We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone by Ronald Malfi

We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone

A new mother is pursued by mysterious men in black. A misguided youth learns the dark secrets of the world from an elderly neighbor on Halloween night. A housewarming party where the guests never leave. A caretaker tends to his rusted relic of a god deep in the desert... In his debut short story collection, Bram Stoker Award finalist Ronald Malfi mines the depths and depra...

Title:We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone
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Edition Language:English

We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone Reviews

  • Tim McWhorter

    When an author tells a story that stays with the reader long after the story ends, the author has achieved something truly remarkable. In We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, Malfi does just that. Multiple times over. Any one of the twenty stories in this collection has the potential to stay with you like the most traumatic of nightmares. Expect to feel in awe of the author’s talent, dread for the characters involved and more than once like you’ve just been gut-punched. One of the most apropos

    When an author tells a story that stays with the reader long after the story ends, the author has achieved something truly remarkable. In We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, Malfi does just that. Multiple times over. Any one of the twenty stories in this collection has the potential to stay with you like the most traumatic of nightmares. Expect to feel in awe of the author’s talent, dread for the characters involved and more than once like you’ve just been gut-punched. One of the most apropos titles for a book I’ve come across in a long time. Highly recommended.

  • Kimberly van Pinxteren

    I was given this to read right after I gave birth....and boy this is exactly what I needed in between preparing bottles and putting up with a lot of baby tears.

    It's astounding to know that every story in this collection has been written by the same author as they are all so diverse. The writing is absolutely incredible and it sucks you in from the start up to the end. Usually short story collections always include a few that leave me cold, but that isn't the case here. There's a lot of dark humo

    I was given this to read right after I gave birth....and boy this is exactly what I needed in between preparing bottles and putting up with a lot of baby tears.

    It's astounding to know that every story in this collection has been written by the same author as they are all so diverse. The writing is absolutely incredible and it sucks you in from the start up to the end. Usually short story collections always include a few that leave me cold, but that isn't the case here. There's a lot of dark humor, true horror, fabulous storytelling and sinister in every story.

    I have read quite a few novels by Mr. Malfi already and have loved every single one. Little Girls thus far has been my favorite, but this one might be taking the top spot in my list. If you are looking for something truly entertaining without any boring or unnecessary chapters, this is the short story collection to leave you with shivers!

    I know I will be thinking twice when inviting people over, preparing dinner and taking care of my baby at the same time...

  • Noelle Shay

    An engrossing collection of short stories that range from the macabre to uneasy beauty. There are definitely stories for all palates in this anthology and I’m glad I had an opportunity to dive into it.

  • Catherine Cavendish

    I am a huge fan of the author's novels. Bone White is, for me at least, one of the standout novels of the year. So I was keen to read this collection of his short stories, brought together in one volume for the first time. It is a triumph. Ronald Malfi covers practically the whole spectrum of horror within these pages - and uses a full range of storytelling methods to ensure the reader is kept alert, hooked and in the dark about what to expect next. He even, in one story, uses the second person

    I am a huge fan of the author's novels. Bone White is, for me at least, one of the standout novels of the year. So I was keen to read this collection of his short stories, brought together in one volume for the first time. It is a triumph. Ronald Malfi covers practically the whole spectrum of horror within these pages - and uses a full range of storytelling methods to ensure the reader is kept alert, hooked and in the dark about what to expect next. He even, in one story, uses the second person narrative - always a tricky one to pull off. With each tale, he wrenches every drop of every emotion imaginable. I found myself squirming at the mental images he created in stories such as Painstation and Discussions Concerning the Ingestion of Living Insects, while I was rooting for the flawed main character in the Angel of Glad Street which had such an unexpected twist in its tail...

    Suffice it to say, there is not one weak story in the entire collection and Ronald Malfi deserves every accolade for showing us just how diverse, effective and entertaining horror writing can be.

  • Frank Errington

    5 of 5 Stars Review copy

    We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, the debut short story collection from Ronald Mafi, is a bit of a mixed bag. Although the twenty shorts included do make for an enjoyable read, I have to say I much prefer Malfi's recent novels to the tales included here. Little Girls made my top ten list in 2015, The Night Parade did the same in 2016, and Bone White is my favorite read so far in 2017.

    The Dinner Party - The story of a paranoid housewife with an OMG ending. One of the

    5 of 5 Stars Review copy

    We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, the debut short story collection from Ronald Mafi, is a bit of a mixed bag. Although the twenty shorts included do make for an enjoyable read, I have to say I much prefer Malfi's recent novels to the tales included here. Little Girls made my top ten list in 2015, The Night Parade did the same in 2016, and Bone White is my favorite read so far in 2017.

    The Dinner Party - The story of a paranoid housewife with an OMG ending. One of the best in the collection. Originally published at the Horror Drive-In.

    Learned Children - Scarecrows creep me out and so do high school students. Both are featured prominently in this tale. Originally published at The Crow's Caw.

    Knocking - There's an Edgar Allan Poe vibe to this story of strange tapping noise and the disappearance of a young wife. "I heard it again: a labored breathy sound, very much like respiration. My own breath seized in my throat. Then another sound: a dull thud. A knock. This was it—this was the sound Tara had heard coming from behind the closet door." Originally published at Horrorworld.

    The Jumping Sharks of Dyer Island - Jealousy will make a man do some strange and potentially deadly things. Originally published in Splatterpunk 2.

    The Glad Street Angel - Mafi's descriptive skills are highlighted in this gritty, hardcore story of a young addict just out of prison/rehab. "Carter Johnson is my father's construction worker buddy, and he looks like someone stretched a pair of filthy coveralls over a city bus. His face resembles a burlap sack with eye-holes and his breath is an aromatic amalgamation of unfiltered cigarettes, peppered beef jerky, and steamed cabbage." Originally published in Bare Bone #7.

    Under the Tutelage of Mr. Trueheart - A lonely, middle school student befriends an elderly man who believes people are being "replaced." Originally published in Dark Hallows.

    The House on Cottage Lane - Living next door to a foster family can be challenging. Troubled kids coming and going. This is the story of one such kid, Oliver, and a Halloween never to be forgotten. A standout tale in this collection. Originally published by Cemetery Dance.

    Pembroke - A wonderfully creepy story which takes place in a used bookstore. "'...the other night, when I was straightening up, I went to put the book on the rolling cart when it cut me.' Tom held up his right index finger, which was capped in an adhesive bandage. 'A paper cut,' Pembroke marveled, recalling that odd splotch of blood on the book’s page. 'Yes, of course,' said Tom, 'only that’s not what I thought at the time. Because when it happened, Mr. Pembroke—and this is going to sound ridiculous, I know it—but when it happened, my first thought was that the book had bit me'". Originally published in Dark Discoveries.

    In a Pet Shop - A strange woman with a preoccupation with the birds in a pet shop.

    Couples Seeking Couples - A story of the dangers of wife swapping. Originally published in 24:7 Magazines.

    The Good Father - A wife's infidelity. A father struggling alone with his two young children. Will she ever return and what would happen if she did. Originally published in Lamplight.

    The Housewarming - A young, upwardly mobile couple moves into a new neighborhood and throws a housewarming party. As more and more neighbors show up time all but stands still in the twilight zone like story. Originally published in Shadow Masters.

    Chupacabra - "I am thinking of the horror stories Martin used to tell me when I was younger and he’d return from weeks and sometimes months on the road. He would tell me of the chupacabra and of the way they drained the fluids from livestock and how, sometimes, they drained the fluids from people, too." Published in Bare Bones #11.

    All the Pretty Girls - The tale of a very disturbed mind and a rotting 1962 Mercury Comet. Originally published in Bare Bones #8.

    Closing In - Ever get the feeling the walls were closing in on you? Originally published in Dark Discoveries.

    Underneath - A strange look at the writing process for a successful writer working under a pen name. Originally published in Lost Cause Quarterly.

    All Is Calm - Dealing with the death of a spouse. A glimpse inside the mind of the survivor. Originally published in Bare Bones #10.

    Painstation - A co-worker's obsession leads to a strange club where the rules are simple and breaking them can be painful in so many ways. "He pushed against the door and it opened with little protest. Before him, a wooden staircase dipped into blackness. The stink of sulfur now accosted him, potent and unapologetic. Something else, too… Lilacs, he thought. Her perfume." Originally published in Peep Show #3.

    Discussions Concerning the Ingestion of Living Insects - A wonderfully disturbing tale of survival. Originally published in Sick: An Anthology of Illness.

    Then There is Boston - Malfi closes out his collection with an original story of love and poetry in Boston.

    We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone is a fine collection of speculative fiction and one I can readily recommend.

    We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone is currently available in both paperback and e-book formats from JournalStone.

    From the author's bio - Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of several horror novels, mysteries, and thrillers. He's also a Bram Stoker Award nominee. Most recognized for his haunting, literary style, and memorable characters, Malfi's dark fiction has gained acceptance among readers of all genres. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife, Debra, and their two daughters.

  • Feli

    4.5*

    This was my first book by Ronald Malfi and I really really liked it. Definitely going to read more by him.

    Malfi has a great writing style and it doesn't happen too often that I sit and read and forget everything around me. While reading I really dived into the stories.

    My favourite one was The Dinner Party, but I really liked every story in there. This one just was, I don't know, after Stephen King's 'N.' the best short story I ever read.

  • Alan May

    A new collection of short fiction by one of today's master horror authors. Like any anthology, some stories are better than others. But Malfi's works are all well-written, even if the subject matter isn't always the greatest, and nearly every tale has a real gut-punch and often somewhat ambiguous ending.

  • Stewie

    I like a lot of things about Malfi's work, from character development to the way he delivers atmosphere, but after reading We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, I found another thing to like; his versatility. In this collection you get a little bit of everything, from a woman suffering from paranoia in the book's opening story, "The Dinner Party", to a normal vacation that turns rather ugly and brutal in "The Jumping Sharks of Dyer Island" to a rather sweet ending with the final tale, "There is

    I like a lot of things about Malfi's work, from character development to the way he delivers atmosphere, but after reading We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, I found another thing to like; his versatility. In this collection you get a little bit of everything, from a woman suffering from paranoia in the book's opening story, "The Dinner Party", to a normal vacation that turns rather ugly and brutal in "The Jumping Sharks of Dyer Island" to a rather sweet ending with the final tale, "There is Always Boston". I really hate saying this only because it's so clichéd in reviews, but there really is something for everyone here.

    You can read my full review

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  • Candy Borjas

    As a horror fanatic, this book was perfect to me. It contains a collection of short stories each not related to the last. We have a woman hallucinating on an important day while caring for her child, to be honest was my personal favorite as well as the first story in the book.

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