined that it would be so... perfect. If you don't believe me, read it yourself. You're guaranteed to enjoy it from start to finish -- you know why?-- uh huh it. It has universal appeal and it will blow. your. mind. You'll be chasing the mechanical dragon, begging for more more more! And the great thing about it is, if the author is so inclined, there are endless stories that can be spun from here on out. And since we are all in on the ground floor, I for one have high, high hopes for the future of Grudge Haven in the able hands of John McNee. I would venture to say that we have not heard the last of The Grudge.. She will rise, like a phoenix from the flame! Keep the story going, Scourge. Your fan(s) have spoken. "Now leaving the Grudge. Take your sins and secrets with you."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gregor Xane

    This is easily one of the best books I've read this year. It's labeled as Bizarro fiction, but I wouldn't categorize it that way. In my mind, this falls more in line with what folks a few years back were calling New Weird. It's the perfect blend of science fiction, fantasy and horror that manages to be none of those things. It's like the film Sin City set in some town in Mieville's Bas-Lag, where the citizens are all comprised of meat, metal, fiberglass, and random junkyard scraps. It's a work o This is easily one of the best books I've read this year. It's labeled as Bizarro fiction, but I wouldn't categorize it that way. In my mind, this falls more in line with what folks a few years back were calling New Weird. It's the perfect blend of science fiction, fantasy and horror that manages to be none of those things. It's like the film Sin City set in some town in Mieville's Bas-Lag, where the citizens are all comprised of meat, metal, fiberglass, and random junkyard scraps. It's a work of gritty noir fiction. Not the hard-boiled detective variety, but rather the type concerned with the criminals, the scammers, the low-lifes, and the creeps. It's like Pulp Fiction as directed by David Cronenberg. Speaking of Cronenberg, if you like his nastier works (especially Naked Lunch and eXistenZ) and like your noir with some extra grit, then you'll like this book. Highly recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*

    My musings on Grudge Punk by John McNee… I’m going to try reviewing this compilation as I go along because I have Christmas brain – very similar to zombie brain, really – and can’t seem to remember anything from one moment to the next. Firstly, In the Flesh is icky, icky awesomeness!! There is something wondrous strange about a short story set within a world – or rather corner of the world – where flesh is foreign and coveted (and not in a “Damn, I’d like to hit that” kind of way). Long forgotten My musings on Grudge Punk by John McNee… I’m going to try reviewing this compilation as I go along because I have Christmas brain – very similar to zombie brain, really – and can’t seem to remember anything from one moment to the next. Firstly, In the Flesh is icky, icky awesomeness!! There is something wondrous strange about a short story set within a world – or rather corner of the world – where flesh is foreign and coveted (and not in a “Damn, I’d like to hit that” kind of way). Long forgotten by the greased and mechanised population, set back on a street from a time long passed, there is a palace of flesh and blood. I’m not sure what fetish laden world McNee is living in exactly but it’s an interesting little excursion to visit wherever there is….. just don’t try to take the walls with you. Onward to A Hand Walks Into the Bar. Same creepy world, new elements of strange. In this one we get a glimpse of the higher calibre lifestyle within Grudgehaven. A hand scuttles into the bar, interrupting an interaction between Rhino and a female with lovely bronze legs that he can see himself in (sexy, right?!) and ammonia on her breath (not so sexy), the hand belongs to a notorious pimp, dun dun dun. Off we go on an adventure of bizarrity! McNee is hilariously perverse here and I couldn’t help but snort-chuckle to the visual of Rhino walking a hand on a leash down the street like an old lady may well walk a poodle, where does he come up with this shit?! Love it! Gutter Politics, in a world of such broken, scattered humanity what must their politicians be like?! Thankfully, John McNee answers that in this short, disturbing read about Eddie Coll, future mayor of Grudgehaven. You think our politicians are bad? (view spoiler)[This is the prodigal son of sewage! (hide spoiler)] In Down to the Bone we spend some time in an acid rain storm with Dana and her half-squid lover. This is a fascinating take on the age old tale of the sinning wife (or husband) who wants to simplify their lives but brings further chaos to their doorstep. Throw in Jericho, an ex assassin from the mob bent on killing them and there you have it. This probably my favourite this far ;) I never completed this review, perhaps one day (mayhaps this summer even) I will revisit this compilation and review the remaining six stories HERE.... but for now, I bow to this amazing review by Jen(nifer), enjoy!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shamus McCarty

    If you’ve read Tall Tales With Short Cocks or Tall Tales with Short Cocks Vol. 2 then you’ve already read part of this book, and chances are you’re pretty excited about it. If you haven’t, well let me give you a taste of what’s to come. Grudgehaven is not a nice place. It’s being blown apart by a bitter Mob war, and nobody is safe from the shrapnel. Being part noir, part horror, and part bizarro it’s a difficult world to explain. It’s citizens are made out of everything from granite to spare mach If you’ve read Tall Tales With Short Cocks or Tall Tales with Short Cocks Vol. 2 then you’ve already read part of this book, and chances are you’re pretty excited about it. If you haven’t, well let me give you a taste of what’s to come. Grudgehaven is not a nice place. It’s being blown apart by a bitter Mob war, and nobody is safe from the shrapnel. Being part noir, part horror, and part bizarro it’s a difficult world to explain. It’s citizens are made out of everything from granite to spare machine parts. Everything from flesh to fleshless skeletons that don’t exist anymore, and if you see one… you won’t either. My favorite character is ‘The King of Broken Glass’. He’s an evil and sadistic son of a bitch who has no mercy for anybody, especially not the innocents between him and his renewed rise to power. It reminds me of Sin City, or a hard-boiled Dick Tracey. It’s not for the squeamish. McNee sentences most of his characters to death, and not the die-in-your-sleep kind of death. The violently-tortured kind of death.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Not since Miéville's world of Bas-Lag in his New Crobuzon trilogy have I been completely drawn to an author's world of amazing creation. Like the descriptions of the denizens of Bas-Lag, reading McNee's tales of beings nefarious, broken and unpredictable are hair raising to the point of "anything goes". Remember the first time you saw "Resevoir Dogs" and the feeling you had when the camera panned away from the switchblade-to-cop violence? Yeah, like that. Over and over. The first story in this br Not since Miéville's world of Bas-Lag in his New Crobuzon trilogy have I been completely drawn to an author's world of amazing creation. Like the descriptions of the denizens of Bas-Lag, reading McNee's tales of beings nefarious, broken and unpredictable are hair raising to the point of "anything goes". Remember the first time you saw "Resevoir Dogs" and the feeling you had when the camera panned away from the switchblade-to-cop violence? Yeah, like that. Over and over. The first story in this brilliant collection sets the tone (my first exposure and anthologized in Tall Tales With Short Cocks) for what is in store. But each story of Grudgehaven is unique, every character rich in their development, and the way McNee ties them all together by the last sentence of the final story is just fucking brilliant. And yes, this collection deserves the 5 stars, the 100 stars, the Galaxy it deserves. But selfishly, can I please have some more, sir?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Danger

    Grudge Punk. Is it a book? A genre? A living, breathing universe in and of itself? The answer is yes. To all three of these questions. Grudge Punk is the title John McNee has given to this collection of interconnected short stories, but also, it’s a glimpse into a parallel dimension. Let me explain: The residents of Grudgehaven are a patchwork of sorts. Pieced together by flesh, garbage and arcane robotics. The Grudge itself is a city where Skid Row pretty much extends its breadth; where freaks a Grudge Punk. Is it a book? A genre? A living, breathing universe in and of itself? The answer is yes. To all three of these questions. Grudge Punk is the title John McNee has given to this collection of interconnected short stories, but also, it’s a glimpse into a parallel dimension. Let me explain: The residents of Grudgehaven are a patchwork of sorts. Pieced together by flesh, garbage and arcane robotics. The Grudge itself is a city where Skid Row pretty much extends its breadth; where freaks and criminals rule the streets. The stories McNee tells all take place in this city - and although each tale has its own beginning, middle and end – there are many overt and covert crossovers in regards to characters and places. And despite the preternatural happenings in this book - the bizarro aesthetic that seems to lurk just below the surface of these stories – the elements of character crossover is extraordinarily effective in creating what feels like a “real” world. A place that continues to exist beyond the pages it’s written on. And if McNee feels like channeling this world once again, I KNOW there are dozens of more stories this place has left to tell. The stories themselves employ a noir-style narrative. Traditionally, I am not much a fan of noir. I sometimes find the prose a tad too matter-of-fact. But when you’re dealing with stuff like (view spoiler)[a crime kingpin’s tortured living hallway, a Frankenstein-style religious robot prostitute, or a serial murderer hiding inside a woman’s husband’s body (hide spoiler)] sometimes a little matter-of-fact is what you need. The grittiness of a noir voice is perfectly matched to the grittiness of Grudgehaven itself, and any other style of narration would not have served this city its justice. Not to mention the fact that McNee himself is a fantastic writer. His hand is steady as he writes these tales; the pace is perfect, the plots are solid, the imagery is vivid when necessary or merely teases when it wants to play with your imagination. There is some serious talent at work here. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this book, both in its scope and in its execution. I recommend to anyone looking for a little dirt in their pancakes (proverbially speaking). A delicious mix of storytelling and originality. 5 stars all around!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    This is my first Bizzarro. I blame it on Shamus. I commented on one of his pictures, the comment section on said picture with him and many others got completely insane (I'll neve eat peanut butter again), him and I had a conversation ... and I ended up with this book. I'm not really sure if it's considered r2r. I mean, he gave it to me. I'm sure he would like me to review it. I'm sure he just wants me to say that I really loved it. So, basically, Shamus popped my cherry. Did I love it? I don't th This is my first Bizzarro. I blame it on Shamus. I commented on one of his pictures, the comment section on said picture with him and many others got completely insane (I'll neve eat peanut butter again), him and I had a conversation ... and I ended up with this book. I'm not really sure if it's considered r2r. I mean, he gave it to me. I'm sure he would like me to review it. I'm sure he just wants me to say that I really loved it. So, basically, Shamus popped my cherry. Did I love it? I don't think "love" is a strong enough word for how I feel about this book. And John - oh my God - he's a god haha. I can only imagine what it must be like in this man's head and I'm sure conversations with him are quite entertaining and intriguing. I loved every part of this book, but I have to say that my favorite stories of them all are In the Flesh, Gutter Politics and The Corridors of Power. This book has definitely made it to my top 5 favorite books of the year - probably top 20 favorite in my lifetime (and I read a LOT of books) - and I'm only sorry that it took me so long to finally sit down and read it. I have only one suggestion for you: Let your fingers do the walking by immediately heading online to your favorite book establishment (you should also check out Rooster Republic Press) and purchase a copy of this book. Once it is downloaded on to whatever e-reader you use, put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door, turn off the cell phone and anything else that is going to distract you, send your family on vacation and make yourself comfortable. This is definitely a book you'll want to give yourself time to fully enjoy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Athena Shardbearer

    Go ahead and burn, baby! He called to the skyline. Burn! You can take it! Burn his sickness out! Burn it all down! You can take it! You'll be back in Pappa's arms real soon! This is my first try at reading Bizzaro genre and I have to say it was quite interesting. Bodies of rotting wood and metal. Polystyrene breasts fixed with copper wire. Mold and mildew between their legs to give you something to plow, rusting handles on their hips to grip as you go at it, and pipes jutting from their temples b Go ahead and burn, baby! He called to the skyline. Burn! You can take it! Burn his sickness out! Burn it all down! You can take it! You'll be back in Pappa's arms real soon! This is my first try at reading Bizzaro genre and I have to say it was quite interesting. Bodies of rotting wood and metal. Polystyrene breasts fixed with copper wire. Mold and mildew between their legs to give you something to plow, rusting handles on their hips to grip as you go at it, and pipes jutting from their temples belching sulfur monoxide into your face the whole time. Those are the women of the Grudge. Grudgehaven has street names like Septicemia, Sinister, Chancroid and Gonorrhea. There is a hotel made of human flesh, and screw-in size 9 copper-plated filter head that is a replacement part for a loving wife. I don't know what else to say without giving away the story. I think that if you are looking for something that is COMPLETELY different from what you are use to, then give this a go.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anita Dalton

    I first encountered John McNee in 2011 when I read a relatively mediocre extreme horror short story collection. His story was the best in the book, a dystopian, transhumanist nightmare that made the rest of the stories in the collection seem almost amateurish in comparison. I wondered how McNee would do in longer form, if he could take the amazing world-building and characterization and keep the intensity of his monstrous characters outside of the limits of a short story length. Turns out he ca I first encountered John McNee in 2011 when I read a relatively mediocre extreme horror short story collection. His story was the best in the book, a dystopian, transhumanist nightmare that made the rest of the stories in the collection seem almost amateurish in comparison. I wondered how McNee would do in longer form, if he could take the amazing world-building and characterization and keep the intensity of his monstrous characters outside of the limits of a short story length. Turns out he can. If I had been in a position to have a “Best of” list in 2013, this book would have been at the top of the list. I can say with no equivocation that this is an excellent book. Though this book is released by a bizarro imprint, I hesitate to call it bizarro. It’s noir. It’s trans-humanist. It’s extreme horror. It’s brutal and intense and at times strangely touching. It defies classification because it is a perfect synthesis of so many different influences without becoming a pastiche. This is not an imitation – it’s a creation. Because I am not a person much given to steampunk or noir, I should not have liked this book as much as I do but it speaks to McNee’s skills that he mixed subgenres I don’t much care for and I still couldn’t put the book down. Quick synopsis of the book: In the city of Grudgehaven, we are presented with a place much like Gotham late at night combined with Sin City at all hours, with some side steps into Blade Runner and Repo: The Genetic Opera as run through a Cherie Priest novel. Criminal syndicates are at war, wreaking havoc. A gorgeous dame sings at a club and forms a strange friendship with a taxi driver. A man fights to keep his ailing wife alive during a riot. A sentient severed hand is on a mission. Human motels, in that they are motels made of human skin, have relationships with real humans. A writer finds herself in a sticky situation when she is hired to write the autobiography of a very bad man. The daughter of a preacher makes a deal with a devil of sorts. A boy made of clockworks longs to be real. And all of these single threads weave the tapestry of The Grudge, a town without pity but with plenty of malice. You can read my entire discussion here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Hackle

    While some time has passed since I read Grudge Punk, and some of the details of the book might be a little hazy, the book’s overall feel has stayed with me. Combining elements of noir, horror, bizarro, and dystopian science fiction, Grudge Punk collects several interconnected short stories that take place in a city called Grudgehaven, aka The Grudge, where the citizens are amalgamations of flesh, gears, and junkyard scrap metal. This is not hard science fiction; a detailed explanation of whateve While some time has passed since I read Grudge Punk, and some of the details of the book might be a little hazy, the book’s overall feel has stayed with me. Combining elements of noir, horror, bizarro, and dystopian science fiction, Grudge Punk collects several interconnected short stories that take place in a city called Grudgehaven, aka The Grudge, where the citizens are amalgamations of flesh, gears, and junkyard scrap metal. This is not hard science fiction; a detailed explanation of whatever cryptic biomechanics/cybernetics allows the city’s denizens to walk, talk, love, and hate is never provided. That's a good thing because such an explanation is not needed. The absence of such an explanation, along with the absence of a fully fleshed out history or origin story for The Grudge, lends both mystery and a touch of surreality to this corrupt and corroded metropolis and the stories that take place within its acid-drenched streets. Good, old-fashioned skillful prose—vivid descriptions, snappy dialogue, strong characters, and spotless pacing—coupled with the overarching uniqueness of McNee’s dark vision combined to make this one of my favorite reads of 2013.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vincenzo Bilof

    A shared universe anthology is sometimes a risky venture, especially if it’s fan fiction, or if the anthology doesn’t have many well-known authors. I haven’t read very many novels that involve an author writing a short story collection that take place in one universe, but I will say this: Grudge Punk will exceed your expectations. The stories are invariably connected along a timeline; the events in each story have a direct impact on each other and noirish, bizarre city often referred to as THE GR A shared universe anthology is sometimes a risky venture, especially if it’s fan fiction, or if the anthology doesn’t have many well-known authors. I haven’t read very many novels that involve an author writing a short story collection that take place in one universe, but I will say this: Grudge Punk will exceed your expectations. The stories are invariably connected along a timeline; the events in each story have a direct impact on each other and noirish, bizarre city often referred to as THE GRUDGE. Characters pop up and are mentioned throughout each piece, but I felt like each “chapter” could have been read on its own. This is a cyberpunk/bizarro/noir compilation that reminded me of Frank Miller’s Sin City. John McNee made his vision come to life with a flair for originality; the city and its characters was interesting and well-described. The reader is thrust in the middle of political/gangster intrigue that plays with your investment in the story; you will see all manner of scumbags and plenty of underdogs while you see the city through the eyes of several lucky and unlucky characters. The characters and the city’s origins and setting weren’t over-explained; there isn’t expository information on the city’s background that are dumped onto the reader’s lap, as elements of the city’s bizarre/scientific elements are explained through character interaction and plot development. The Grudge simply lives, and we are walking its streets from the first chapter onward. I have to admit that I purchased this book because of the cover, and because it sounded like an interesting idea. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t think there are many authors who can avoid many of the pitfalls that are associated with world creation, and the format in this particular novel is indicative of McNee’s consistent delivery that invites that reader to experience his unique world, rather than have it all explained to us. The mysteries and secrets behind The Grudge are part of this book’s mystique, and if McNee told the reader everything without allowing us to immerse ourselves in his creation, it would have fallen flat. My questions didn’t inspire me to keep turning the pages, but rather, I wanted more mysteries. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book, which would provide its own challenges as far as a serial construction is concerned. I believe McNee can deliver.

  15. 4 out of 5

    sappho_reader

    A perfect mix of my two favorite genres: Bizarro and Noir. Like most people I was first introduced to the Grudge via the first and second volumes of the Tall Tales with Short Cocks anthology. It didn’t take much convincing for me to seek this out. The Grudge is a harsh oppressive city run amok by a vicious mob war between the King of Eyes and the King of Broken Glass. Everyone is corrupt right down to the police, press and clergy. The city is brim full of prostitutes, murderers, petty thieves, g A perfect mix of my two favorite genres: Bizarro and Noir. Like most people I was first introduced to the Grudge via the first and second volumes of the Tall Tales with Short Cocks anthology. It didn’t take much convincing for me to seek this out. The Grudge is a harsh oppressive city run amok by a vicious mob war between the King of Eyes and the King of Broken Glass. Everyone is corrupt right down to the police, press and clergy. The city is brim full of prostitutes, murderers, petty thieves, gangsters and other nefarious types. No one can be trusted and there is a lot of backstabbing going on. If there are any law abiding folks living in the Grudge we never meet them. But these aren’t normal folks who look and act like us. The people in the Grudge are made from spare metal parts, springs, wires and such. Each person is truly unique. One of my favorite descriptions was of a prostitute name Kellie – She’d only been in the back seat a few moments before Coll realized her beautiful flaming eyes were lit by a coal fire in her skull. Every few minutes she took a briquette from her purse and slid it in through the grate at the top of her head. He had to roll all the windows down because of the smoke. Another description I loved- Guv’s head was round and flat, like a big silver dollar, and both of his eyes were on one side. He had to turn his whole body around to see where I was pointing. I loved each of these nine interconnected stories. Hope there will be more written about the Grudge.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rodney

    The author does a great job of creating a world within the city of Grudgehaven. The storytelling was vivid and the way that the sections tied together was perfect. The very real and unique characters (made of a patchwork of metals, flesh, plastic and various other materials) were certainly busy in their betrayal of one another. The one-ups were creative and left me guessing until the end of the stories. I am not sure what to classify this as when speaking of genre. It was a mix of dark fantasy, The author does a great job of creating a world within the city of Grudgehaven. The storytelling was vivid and the way that the sections tied together was perfect. The very real and unique characters (made of a patchwork of metals, flesh, plastic and various other materials) were certainly busy in their betrayal of one another. The one-ups were creative and left me guessing until the end of the stories. I am not sure what to classify this as when speaking of genre. It was a mix of dark fantasy, horror, a little bizarro, with a bit of something uniquely unclassifiable. I hope that in the future there will be another chapter in Grudgehaven for me to experience.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eirik Gumeny

    Grudge Punk, by John McNee, is the perfect blend of noir and bizarro. It's Sin City with soul-devouring hallways, Blade Runner if the replicants were made of spare parts and trash. The stories in Grudge Punk take place in Grudgehaven, a city collapsing under the weight of its own filth and corruption, and caught in a gang war that could never end well. Each story chronicles a different character with a different narrative -- some more tied into the overarching plot than others, other characters Grudge Punk, by John McNee, is the perfect blend of noir and bizarro. It's Sin City with soul-devouring hallways, Blade Runner if the replicants were made of spare parts and trash. The stories in Grudge Punk take place in Grudgehaven, a city collapsing under the weight of its own filth and corruption, and caught in a gang war that could never end well. Each story chronicles a different character with a different narrative -- some more tied into the overarching plot than others, other characters criss-crossing between stories -- but all very firmly rooted in the same world, the same city. It's a city populated by broken-down gangsters, corrupt cops, and lost girls. There's murder, there's monsters, there's mayhem, and there's more than enough to keep you hooked straight through to the final story. If you're into crime stories, and you don't mind the occasional dismembered hand on a quest or serial-killing skeleton, you should pick up Grudge Punk. If you're into bizarro, but you feel like most stories don't have enough hard-boiled foreboding, you should pick up Grudge Punk. If you've never read either genre, but you've been thinking about it, you should pick up Grudge Punk.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nefariousbig

    I was very impressed with this book. I will record my impressions shortly.

  19. 5 out of 5

    A. Sneve

    What is grudge punk, I wondered, before cracking open the novel? The title was definitely intriguing. I pictured a pair of liberty-spiked, leather jacketed punks circling each other in an alleyway in a disagreement over beer money. The reality is far more intriguing. Per the book description: “Grudgehaven: “A city lost to the darkness, where acid rain drums on a hundred thousand corrugated iron rooftops and cold, mechanized eyeballs squint out of every filth-smeared window.” And guess what? In th What is grudge punk, I wondered, before cracking open the novel? The title was definitely intriguing. I pictured a pair of liberty-spiked, leather jacketed punks circling each other in an alleyway in a disagreement over beer money. The reality is far more intriguing. Per the book description: “Grudgehaven: “A city lost to the darkness, where acid rain drums on a hundred thousand corrugated iron rooftops and cold, mechanized eyeballs squint out of every filth-smeared window.” And guess what? In this dieselpunk-bizarro-horror-noir collection of stories, where hot chicks are made of upcycled metals held together by springs, cogs, and other detritus, and the politics go deeper than a sewer strewn with dismembered dead metal, everything is one hundred percent believable: while you’re reading through this bizarro Liquid Television world, you’re in it. The dialogue, the scenarios, the descriptions, everything: author John McNee writes with such skill that if Grudgehaven was a real place somewhere in the bowels of earth and time, this is exactly how it would be. Each story is sequenced to maximum effect. The stories are definitely part of a cohesive whole. The descriptions are masterful, and while I hate to dig up the old ‘wildly imaginative’ trope, that is exactly what this is. You know in the first few paragraphs that you’re in the clutches of a horror pro. McNee is bound for big things. You heard it here. I had to dock a star for length, as I would’ve preferred a bit of a shorter version. However, that’s not a mark against the book, just a personal preference. I would definitely recommend giving Grudge Punk a read--not only for the sake of a good book, but also so you can say you read John McNee before his next work skyrockets straight out of one of the big five.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tickyette

    “A city lost to the darkness, where acid rain drums on a hundred thousand corrugated iron rooftops and cold, mechanized eyeballs squint out of every filth-smeared window.” John McNee's city of Grudgehaven definitely has a lot of issues which is what makes each short story interesting. Sex, greed, corruption, murder or worse, Grudgehaven is definitely a dark and dirty place. The author described it so well for me I felt like I was walking its streets and passing by each building mentioned througho “A city lost to the darkness, where acid rain drums on a hundred thousand corrugated iron rooftops and cold, mechanized eyeballs squint out of every filth-smeared window.” John McNee's city of Grudgehaven definitely has a lot of issues which is what makes each short story interesting. Sex, greed, corruption, murder or worse, Grudgehaven is definitely a dark and dirty place. The author described it so well for me I felt like I was walking its streets and passing by each building mentioned throughout the book. I've never really been a fan of noir, but the cover was intriguing. So yes I did judge a book by its cover and as you can tell by my rating it didn't disappoint. I was expecting mostly crime and mystery, but this was far more than that. Each story seemed to be a gem in its own way. The style, the settings, the characters, and the plots seemed to flow together with ease and really brought the city of Grudgehaven to life. I usually find myself just painfully trying to get through at least one of the stories when I get books with many different stories and perspectives, but that wasn't the case with this book. Each story caught my interest and made it hard for me to put this down. Each one filled with suspense and tension that for once actually did have me at the edge of my seat. I honestly felt like I was watching a movie. I loved that every character made me angry, sad, happy, and so many other things. I really love when i can actually hate a character, it means he was written very well and that character for me was the King of Eyes who is probably the most messed up out of the many assortment of characters. This was definitely a very fun read filled with horror, thrills, humor, and suspense. I highly recommend it, especially to those looking for something new and exciting.

  21. 5 out of 5

    John Catton

    This book has a feel like no other book I've read in recent years. The city of Grudgehaven is set in a magical realist world where the citizens are made out of wire, bakelite, clay, scrap metal, cement, animal parts and God knows what, but that does not stop them having sex lives and planning crimes. In fact, sometimes it gives them an advantage. The laws of physics are not so much different in this world as completely screwed up. The whole city has a pulp Noir design and atmosphere, complete wi This book has a feel like no other book I've read in recent years. The city of Grudgehaven is set in a magical realist world where the citizens are made out of wire, bakelite, clay, scrap metal, cement, animal parts and God knows what, but that does not stop them having sex lives and planning crimes. In fact, sometimes it gives them an advantage. The laws of physics are not so much different in this world as completely screwed up. The whole city has a pulp Noir design and atmosphere, complete with occasional attacks of acid rain that will literally boil the flesh off your bones in a matter of minutes. In some ways, I wish this could have been a graphic novel, but then the style of writing is so visual that illustrations aren't necessary (apart from the cover, which I love). The book is a collection of interlinked stories so some of the characters and events turn up in different places and through different perspectives. In particular, there is a gang war between the King of Eyes and the King of Broken Glass, sometimes in the background but sometimes in the foreground, holding the collection together. I won't outline each story but I'll just mention three. "Down to the Bones" is a cleverly-designed perfect crime that ends in disaster, while "Gutter Politics" is a joke designed around a single punch-line (usually that kind of story feels like cheating, but here it's done brilliantly). As for "God of the Damned" - this single sentence will give you an idea. "The catacombs ran deep and long, snaking their way beneath the town like barren veins in the hide of a desiccated corpse." Whoa!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pacyfa

    This is my first Bizzaro book, didn't even know that such a term existed and still not sure what the hell this book really is. It is a lot of fun! weird fun, the kind of fun your friends, partner, family would look very strangely at you if they started reading this book straight off your book shelf. If I had to compare to something then it would be Sin City, Vol. 1: The Hard Goodbye set in some kind of steampunk version of itself. Its a collection of short stories loosely held by overarching narr This is my first Bizzaro book, didn't even know that such a term existed and still not sure what the hell this book really is. It is a lot of fun! weird fun, the kind of fun your friends, partner, family would look very strangely at you if they started reading this book straight off your book shelf. If I had to compare to something then it would be Sin City, Vol. 1: The Hard Goodbye set in some kind of steampunk version of itself. Its a collection of short stories loosely held by overarching narrative of the city itself, you can read each story separately. Most of the time I find it really hard to score collection of short stories that well as most of the times there are inevitably some duds. This one keeps the quality all the way with some real gems in there. The world created is vivid, full of characters that draw you in. Loved it

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matt Hlinak

    Grudge Punk by John McNee (with whom I share a publisher) is a highly-satisfying collection of interrelated short stories. In the Grudge, people are machines and the city is alive. These stories are filled with squid-men and sentient sewers, but they also deal with human issues like unattainable beauty, political corruption, labor relations and religious faith. This genre-defying collection evokes Raymond Carver, H.P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick and Geoffrey Chaucer. McNee has developed a rich and Grudge Punk by John McNee (with whom I share a publisher) is a highly-satisfying collection of interrelated short stories. In the Grudge, people are machines and the city is alive. These stories are filled with squid-men and sentient sewers, but they also deal with human issues like unattainable beauty, political corruption, labor relations and religious faith. This genre-defying collection evokes Raymond Carver, H.P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick and Geoffrey Chaucer. McNee has developed a rich and fascinating world without losing sight of the human (or whatever they are) stories at the heart of this collection.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Well...I fucking loved it. That's 'what I think.' And I've written 'mini-reviews' for each of the first 6 stories on a buddy read thread somewhere here in Goodreads land. But I've also felt like shiiiitttt the last 2 days (please don't let it be the flu; please don't let it be the flu...), so I need to finish 'reviewing' the last 3 stories & the one from TTwSC, but not now. Sorry, peoples. I feel like shit. Don't judge me! ~Teresa~

  25. 4 out of 5

    John Picha

    Like picking a scab that feels good This anthology of the bizarre douses you in a gaggle of ambiguous tales that may actually melt your brain. It's hard to get your footing but impossible to look away as you float though twisted plot veneers that peel back to expose a writhing dreamscape that's as disorienting as it is engaging. People, situations and things merge into one another and nothing is as it seems. It's uneasy and compelling, illusive and disturbing, and spattered with imagery that in Like picking a scab that feels good This anthology of the bizarre douses you in a gaggle of ambiguous tales that may actually melt your brain. It's hard to get your footing but impossible to look away as you float though twisted plot veneers that peel back to expose a writhing dreamscape that's as disorienting as it is engaging. People, situations and things merge into one another and nothing is as it seems. It's uneasy and compelling, illusive and disturbing, and spattered with imagery that infects you and can't be unread. If you like Nine Inch Nails or Tool music videos, if you enjoyed "Naked Lunch", "The Dark Backward", "Children of the Lost City", or "Repoman the Musical", or if you're a fan of "Battle Angel" or Basil Wolverton, you'll find your comfort zone in this bizarro anthology of the weird. I'm going to run through each of the stories if you're curious for a whiff of what to expect. I don't mean them to be spoilers. I will keep them vague, but they will tip the tales hands. If I can make a suggestion, take a chance and enter these oddities blindly. If you need demented surprises in your life, you won't want to know what's coming. Potential spoilers below… * In the Flesh Reality is pulled inside out in a claustrophobic metamorphosis where fetish, and flesh "osmos" as an erotic encounter goes strange in a living room. * A Hand Walks Into a Bar An severed appendage hand delivers and message to barflies in a local watering hole. The Monty-Python-esk premise melts into a slug filled nightmare of the macabre. * Gutter Politics Are the leaking replicants of the red-light district involved in murder, malfunction or shutdown? * Down to the Bones Our anthology is interrupted by an extremely, extreme weather alert that inspires extreme behavior and rain that soaks the citizens of the city to the bone * The Corridors of Power A casual stroll down a hallway warps into an identity game in a maze of monstrosities and an ego manic. ** A Real Piece of Work In this cutting criticism of organized religion, the church and an ugly young woman escape from reality by hiding behind fabricated and beautiful identities. ** One Parasite to Another A wounded corpse scavenger fearing eternal damnation seeks sanctuary, salvation and assisted suicide from a priest on scared ground. He's haunted by memories and hallucinations as he confesses all sins. ** Gods of the Damned An ailing man of iron with a bloated belly and feeding only on razor blades is abducted. He's taken on a high speed, smash-em-up car chase though the city's underground. ** All the Wrong Parts A loyal cabbie collides with the upper crust when he is tempted by a cosmetically sculpted debutant who moonlights as a soulful singer in a jazz club. If you read this far, it's too late to turn back now. Take the plunge!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Gottschaldt

    The only real punk left in a city of dieselpunks has elluded the clockwork gangster who would like to wear her skin, buffalo bill style. Acid rain capable of aiding anyone with a grudge releases homicidal tendencies. A sewer with a penchant for prostitutes creates a hotel from recycling what little flesh they retain. A cop becomes a cult leader and a priest gets parasitic crabs. Robo Rhinocerous finds a pet hand. Alesa, the drunken-preacher’s daughter contemplates changing her name and a lot mor The only real punk left in a city of dieselpunks has elluded the clockwork gangster who would like to wear her skin, buffalo bill style. Acid rain capable of aiding anyone with a grudge releases homicidal tendencies. A sewer with a penchant for prostitutes creates a hotel from recycling what little flesh they retain. A cop becomes a cult leader and a priest gets parasitic crabs. Robo Rhinocerous finds a pet hand. Alesa, the drunken-preacher’s daughter contemplates changing her name and a lot more to Sel. A cabbie’s wife and city are falling apart while he entertains thoughts of robbery and adultery. The purge of Grudgehaven begins as the gossip queen fights a fate worse than “The Sarlacc” and being frozen in carbonite combined. Will she stick her neck out to overthrow the slum king in time to save what’s left of a city whose citizens alternate like currents between fundamental morality and the morality of reality in the Grudge? Will it even change their fate if she does? At the head, a delightful arousal of the sensuous, mid tones that stab of the horrifically strange, based well within the sludge and mechanization of dieselpunk and garnished with a twist of bizarro; these loosely connected tales pique the determined reader's curiosity to go back and attempt to understand better their interconnectivity while creating anticipation for a sequel. Critique: at times the stories trudge stubbornly through details of narration and are only redeemed by the author's amazing knack for damned good dialog.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Wolf

    Welcome to Grudgehaven, if you drove through it while reading "Tall Tales with Short Cocks," volume 2, you'll know what to expect. If not you should pick both up. While the story, "A hand walks into a bar," is in both, if you enjoy one you're sure to enjoy the other. There are ten stories in this volume, some will shiver your spine. Some will weigh upon your soul. Some will lift your heart. Some will break it. Some do all at once in the same story. The stories are somewhat connected, they take p Welcome to Grudgehaven, if you drove through it while reading "Tall Tales with Short Cocks," volume 2, you'll know what to expect. If not you should pick both up. While the story, "A hand walks into a bar," is in both, if you enjoy one you're sure to enjoy the other. There are ten stories in this volume, some will shiver your spine. Some will weigh upon your soul. Some will lift your heart. Some will break it. Some do all at once in the same story. The stories are somewhat connected, they take place in the same location and there are some reoccurring characters. For example, Rhino makes an unnamed cameo in "A Real Piece of Work," and it makes you feel as though you've made this wrong turn before. The work is really neither bizzaro nor absurdest, but rather steam punk and Lovecraftian, enchanting in a sublime manner. I recommend it for fans of noir, steam punk, horror, and tentacles.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Frederick

    Grudge Punk by John McNee - A way cool collection of shorts. Nine individual stories, all set in the same fictional city - Grudgehaven. Each story is completely unique with the exception of some reoccurring characters. Every character but one is an amalgam of flesh and machine, although no two are alike. Grudge Punk surely falls within the bizarro genre first, laced with equal parts sci-fi and noir. I haven't found any other books by McNee, but I'll keep looking.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David

    I recognized two familiar friends in this collection from the "Tall Tales with Short Cocks," but had no problem reading them again. I was happy to, and happy to see where else the streets of this strange city ran. I love the feel of this one, so many different genres mixed together. It really gets under your skin, perhaps literally in some cases.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Catchpole

    I liked that the stories are both individual and connected. It took me a while to get through this book, not because of the material but finding the time to fit it in, but it was very easy to pick up and start again. The writing is very clear and the stories held my attention.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.