They Mostly Come At Night by Wesley Southard is a collection of stories that is officially going to be my go-to when recommending something to readers that haven’t yet read any of Mr Southard’s work!
It was chilling, heartbreaking, and even a bit gross (in a good horror way of course)! This collection truly has it all!
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on They Mostly Come At Night by Wesley Southard
All of these stories were SO GOOD! Of course, you always know you’re getting something great with this author’s work, but this collection really shows off his range.
Like many of my favorite short story collections, this one has a little something for all kinds of horror fans! It’s got a range from the mildly spooky all the way to the extreme horror! Each tale, no matter the focus, will totally suck you in. Some may even make you jump right back to the beginning to read again once you see the what the ending had in store.
While all were 5 stars for me, my favorites were:
- My Body
- Separated Self
Of course, we can’t forget to mention the eerie cover art by Trevor Henderson! How awesome is that illustration?! When I took the book photo to share with this review, my husband saw it and said: “That is such a creepy picture. I hate that.” Mission accomplished!
Now, per usual, here are my notes on each short story included in the collection:
Introduction by Brian Keene –
What an opening! I love the breakdown of the waves of horror and the story of how Brian and Wes first met. Equal parts personal and informative, with a splash of humor. This was a wonderful start to the book!
My Body –
This horrific tale centers around food and body horror. What a mix! Organized in a way that allows readers to jump back and forth from present time to what lead up to this moment, readers will be hooked!
I loved that this format added to the tense feeling and anxiety over finding out what was going on. What a gory start to the collection!
The Lengths I’ll Go –
When out at a bar, all this man wants to do is watch a hockey game. But his friends have other plans. Pestering him to drink, they make up a game. If he can do five things, they’ll leave him alone. Each dare gets more risky than the last until he snaps.
If you’re looking for a tale to make you so mad you could rage, then look no further! People that push others to drink like this are garbage humans. My goodness, the start of this one got me fired up.
This flash fiction piece is so good! I didn’t know what was going on until the end and then immediately reread it. Such a powerful little tale about the pandemic from a very unique perspective.
Separated Self –
When a man awakens stuck inside the mind of another person, he’s shocked to learn what the person whose mind he is in is living through. But it doesn’t end there. This man jumps into the minds of many others who are all suffering with horrible tragedies and injustices.
I loved that as the reader, you had no idea what was really going on here until the very end. Tread lightly with this one of you have any triggers, but also know what care the author put into this one. This is a very heavy and powerful tale.
For You, Anything –
In this apocalyptic world, a mother will do anything for her child. To make the child happy, they go to a zoo. The animals have all long since died, but the little girl still has a great time!
I love this one. It was heartbreakingly wonderful. I cannot imagine being in this poor mothers shoes. The bit about endometriosis hit home as well. I can’t recall if I ever saw mention of this in a book before… so it was neat to see it mentioned after my own diagnosis.
When a catalog arrives in the mail one day, it immediately captivates the husband, much to the dismay of his wife. The two are still going through a tough time after the loss of their son, but the grief is about to shift into something that neither of them could have anticipated.
This was a rollercoaster! I was curious, irked, sad, curious again, shocked, sad again, and then terrified!
Celebrity Mean Tweets –
We’ve all seen the features of celebrities reading mean things about themselves and laughing it off. But what about those that take it way too seriously? This story tackles that!
I loved that this guy was unlikable from the very start!
Waking up stranded on an island, this man quickly realizes that he’s all alone and there’s no way to escape. But then he meets a dog and follows it into the jungle. What he finds there is shocking!
Oh my gosh, I loved this one so much. Circular storytelling is my absolute favorite, and we saw just that here. The set up and storyline was perfect. I was so nervous for this character, and kept rooting for him, even if I had an inkling at where we were headed.
We Bare All –
Headed on a vacation that’s like a bachelor party but without the title and adding on a load of rules, this crew breaks rule number three. But of course they don’t just break the one rule… they break all of them and end up in compromising situations.
This one was wild! I loved that you could never have guessed what was going to happen. I need to know more about this creepy town!
Living with a monster under her bed that feeds off of her distress, this woman finally takes things into her own hands to get a good nights sleep!
AH! This one is chilling! We’ve all been afraid of the monster under the bed… now I want to go buy a new bed set. Ya know, just in case. Shoutout to Katie for giving this idea to Wesley to write! This short story is going to give me nightmares!
The Negative One –
A woman who feeds on negativity is making due with little scuffles and dramatics she comes across. But one night, when she witnesses a murder, it sets her off on a path to absorb more and more.
This one is brutal! It had me frowning through many of the scenes, but my goodness does the author crush brutal gore and extreme horror here!
My Favorite Passages from They Mostly Come At Night
The last several years had been a crash course through hell, considerable pain she wouldn’t dare wish on anyone.
The old man continued to stare, and that was when Nathan noticed a small splash of red across the man’s white shirt near his breast. His eyes dropped down to the long, wooden object in his hand.
Nathan’s laughter died. “What the fuck do you plan on doing with that?”
The old man showed him.
The hand that once held him down now lightly patted him on the shoulder. “Live like a shithead, die like a shithead.”
My Final Thoughts on They Mostly Come At Night
There’s an awesome range here from the short and sweet chilling tales, to longer ones that really draw you in before giving you the one-two-punch! But each of these tales are sure to get under your skin.
Definitely a must read for horror fans! I had a blast reading these stories!
Snag your copy soon! This book launches on November 8th, 2022!
Stay tuned to Wesley Southard’s website to order a signed copy! Or ask your local indie bookshop to order a copy for you!