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Publisher's Summary

The award-winning and critically-acclaimed master of horror returns with a pair of chilling tales - both never-before-published in print or audio - that examine the violence and depravity of the human condition.

Bringing together his acclaimed novella The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky and an all-new short novel My Heart Struck Sorrow, John Hornor Jacobs turns his fertile imagination to the evil that breeds within the human soul. 

A brilliant mix of the psychological and supernatural, blending the acute insight of Roberto Bolaño and the eerie imagination of H. P. Lovecraft, The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky examines life in a South American dictatorship. Centered on the journal of a poet-in-exile and his failed attempts at translating a maddening text, it is told by a young woman trying to come to grips with a country that nearly devoured itself.

In My Heart Struck Sorrow, a librarian discovers a recording from the Deep South - which may be the musical stylings of the Devil himself.

Breathtaking and haunting, A Lush and Seething Hell is a terrifying and exhilarating journey into the darkness, an odyssey into the deepest reaches of ourselves that compels us to confront secrets best left hidden.

©2019 John Hornor Jacobs (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about A Lush and Seething Hell

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  • Phil
  • 28-04-2021

Great idea, tarnished by modern politics

Really enjoyed the overall story. We'll written with a good vocabulary and a fluent method. Though I was taken out of the story by sudden and vehement bouts of white guilt and modern political sentiment. Oh well. If that's your thing it'll be accompanied by a very interesting lovecraftian horror.

16 people found this helpful

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  • CR
  • 22-11-2019

Loved both Stories

I thought this was brilliant, top to bottom. Great writing (beautiful prose), deep, mysterious, dark plotting. Wonderful narration, in both parts of the book. I would read more horror by this author in a moment.

9 people found this helpful

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  • C Christopher Taylor
  • 08-01-2020

Meh...

I had a hard time considering these stories as "cosmic horror".

The first story was extremely (IMO) long and the ending was unsatisfying-for all the build up the "payoff" was minimal. It seemed like the author just gave up.

The second story was more interesting, the plot more engaging but again, the ending felt forced and abrupt.

Not "Cosmic Horror" in the sense of Lovecraft-more "odd tales". YMMV.

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  • margaret m
  • 18-05-2021

It's ok.

Definitely not cosmic horror. The narrators do well and the stories start out like bangers, but both wind up being 100% forgettable. They're long novellas that should have been short stories and drone on forever. The first one had so much potential and I was so into it, but the end was so rushed I have no idea what even happened. The worst part is the ending was so unsatisfiying that I don't even care enough to google and figure out what happened. The second one started out creepy as hell, but the political parts jar you right out of the story. I read political books and listen to the news, but unless I'm reading a book about the Trump administration called "A Lush And Seething Hell," which probably could have been apropos, I don't want to get my politics from this. I'm guessing the reasoning was because Lovecraft, the father of cosmic horror, was a very well documented racist and bigot. That's documented, but this has nothing to do with that. This isn't cosmic horror. The narrators are great though. Another reviewer said the female narrator didn't vary her voices enough. I think it worked. The story was straightforward enough (until it wasn't) to be able to distinguish the characters, and the narrator of the story was meant to be young and naive. It worked. These don't though. Its a shot at the dartboard and instead of the middle it hits the drywall on the side. Pass on this.

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  • Christine
  • 01-11-2019

narrator issues

stories are great. but especially the female narrator there was no change of tone for the various characters and made it nearly impossible to follow who was doing what.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Intillectrician
  • 17-10-2019

Blown Away.

This was truly amazing listen. I'm not going to compare to it anything for fear of cheapening it. These two stories are subtly but completely saturated with the lurking fear of the unknown and of our inevitable mortality.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-12-2020

Beautiful, sensuous, and eerie.

These two stories are very different, yet equally compelling. Jacobs writes with an empathy and attention to sensory experience that carries the reader through the supernatural horrors he describes. The effect is something between ASMR tingles and shivers of revulsion. Highly recommend.

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  • Oscar Cardona
  • 08-05-2020

2 good stories.

I enjoyed the stories. Its was an amusing read. Though I have to say don't expect any modern horror here. The narrators did a wonderful job.

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  • novus
  • 27-11-2019

A double gut punch

Both of these tales are some of the best cosmic horror I’ve experienced. Like, you can feel the sorrow and despair seeping from each performers words, and the slow building terror is masterful.

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  • Michael Sparks
  • 23-04-2021

says at the beginning JHJ writes with no structure

wasn't bad, couple good lines, narration is good, endings are flat, politically correct, remember the sixth Sense? if the movie had ended ambiguously where you don't know if the kid was actually seeing dead people or just crazy, if that sounds good try this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-07-2021

Light on horror heavy on metaphor

Good, a bit confusing and self indulgent at times but well written and a good listen

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