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Dark and comedic stories from the award-winning author, James Musgrave.
Dark Stories for Readers with Surreal and Deep Tastes
Silver Medal Winner for Best Adult Fiction Anthology, 2021, Readers Favorite Book Awards
IndieBrag Gold Medallion Selection for Literary Short Fiction
Hollywood and Broadway are icons of the American Dream. But what happens to those who feed off that dream? Just as drug cartels have many underlings, who must get paid along the journey to the addicts, so do the characters who need to be nourished by the luminaries who make up this star-studded world above us. James Musgrave’s collection of eleven stories, in many ways, addresses the theme of “star power,” but in a way that satirizes the stereotypical “Hollywood endings” in very unique and literary ways. This collection has a remedy for the past year’s traumas caused by a worldwide pandemic.
Award-winning short fiction author, Jacob M. Appel says, "With the publication of Valley of the Dogs, Jim Musgrave joins the ranks of George Saunders, Steven Millhauser, and Kevin Brockmeier at the heart of the modern American short story's second great renaissance."
"Entering the consciousness of a reader is the most sacred enterprise an author can have. These stories have been collected as my Zen reflection during the past year’s COVID-19 plague. This shamanistic mental state, which the Japanese term “Mushin,” or “no-mind” is close to the stream-of-consciousness technique that Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Jack Kerouac, James Joyce, and William Faulkner used to such success. However, it is also a form of channeling that defies definition. This is the mystical realm that creatives around the world know so well, and we worship at its altar every day we put fingers to keys or pen to paper. I want to thank readers who enjoy dark stories, as in this age of political correctness and what publishers often term “accessibility,” it is becoming more difficult for us authors, especially us authors who don’t make a lot of money from our work, to find an audience. I will go out on a limb and say that if the author does make a lot of money from a dark story, he/she will get marketing to back him/her up to ride the tide of money to the bank. If you ride this wave of Gustav and all the other characters in my collection, then thanks for that. It’s been a tough year for all of us. Bless you." --James Musgrave
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
"Superbly dark and un-put-down-able. This was a new type of work from the author, and I really felt drawn to his compilation of eleven dark stories. Each story is so engrossing, it brings you right in the middle of the story. This collection is more than just words on a page. It is a very well-written story, and I enjoyed it." Amazon.com
"For a writer, getting inside the reader’s mind is the holy grail of the craft. In Valley of the Dogs, a collection of eleven dark short stories, author Jim Musgrave has invaded most of our minds and left an impression that will linger long after we close the book and stick it on our ‘to be read again someday’ shelf. If you’re looking for a good book to curl up with when the wind’s blowing outside and the sky is gunmetal gray and depressing, this is what I would prescribe." Amazon.com
" Wow! Great stories, definitely dark, but also great! I enjoyed all of these stories, but some of them hit you hard, very hard. The writer is very skilled at his craft, and I can't wait to read more stories out of his wonderful imagination." Amazon.com
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