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Brief, Horrible Moments: A Collection of One Sentence Horror Stories

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Chill your bones with two hundred and forty two horror stories, one sentence at a time. Monsters, demons, creatures and oddities. Murder, death and the dead. Family, friends, love and relationships. Food and eating. Fear, dread, and the unknown. Crime and punishment. The human body. Lock the doors, turn up the lights, and take a deep breath. A series of brief, h Chill your bones with two hundred and forty two horror stories, one sentence at a time. Monsters, demons, creatures and oddities. Murder, death and the dead. Family, friends, love and relationships. Food and eating. Fear, dread, and the unknown. Crime and punishment. The human body. Lock the doors, turn up the lights, and take a deep breath. A series of brief, horrible moments await.


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Chill your bones with two hundred and forty two horror stories, one sentence at a time. Monsters, demons, creatures and oddities. Murder, death and the dead. Family, friends, love and relationships. Food and eating. Fear, dread, and the unknown. Crime and punishment. The human body. Lock the doors, turn up the lights, and take a deep breath. A series of brief, h Chill your bones with two hundred and forty two horror stories, one sentence at a time. Monsters, demons, creatures and oddities. Murder, death and the dead. Family, friends, love and relationships. Food and eating. Fear, dread, and the unknown. Crime and punishment. The human body. Lock the doors, turn up the lights, and take a deep breath. A series of brief, horrible moments await.

30 review for Brief, Horrible Moments: A Collection of One Sentence Horror Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    There is a moment in every horror movie where the plot twists around on itself and you get that oh-my-god-I-can't-believe-that-just-happened feeling. Brief, Horrible Moments delivers that feeling in every sentence. A collection of one sentence horror snippets, the book is a fun (yet demented) read. My favorites: All my friends knew I slept during the day because I worked the night shift, which was easier than explaining that I'd been given a curfew by the thing in my closet. The smiling clown lo There is a moment in every horror movie where the plot twists around on itself and you get that oh-my-god-I-can't-believe-that-just-happened feeling. Brief, Horrible Moments delivers that feeling in every sentence. A collection of one sentence horror snippets, the book is a fun (yet demented) read. My favorites: All my friends knew I slept during the day because I worked the night shift, which was easier than explaining that I'd been given a curfew by the thing in my closet. The smiling clown looked into my eyes, clutched my broken, twisted body and whispered, "I'm going to make you a balloon animal.'' Some of these little horrific gems are great, others gross, even demented and some missed the mark entirely for me. But we all have different things that horrify us....there's a little bit for everyone in this book. Definitely a fun read for those who like cheesy horror. The sentences are organized into chapters: Monsters, Demons, Creatures & Oddities; Murder, Death & the Dead; Family, Friends, Love & Relationships; Food & Eating; Fear, Dread & the Unknown; Crime & Punishment; Doctors, Health & Hospitals; and, The Human Body. I had fun reading some of these out loud to my husband and son. Very creative and fun book! **I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads.com giveaway. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.**

  2. 5 out of 5

    ♥ Sandi ❣

    3.25 stars If a synopsis ever described a book - this is the one. All one sentence horror stories. There are a few I had to read twice, but most were blatantly clear. Coming two or three to a page they were sectioned out over a few categories - food, family, crime, death, the human body, among others. None were funny, most were morbid. This is easily a book that can be read within an hour or two. However, due to its content, I only read a brief portion at a time. My rating is divided 3.25 stars If a synopsis ever described a book - this is the one. All one sentence horror stories. There are a few I had to read twice, but most were blatantly clear. Coming two or three to a page they were sectioned out over a few categories - food, family, crime, death, the human body, among others. None were funny, most were morbid. This is easily a book that can be read within an hour or two. However, due to its content, I only read a brief portion at a time. My rating is divided out as .25 stars for content and 3 stars for the imagination that came up with this idea.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    A collection of one sentence horror stories. There's some repetition. Some are run-on sentences. On the whole, though, they are deliciously creepy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Duarte

    Horror needs tension, and you can't do tension with one simple sentence. There are several ways to do horror, so i'll speak of three ways, you have the realistic one (try to make the unrealistic and supernatural a plausible threat in the real world), the gothic one (emphasis on dream-like atmosphere with heavy emphasis on the feelings and mental state of the characters and symbolism) and the experimental one (make it a disorienting, disjointed experience as if to simulate an actual nightmar Horror needs tension, and you can't do tension with one simple sentence. There are several ways to do horror, so i'll speak of three ways, you have the realistic one (try to make the unrealistic and supernatural a plausible threat in the real world), the gothic one (emphasis on dream-like atmosphere with heavy emphasis on the feelings and mental state of the characters and symbolism) and the experimental one (make it a disorienting, disjointed experience as if to simulate an actual nightmare). I write this simply because there is no way in hell you can pull this off with one brief sentence. The best horror, i believe, is achieved through disturbing implications, and the best in this type of horror is by far Thomas Ligotti. And let me tell you, this is as far as you can get from Ligotti. Furthermore, this sentences are incredibly uncreative: most of the situations presented in the sentences are just tired, boring, horror-genre cliches like cannibals, demons, ghosts, and general gore (which needless to say can't have an impact with one sentence). The sentences intend to scare due to how they're structured, but this is soon to be revealed to be nothing but a gimmick because 90% of these sentencces go along the lines of [Everyday thing] [the words "until", "but", "not because [normal thing] but because [spooky thing]" etc etc] and finally [tired horror cliche]. That is literally all there is to this, some of them are too obvious, some of them are just boring, other don't even make fucking sense, and they all have various issues. The only reason i'm giving this two stars instead of one is because some of these sentences actually caught me off guard, although even those were not memorable enough for me to remember any of them (and i just finished reading the book!). I don't wanna be "that guy", giving such a negative review to a book with so few ratings but i'm sorry, i just hated this and the sort of lazy horror it stands by. EDIT 08/04/2017: Changing this to a straight one star because I have one star ratings that i can actually remember about (if only because of how generic they were), while i can't remember diddly squat about anything in this book. In my eyes, it would be unfair putting it above other one star rated books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    leslie hamod

    Yikes!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

    Some of these were good, some were not. Some gave me chills, some made me cringe with corniness. No illustrations in the e-book so that's lame. This one could've been ripped from the Merry Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton. hahaha "She had nervously insisted on turning off the lights first, and as I kissed my way up from her body to her lips, she finally found the courage to touch one of my tentacles."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dez Nemec

    I won my copy of this book in a contest. (Thanks, Goodreads!). This is a rather unique book. The title is dead on - the book is filled with one sentence stories of horrible things. Some of my faves were: "I felt the warm, sensual touch of a tongue licking its way up my neck, which I might have enjoyed had it been attached to a person." "Nothing could tear us apart; she'd sewn too many parts of us together." "I don't usually go this far on a first date," she giggl I won my copy of this book in a contest. (Thanks, Goodreads!). This is a rather unique book. The title is dead on - the book is filled with one sentence stories of horrible things. Some of my faves were: "I felt the warm, sensual touch of a tongue licking its way up my neck, which I might have enjoyed had it been attached to a person." "Nothing could tear us apart; she'd sewn too many parts of us together." "I don't usually go this far on a first date," she giggled, briefly letting me gasp for air before pushing my head back underwater." Definitely a different read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cait Poytress

    This is an interesting concept for a book and I wasn't quite sure how to approach reading it. Ultimately I think it's best read one "chapter", or section, at a time with breaks in between. Even putting it down here and there, it's a super quick read. Here's an example one-sentence story: "My father was causing a scene as usual, slurring his words and attacking pew after pew of terrified mourners who had gathered for his funeral." One thing's for sure, the author has quite a This is an interesting concept for a book and I wasn't quite sure how to approach reading it. Ultimately I think it's best read one "chapter", or section, at a time with breaks in between. Even putting it down here and there, it's a super quick read. Here's an example one-sentence story: "My father was causing a scene as usual, slurring his words and attacking pew after pew of terrified mourners who had gathered for his funeral." One thing's for sure, the author has quite an imagination and I would love reading a full length horror novel of his.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leena Hale

    Rating: 3.95 This was really interesting. It was disturbing, creepy, gory and at times sent shivers down my spine. And I enjoyed it thoroughly.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Girard

    This was so creepy and weird and horrifying. The illustrations are too. If you are a fan of horror or of stories quickly read pick this one up.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ericka Seidemann

    Delightfully creepy collection of one-sentence horror scenarios. I marked many of these to read to friends later! So happy I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway!

  12. 5 out of 5

    RobinLeigh Morgan

    I read this book via a KINDLE Unlimited download. As an aficionado and author of flash fictions, I’ve written an anthology of 100 Flash Fictions, where most of the stories only have five sentences, I can truly appreciate the efforts Mr. Pandza in compiling this collection. This IS NOT the kind of book you can read by racing through it by any means. The best way to appreciate reading this author’s endeavor is to sit in a comfortable, quiet place. Close your eyes, clear your mind; with your mind c I read this book via a KINDLE Unlimited download. As an aficionado and author of flash fictions, I’ve written an anthology of 100 Flash Fictions, where most of the stories only have five sentences, I can truly appreciate the efforts Mr. Pandza in compiling this collection. This IS NOT the kind of book you can read by racing through it by any means. The best way to appreciate reading this author’s endeavor is to sit in a comfortable, quiet place. Close your eyes, clear your mind; with your mind clear, you slowly read each of the 242 items contained in this collection one by one. You stop and contemplate what you’ve just read as you try to visualize it. By doing this you’ll first get a basic image of what you’ve read, and as you continue to dwell on this image you should find your imagination creating an entire story which seems to keep on growing until you decide to move on to the next item. For allowing me and anyone who reads this book, the opportunity to use our imagination to create complete stories in our minds, I’ve given Mr. Pandza 5 STARS.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Magalie Boisvert

    It is a really good, terrifying book. The drawings are great, really spooky. It's a must-read for fans of this genre !

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dimitris

    Meh Hoped it would be better.. just 4-5 lines of “scary” “stories” that go on and on and on.. would like to say that it had some good ones.. but nope. Not for me. Reminded me of those Instagram accounts who post pictures of 3-5 lines of “scary” dialogues, situations and stuff. Oh well...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Avanders

    Great fun. 🤡

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kasey Bennett

    I feel like this is something I would normally DNF, but I finished it since it was only 240-ish one-sentence long stories. I really didn't like this. Typically, I really love a suspenseful horror story — "NOS4A2" by Joe Hill and "The Colour Out of Space" by H.P. Lovecraft are two favorites that jump to mind. I even love flash fiction, so this should have been a win. However, a lot of these stories are either: boring or just plain confusing (let's be honest, though, it is hard to throw I feel like this is something I would normally DNF, but I finished it since it was only 240-ish one-sentence long stories. I really didn't like this. Typically, I really love a suspenseful horror story — "NOS4A2" by Joe Hill and "The Colour Out of Space" by H.P. Lovecraft are two favorites that jump to mind. I even love flash fiction, so this should have been a win. However, a lot of these stories are either: boring or just plain confusing (let's be honest, though, it is hard to throw a twist into just one sentence) or they are variations of one-sentence urban legends that have been floating around the Internet for years. A few were creepy (if you read them in the middle of the night with the lights out); many I laughed out loud at (because the imagery painted was absurd and funny); others were over-the-top grotesque (not in a good way); and I genuinely loved only one (and that's because it pulled from folklore about changelings). I would only recommend this as a horror story prompt book. In that function, it works quite well. Otherwise, I would give it a pass. I received a free eBook copy through a goodreads giveaway.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    I won this in a GoodReads giveaway. I read this like I try to read books of poetry-- bonbon reading, I call it. You can't plow through like a novel; you need to read a little bit, then stop, savor, digest. Going too fast is just gluttony, and you lose all appreciation for each bite. I say this because I can see dismissing this as better suited as a blog or Twitter posts than a book, but this is a thing that can be done. Or such is my theory. And unfortunately, I don't think I won this in a GoodReads giveaway. I read this like I try to read books of poetry-- bonbon reading, I call it. You can't plow through like a novel; you need to read a little bit, then stop, savor, digest. Going too fast is just gluttony, and you lose all appreciation for each bite. I say this because I can see dismissing this as better suited as a blog or Twitter posts than a book, but this is a thing that can be done. Or such is my theory. And unfortunately, I don't think it helped in this book. (Of course, I don't like reading collections of poetry that much either. I'm not a bonbon reader by nature.) I love micro-stories like this. I organize a 2-sentence horror story contest for my library each year. A lot of the stories in this book fall prey to the same errors our students make. Some of it is just the nature of the beast: writing a scary story in just one sentence (or even 2) is deceptively hard to do. Writing 200 of them (or however many are in this book) is even harder, apparently. There was too much redundancy in concept and/or execution for me to be thrilled. There's some nice ones in there, don't get me wrong, but they're mixed in with a lot of chaff. Actual rating: 2.5 stars is probably more accurate. 👉 The horror. Very heavy on gruesome body horror and a bit of supernatural, ignoring other kinds. Yeah, yeah, being carved up by Hannibal Lecter would be horrifying to experience...but not in one sentence. Ex, one story got my hopes up -- walking into a room, stepdad drinking a whiskey and staring at the narrator... Oh, he's just a zombie (or otherwise undead). Ho hum. I had thought, in the first half of the sentence, we were getting an ominous precursor to abuse of some kind, and actually got a little shiver...but no. It's just the undead once again. Another example, a narrator being stalked by their ex-boyfriend. That's horrifying and dangerous in and of itself! But then it's added on, "ever since I killed him." Yawn. 👉The obvious horror. Common misstep I see a lot. You get this scary concept, cram it into one sentence, and move on. How to get the scary across in a single sentence? Let's just tell the reader something horrifying is happening. Scariness exists best in our imaginations. Ex, "Its...just the wind," my husband said, explaining away the scraping in the attic again, but this time, the moment's pause was somehow enough to tell me he not only knew what was up there, but that he himself had put it there. Don't tell us that the narrator has realized their husband knows what's making noise in the attic AND put it there. Argh. All that from a pause? Hint. Let us make that conclusion, and let our imaginations run rampant. That should, in theory, be easier to do in one sentence, because you're no longer trying to cram in the explanation with the set-up. If you can't be mysterious but leading in one sentence, then your idea and your storytelling device aren't right for each other, and it should be omitted. 👉The sentence construction. "I was okay with normal thing, except for horrifying twist." That's the outline of half of them (vague guesstimate). A few, I felt, cheated with semicolons. Others were just screaming for a second sentence but were tortured into being one awkward one. (See what I did there?) Anyway, over and over again. Taking breaks didn't help alleviate this repetitiveness. Some might have worked with some tougher editing. I know the one sentence thing was the gimmick here, but I think this collection would have been better overall (and still using a gimmick), to have sections of one-, two-, and three-sentence stories. Orrrrr harsh editing and rewrites to mold the awkward ones into better sentences, either way. 👉 The chapters. Organized by theme, like bodies vs families... But many stories were so alike, these chapter/sections felt largely arbitrary. Who cares if it's a Boogeyman or your wife or your own psychoses making you eat hair, it's the same concept.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittnee

    The smiling clown looked into my eyes, clutched my broken, twisted body and whispered: "I'm going to make you a balloon animal." Brief, Horrible Moments: A Collection of One Sentence Horror Stories is like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, but for adults and the stories are only o The smiling clown looked into my eyes, clutched my broken, twisted body and whispered: "I'm going to make you a balloon animal." Brief, Horrible Moments: A Collection of One Sentence Horror Stories is like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, but for adults and the stories are only one sentence long. At first, the one sentence length threw me off. I wanted to read each sentence like it should be connected to the previous one. Once I adjusted my reading style to reading a sentence and pondering where the tale would go from there and what happened before that sentence, I started to enjoy the short horror clips more. This would be a fun book for a writers' workshop to develop the stories more. It would also be fun to read a different sentence each day and think about the rest of the story. P.S. I did receive this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I won a Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review, and here it is: This book is exactly what it says on the tin: brief, horrible moments; one-sentence nightmares. Many of these were surprising and creative, a number of them were somewhat cliche, and some of the later ones felt like reworded versions of ones that were told earlier in the book. The better ones tended to be deliciously horrifying in concept; however I feel that a few had their effect hampere I won a Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review, and here it is: This book is exactly what it says on the tin: brief, horrible moments; one-sentence nightmares. Many of these were surprising and creative, a number of them were somewhat cliche, and some of the later ones felt like reworded versions of ones that were told earlier in the book. The better ones tended to be deliciously horrifying in concept; however I feel that a few had their effect hampered by the one-sentence limit. A two or three sentence rule would have cured the longer ones of run-on, and maybe even strengthened their impact. That being said, this was certainly a disturbing treat, and I appreciate my free copy~

  20. 5 out of 5

    Caelesta

    I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Since they don't have much time to create a creepy atmosphere or expand upon the tension needed to create a scary story, one sentence horror stories can be hit or miss. While there were a few stories that I found more darkly humorous than actually terrifying, the vast majority of the stories were creepy and eerie. I especially liked the chapter on "murder, death and the dead."

  21. 5 out of 5

    Camden Johnson

    I got this as a free book on Kindle. I thought that this book was alright. I love anthology horror books so I was happy to download this book. It wasn't horrible and some of the short stories were interesting. They all were unique and creative but it didn't leave me completely shocked or anything. I would recommend for a quick read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    A few of these really hit hard, but I think a lot of the punch of these mini stories was lost by more than one being on the same page. It makes for reading them too quickly, back to back, and they lose their sense of urgency.

  23. 5 out of 5

    The Irregular Reader

    Brief Horrible Moments delivers on its goal: a collection of 1-sentence horror stories. Some of these manage to be absolutely terrifying, even in the brief format allowed. most serve (intentionally or not) as writing prompts, compelling the reader to extrapolate a larger story to encompass what they're reading. A fun, quick read for horror fans.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    Loved this little treasure! This was such a fun read! Each short little horror sentence either made me grimace or make a face. I had a lot of fun with this little book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I really liked the idea here! Some of these were cheesy/dumb and some were pushing coherence, but I enjoyed many of them! I love the idea of a collection of one sentence horror stories! Very fun!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aiden McDonough

    Excellent This was a quick and awesome read. It makes you constantly wonder what happens next every single time. I won this book through a goodreads giveaway and I was not disappointed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Falisha Zwolinski

    Quick, entertaining It's a nice quick read. The one sentence structure was creative and individually some stories were effectively arresting, but I didn't gain anything from it. This reads more like someone's inspiration journal than something to consume as a reader.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Krista Dolan

    I won a digital copy of this via a Goodreads Giveaway :) ... and WOW! I originally thought this might be interesting to use in our Creative Writing Flash Fiction unit, but this might be borderline too much for high school. I was impressed that I cringed multiple times especially since the stories are confined to only on sentence -- that in itself is impressive to me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Adamson

    "The smiling clown looked into my eyes, clutched my broken, twisted body and whispered: 'I'm going to make you a balloon animal.' These short missives are actually pretty good. The fear lies in the not knowing what happens next. Your mind lingers on what would happen next to you. Some. Like above, are amazing. The majority are creepy and a handful are soso. I'd recommend this to any horror fans. I had attempted to read the author's novel and couldnt get into it. After finishing this a "The smiling clown looked into my eyes, clutched my broken, twisted body and whispered: 'I'm going to make you a balloon animal.' These short missives are actually pretty good. The fear lies in the not knowing what happens next. Your mind lingers on what would happen next to you. Some. Like above, are amazing. The majority are creepy and a handful are soso. I'd recommend this to any horror fans. I had attempted to read the author's novel and couldnt get into it. After finishing this and realizing it was the same author, I'm going to re-read Limbo.

  30. 5 out of 5

    April A. Taylor

    3.5 stars. An interesting premise that sometimes hit the mark and other times fell very flat. The shorter sentences were often very clever. The longer sentences tended to be weaker. This is due to their sometimes paragraph length structure filled with a series of commas, semicolons, and colons. This was undoubtedly done to keep the story within the one sentence rule, but I wish the author had simply allowed them to be flash fiction stories instead. Overall, this was a quick, entertaining read. T 3.5 stars. An interesting premise that sometimes hit the mark and other times fell very flat. The shorter sentences were often very clever. The longer sentences tended to be weaker. This is due to their sometimes paragraph length structure filled with a series of commas, semicolons, and colons. This was undoubtedly done to keep the story within the one sentence rule, but I wish the author had simply allowed them to be flash fiction stories instead. Overall, this was a quick, entertaining read. The Kindle formatting was a bit odd, though, making it impossible to use my typical reading settings.

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