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OH PAIN

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A NEW MOTHER secretly bites her baby until the compulsion ruins her. AN ABANDONED ANGEL eats the trash of a small Ohio town. A SOCIAL OUTCAST spies on her neighbor's morphing body for a secret agency bent on skullduggery. A SCIENTIST suffers horrible mutations to care for a radioactive orphan. A HOPEFUL COLLEGE GRADUATE labors in an underground bunker scrubbing a giant. In thes A NEW MOTHER secretly bites her baby until the compulsion ruins her. AN ABANDONED ANGEL eats the trash of a small Ohio town. A SOCIAL OUTCAST spies on her neighbor's morphing body for a secret agency bent on skullduggery. A SCIENTIST suffers horrible mutations to care for a radioactive orphan. A HOPEFUL COLLEGE GRADUATE labors in an underground bunker scrubbing a giant. In these twelve weird stories, human bodies are morphed, warped, and withered. Through love, desolation, or entropy. Through motherhood, childhood, or disease. The settings for these stories of painful transformation are often the huddled corners of the uncanny Midwest, but the changes are always happening on the body in pain. OH PAIN is a collection of humor and despair from the author of the cosmic horror novella THE NOTHING THAT IS. “Winkler serves up Midwest weirdness and body horror unlike any I’ve encountered before. His characters, crafted with wit and compassion, lead fully dimensional lives on the page. There’s no denying that OH PAIN is an absolute pleasure.” — Eric Raglin, author of Nightmare Yearnings and host of The Cursed Morsels Podcast


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A NEW MOTHER secretly bites her baby until the compulsion ruins her. AN ABANDONED ANGEL eats the trash of a small Ohio town. A SOCIAL OUTCAST spies on her neighbor's morphing body for a secret agency bent on skullduggery. A SCIENTIST suffers horrible mutations to care for a radioactive orphan. A HOPEFUL COLLEGE GRADUATE labors in an underground bunker scrubbing a giant. In thes A NEW MOTHER secretly bites her baby until the compulsion ruins her. AN ABANDONED ANGEL eats the trash of a small Ohio town. A SOCIAL OUTCAST spies on her neighbor's morphing body for a secret agency bent on skullduggery. A SCIENTIST suffers horrible mutations to care for a radioactive orphan. A HOPEFUL COLLEGE GRADUATE labors in an underground bunker scrubbing a giant. In these twelve weird stories, human bodies are morphed, warped, and withered. Through love, desolation, or entropy. Through motherhood, childhood, or disease. The settings for these stories of painful transformation are often the huddled corners of the uncanny Midwest, but the changes are always happening on the body in pain. OH PAIN is a collection of humor and despair from the author of the cosmic horror novella THE NOTHING THAT IS. “Winkler serves up Midwest weirdness and body horror unlike any I’ve encountered before. His characters, crafted with wit and compassion, lead fully dimensional lives on the page. There’s no denying that OH PAIN is an absolute pleasure.” — Eric Raglin, author of Nightmare Yearnings and host of The Cursed Morsels Podcast

44 review for OH PAIN

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Torres

    After reading (and loving) THE NOTHING THAT IS by Kyle I knew I needed to get my hands on OH PAIN, and I'm glad he gave me the opportunity to do so! So many of these stories will stick with me and they are all great examples of why I love horror. AND LO! IT WAS THURSDAY IN OHIO and SMUDGE THE HEAD are two of my favorites. I can't recommend Kyle's work enough and I suggest you check this one out soon! After reading (and loving) THE NOTHING THAT IS by Kyle I knew I needed to get my hands on OH PAIN, and I'm glad he gave me the opportunity to do so! So many of these stories will stick with me and they are all great examples of why I love horror. AND LO! IT WAS THURSDAY IN OHIO and SMUDGE THE HEAD are two of my favorites. I can't recommend Kyle's work enough and I suggest you check this one out soon!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Remo

    In OH PAIN, Kyle Winkler weaves together a series of wild and creative stories with themes of familial relationship, and as the title suggests, pain. After reading The Nothing That Is I was excited to see Winkler's other creative works. OH PAIN combines elements of various genres including horror, transgressive fiction, bizarro, magical realism, and literary fiction. The majority of these stories feature some sort of family relationship with an emphasis on parent/child relationships. These storie In OH PAIN, Kyle Winkler weaves together a series of wild and creative stories with themes of familial relationship, and as the title suggests, pain. After reading The Nothing That Is I was excited to see Winkler's other creative works. OH PAIN combines elements of various genres including horror, transgressive fiction, bizarro, magical realism, and literary fiction. The majority of these stories feature some sort of family relationship with an emphasis on parent/child relationships. These stories are painted with a vivid and imaginative palette that reminds me of Neil Gaiman. In addition to familiar themes, Winkler explores the drudgery of daily work life. In several stories, he incorporates tales of magical items to express the transference of pain into physical objects. The stories, here, are emotive and memorable. Like a salvo, the first story, Bite, bombards the reader with a sensory overload of details. This technique mirrors the mental state of the viewpoint character. In this story, I first observed a focus on the connection between objects and human emotions. During a lengthy passage describing childcare items, one gets the sense that the protagonist is searching for an ephemeral essence of "motherhood" in so many disposable plastic things. I read this story a month prior to finishing the collection, and it has remained in the forefront of my memory. The story has a desperate quality to it. This theme regarding objects appears again in Smudge the Head which remains one of my favorite stories in the collection. In this story, a blackboard opens up a doorway to an imaginative and horrifying world. I got a strong connection between art, emotion, and grief. In Geshmak, this theme hit me the hardest. The story focuses on guns. There's a subtle line in which Winkler shows the way power shifts the moment a gun is present, even when an act of violence is not happening. The story uses bizarro fiction to illustrate the way that the fear and pain of gun violence becomes internalized, in this case by a teenager. Perhaps I'm biased by my own fatigue and exhaustion with the ever-present dread of gun violence in the US. But this story had the greatest emotional impact on me. The Slow Work, And Lo! It was Thursday in Ohio, and Every Day You Will Get up and Go to Work all focus on the loss of the self to work. Winkler injects a morbid humor into these stories that helps with the dour themes. I loved And Lo!, which was another highlight from the collection. Beehunter was subtler in regards to weird elements. The story stood out in the collection. It was quieter, but had a lasting emotional impact. This collection has an eerie quality. Though the stories don't evoke traditional horror, they provide an insurmountable feeling of dread. The pain in these stories was so palpable. I think these stories approach a different dimension of horror than classic works.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vin - bookcadaver

    OH PAIN has managed to wiggle it’s way into my top five short fiction books. I was not expecting such a weird, melancholic and bizarre read, but I’m absolutely wowed by the effort that Winkler has put into this book. There’s twelve extremely well written and vastly different stories in this collection. The thing with a collection of short stories, personally, is that some are a huge hit or miss, or some really fall flat. Not with this book. This book had such engaging plots, ideas that I would n OH PAIN has managed to wiggle it’s way into my top five short fiction books. I was not expecting such a weird, melancholic and bizarre read, but I’m absolutely wowed by the effort that Winkler has put into this book. There’s twelve extremely well written and vastly different stories in this collection. The thing with a collection of short stories, personally, is that some are a huge hit or miss, or some really fall flat. Not with this book. This book had such engaging plots, ideas that I would never have dreamed of, and I’m impressed with how much imagination has gone into them. There were three particular stories in this series that I honestly want full novels on. - And Lo! It Was Thursday In Ohio - Teratology - Smudge the Head Teratology was probably my favourite out of all of them. I don’t put spoilers in my review, but this is a story you really don’t want to miss. I read it twice before continuing with the other stories because I was absolutely infatuated with it. It was beautifully harrowing. It managed to hit my morbid fascination with humans who become monstrous, and I don’t mean humans who do evil things and become classed as ‘monsters.’ Kyle Winkler is an author I’ve had on my list to read for a while now and I’m shook at his writing and the ability to pull you into his works so quickly. I recommend every story in this collection, which is rare for me, but damn, this is a brilliant series of weird fiction and I’ll be praising this to the trash angels for a good while. Thank you to Kyle for sending me a copy for an honest review. BLOG | INSTA | TWITTER

  4. 4 out of 5

    RP

    I really don't know how many times I can say it. Kyle Winkler is an important writer, with a seemingly unlimited imagination. The weirdness of these stories is not there for the sake of weirdness, though it is fun, and nutty, and surreal, but it is also hooked to the emotional lives of the people in these stories. It's a special writer who can create a character in your mind within the first few lines of a story (Homebody), or tackle the brutality of our time without falling into sentimentality I really don't know how many times I can say it. Kyle Winkler is an important writer, with a seemingly unlimited imagination. The weirdness of these stories is not there for the sake of weirdness, though it is fun, and nutty, and surreal, but it is also hooked to the emotional lives of the people in these stories. It's a special writer who can create a character in your mind within the first few lines of a story (Homebody), or tackle the brutality of our time without falling into sentimentality or preaching (Geshmak). My favorite story here is the mysterious, wildy imaginative, sorrowful Last Night With Cicely. But really, each of these tales offers their own glowing satisfaction. If you're coming here for the weird, you won't be disappointed, and you might be frightened or freaked. But there's real pain in OH PAIN, and real life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Marsella

    3.5 rounded up to 4 stars. This interesting and well-written collection of weird horror stories was unique and had some interesting ideas, but just wasn’t for me. That’s not to say that people who enjoy weird fiction wouldn’t absolutely love this collection, it’s just most of it went over my head. That says more about me than the work itself. The first story Bite was easily my favorite making me laugh at times and feeling uneasy at others. All that being said, it was a fast read that held my int 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars. This interesting and well-written collection of weird horror stories was unique and had some interesting ideas, but just wasn’t for me. That’s not to say that people who enjoy weird fiction wouldn’t absolutely love this collection, it’s just most of it went over my head. That says more about me than the work itself. The first story Bite was easily my favorite making me laugh at times and feeling uneasy at others. All that being said, it was a fast read that held my interest even if I didn’t love it. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that enjoys weird or bizarro fiction that makes you think outside the box. Unfortunately, that’s not me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Darryl Suite

    I’m in love.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lor

    Beautifully sad, yet perverse and hilarious--this is a hard thing to balance yet this does it easily. It's also deeply reflective about motherhood and mothers in general. Everything comes from the heart, it just sometimes gets a little f---ed up the process. Beautifully sad, yet perverse and hilarious--this is a hard thing to balance yet this does it easily. It's also deeply reflective about motherhood and mothers in general. Everything comes from the heart, it just sometimes gets a little f---ed up the process.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Micah Castle

    OH PAIN is a bleak collection of the weird, the dejected, and tinged with miniscule hope, but it's one I enjoyed thoroughly. Favorite stories: "The Slow Work", "And Lo! It Was Thursday in Ohio", "Last Night With Cicely", "Beehunter", "Every Day You'll Get Up and Go to Work". OH PAIN is a bleak collection of the weird, the dejected, and tinged with miniscule hope, but it's one I enjoyed thoroughly. Favorite stories: "The Slow Work", "And Lo! It Was Thursday in Ohio", "Last Night With Cicely", "Beehunter", "Every Day You'll Get Up and Go to Work".

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Review coming soon!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emma E. Murray

    This collection was truly incredible, so much so that I started reading the ebook but ended up not only buying a paperback for my bookshelf, but one as a Christmas present for a fellow dark weird fiction lover as well. These stories have more heart than almost any short story collection I've read. The theme of motherhood/our relationships with mothers is woven expertly throughout the collection, and the way Winkler blends the bleak and heartbreaking with the strange and beautiful is beyond inspi This collection was truly incredible, so much so that I started reading the ebook but ended up not only buying a paperback for my bookshelf, but one as a Christmas present for a fellow dark weird fiction lover as well. These stories have more heart than almost any short story collection I've read. The theme of motherhood/our relationships with mothers is woven expertly throughout the collection, and the way Winkler blends the bleak and heartbreaking with the strange and beautiful is beyond inspiring. The opening story "Bite" floored me with its depiction of postpartum depression, something I am intimately familiar with, and this story made mine ache again like an old broken bone. "Smudge the Head" is painfully honest and had me crying almost the entire story, and in my opinion, is the crown jewel of the collection. "Beehunter" also totally blew me away, reminding me of Flannery O'Connor at her best. The final story, "Every Day You'll Get Up and Go To Work," was so different from the others and yet somehow was the perfect story to end. These stories stood out the most to me, but there isn't a single story that didn't break my heart in the best way and leave me reeling. I cannot wait to see what else Kyle Winkler has in store for us and will definitely be buying his next book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    A mother secretly nibbles and bites her baby. A neck hole that swallows guns, people, and a Nefesh. A typeface argument that gets ugly. The world of weird stories in Kyle Winkler’s Oh Pain takes unique twists to the bizarre and a left turn down the road to unease. And I, for one, am grateful for the ride. Bravo

  12. 5 out of 5

    Libby

  13. 5 out of 5

    Benji

  14. 5 out of 5

    Richard Mirabella

  15. 4 out of 5

    John Schumacher

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Renae

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ryan LaBee

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brett

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristina aka

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eric Raglin

  22. 5 out of 5

    Art

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elford Alley

  24. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Winkler

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steve Stred

  27. 4 out of 5

    Scott Moses

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sara Murphy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy Cipolla Barnes

  30. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Kolber

  31. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  32. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Case

  33. 5 out of 5

    Pinkbat

  34. 5 out of 5

    Kaleb - Xenobited

  35. 4 out of 5

    Todd

  36. 4 out of 5

    Brydon

  37. 5 out of 5

    Mia Wolf

  38. 5 out of 5

    Dyan

  39. 5 out of 5

    Dave

  40. 4 out of 5

    Pip

  41. 5 out of 5

    Leona

  42. 4 out of 5

    Jam

  43. 5 out of 5

    Matt Bliss

  44. 5 out of 5

    Kelly| Just Another Horror Reader

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