Book Review – Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles by Adrian Ludens (2012)

Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles
by Adrian Ludens
Release Date: September 12, 2012
Publisher: Self-published

bedtime stories

When you read the title of this book, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? My first thought was “That is a hell of a title, and I want to read this book!” This should be your initial reaction as well. BEDTIME STORIES FOR CARRION BEETLES is a collection of 19 short stories from author Adrian Ludens; most of these tales would be classified as horror, although there is a steampunk story and a couple of simply quirky ones as well. But regardless of how their classified, these short stories will no doubt entertain every reader that ventures into them.

If you are not familiar with BEDTIME STORIES FOR CARRION BEETLES, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the book cover:

Meet Will. A horde of insects reside in his stomach, but he’s more afraid of his insurance company. Lizzie and Rowena are independent, in love, and hide an army of undead Confederate soldiers in their root cellar. Nicky really needs to resolve some issues with her father, but she’ll have to dig him up to do it. And Melvin never touches the food in his fridge, but eats like a king when his neighbors fight.

Learn why taxidermy and classic literature don’t mix, and discover what a desperate mortician’s assistant will do for love. Children master the dark art of necromancy, and an Old West legend gets turned upside-down.

Nineteen short stories ranging from steampunk mystery to harrowing horror are contained in BEDTIME STORIES FOR CARRION BEETLES.

I’m curious as to how the author came up with such a vivid and unique title. It certainly catches the eye (and the brain). It is also a very accurate description for the tales in this collection. I would wager that other flesh-devouring insects (and creatures, for that matter) might enjoy these as well.

The stories in BEDTIME STORIES FOR CARRION BEETLES are all written well and exemplify a master-craftsman at work. It is very apparent that Ludens is well-studied in the art of short story writing, as his tales are all succinct and flow easily. He does not embellish with unnecessary prose, but instead gets right to the point.

One of my favorite stories is “A Good Game”. This tale is mentioned in the above description, however I’m not going to tell you which one it is. This is a wickedly fun story, and I actually smiled as I read the end of it. I am impressed with the originality, not to mention the story itself.

Another favorite is “Solitary Man”. In this one, a prison guard is telling his comatose son a story about work, particularly about a jailed writer. Things are not what they seem to be for this best-selling prisoner, and the final sentence in this story will definitely give you a chill.

BEDTIME STORIES FOR CARRION BEETLES is an excellent short story collection, and it is one that every fan of horror literature will want to own. Be sure and give this one a look. It is available now, on Amazon and the author’s website, in a variety of formats.


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