The Madness

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Pub Date 23 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 05 May 2024

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Your Narrator has a secret, and it's hidden in the stories he tells...

Brace yourself for a whirlwind of dark fiction as you enter the walls of Southern California's State Asylum for the Criminally Insane, where Your Narrator awaits with a sharpened tongue and murderous intent. But as you grow to withstand these neon shocks of noir crime, gothic horror, tragic comedy, and unhinged entanglements, you must remember not to fall victim to his charms. For even Your Narrator himself will tell you: "The Madness is highly contagious."

Your Narrator has a secret, and it's hidden in the stories he tells...

Brace yourself for a whirlwind of dark fiction as you enter the walls of Southern California's State Asylum for the Criminally...

A Note From the Publisher

This work can also be categorized as African American Literature

This work can also be categorized as African American Literature

Advance Praise

5⭐️ The Madness is a TRIP and I absolutely loved it. What a unique, surreal, creative literary work of art! I never knew what was coming next and the story had me guessing until the end.

5⭐️ I don't want to reveal much because part of the joy of this book is unraveling the layers. The narrator... unsettling, intoxicating, and ominous takes you on a chilling journey, that grips you from start to finish as you try to figure out what his mysterious agenda is. The characters are complex, flawed, and believable, each with their own twisted and compelling stories to tell. Each page makes it harder and harder to put down. Fall victim to the madness I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

"A Narrative Voice Extravaganza"

"High-concept, surreal literary gem that unfolds like a magic trick"

"Incredible, surprising find"

"The Next Stephen King"

"Great writing!"

"This book is a lot of fun!!!"

5⭐️ The Madness is a TRIP and I absolutely loved it. What a unique, surreal, creative literary work of art! I never knew what was coming next and the story had me guessing until the end.

5⭐️ I don't...

Available Editions

ISBN 9798218229894
PRICE $4.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 24 members

Featured Reviews

I read about twenty pages of this book and then just bought it. At first I thought it was going to be a normal splatter punk collection and then I quickly learned that this is Tales from the Hood in book form. Amazing collection of stories and definitely on my list of best read for this year so far.

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This is quite a ride - a bunch of short stories, poems, etc. all seemingly unrelated until you get to the end. My favorite was Ty's story, as gory and raw as it was. There is a lot of violence and betrayal at the base of much of this book. I'd love to see more from Jarale Phillips in the future.

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Thank you NetGalley and BDA Publishing for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Madness takes you on a wild ride through stories and poems from multiple POVs to tell a story of exactly what you expect: madness. This book jumps from the POV of a narrator writing the book through a transcriber, to seemingly unrelated stories, to tied in poems, to even more genres of writing. It all flows together incredibly well, each character standing well on their own in separate-but-woven-together tales.

This isn't the first book I've read that uses multi-POV separated stories, but it is by far my favorite to date. The changes in formatting, the jumps between different types of literary prose, it encapsulates the idea of Madness perfectly, and still makes perfect sense to the reader by the end. I would've only wished the book were longer, I enjoyed reading each story so much, but maybe that's because as they say: "The Madness is highly contagious."

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I hadn't realized this would be more dark humor rather than horror, though I'm not complaining. The writing is fantastic: even the poems (which I generally don't like) were enjoyable and made sense in the end. In fact, this is the kind of book one should try to read till the end, and I'm saying this from experience: lots of time I couldn't make heads or tails of the plot, until I reached the ending. Sometimes brutal, other times savagely truthful, the book won me over very slowly, but won em over it did! I highly recommend it if you're after a deeply thoughtful, sincere look at madness with some moments that will totally creep you out.

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Gripping from the very first page, “The Madness” takes the reader on a journey through several stories. The author has a brilliant way of writing in different styles, tones, and perspectives that somehow make this story so cohesive and engrossing. The narrative and pacing is tonal and tidal, ebbing from page to page and crashing into you the next! It keeps you sucked in.
All ties in at the end.

It’s raw. It’s human. This is easily one of my favorite unique reads of the year. I will absolutely be adding Jarale Phillips to my must buy list!

I give it a solid 4.5/5!
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.

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This book had me when I saw 'It is better to remain silent, and be thought insane, than to write a book and remove all doubt.'

Jarale Phillips took me on a hell of a ride with this one. We start with our narrator, a man currently in an insane asylum who CUT OFF HIS OWN DANG HANDS! He is telling us stories using his bunkmate as his transcriber. I was taken on a wild journey (Personal favorite was Kevin n' Joe) from Hell (literally) and back.

Through the words of the narrator, we look into the lives of many people and each story has a different feeling. Some of the stories were hilarious and it kept you guessing what was going to happen next. The other stories throughout the book show a more in-depth look into a character and we have the pleasure to read them slowly go insane. Regardless of the story's outcome, we are all together in the end and we are invited to the seance of a lifetime.

Personally, I wanted the stories to be longer. Once you're fully submerged into one of his stories, you just want to stay there. I loved Joshua as a character and would love more stories about him and his tales with Chris. The transcript with the therapist and Joshua had me cackling and you can just picture the conversation happening in real-time.

His writing paints a vivid landscape and the images that went through my mind are truly unique. Also, will never think of a clothing iron the same ever again. I truly hope that many people are able to enjoy this book and that it finds its audience. Very curious and excited to see what Jarale brings to us next.

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Alright, buckle up folks, because we're diving into the chaotic depths of Southern California's State Asylum for the Criminally Insane. And let me tell you, it's a wild ride! Picture this: you've got Your Narrator, with a tongue sharper than a switchblade and a penchant for mayhem. But don't get too cozy with his charms, because as he'll remind you, "The Madness is highly contagious."

So, let's talk about this book. First off, it's a blast. Seriously, it's like diving headfirst into a whirlpool of genres – think noir crime meets gothic horror with a sprinkle of tragic comedy, all served with a side of unhinged madness. And boy, does it work! You've got everything from short stories to poems, flash fiction, and even some epistolary elements thrown in for good measure. It's like a literary kaleidoscope, constantly shifting and morphing before your eyes.

Now, I'll be honest, it's not for the faint of heart. These stories pack a punch, and they can be tough to stomach at times. But damn, are they well-written. Each tale is like a twisted thread in the grand tapestry of madness, weaving together to create something truly unforgettable.

I'll admit, when I first cracked open this book, I thought I was in for your typical splatter punk collection. But oh boy, was I wrong. This is Tales from the Hood cranked up to eleven, and I'm here for it.

So, if you're looking for a read that'll leave you questioning your sanity and craving more, look no further. This collection is a rollercoaster of madness that'll keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Trust me, it's worth every spine-tingling moment.

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Despite this being a book I would probably never pick up, I really enjoyed it! The narrator is hilarious and the different stories were well written. At some points I was confused about what was going on but it was still very enjoyable. I love the ending a lot, specifically chapters 19, 17, and 16. This book was super fun to read and I definitely recommend checking it out!

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Where to start?

This book has been described as a piece of Dark Fiction - if that is indeed a genre, and it represents a spectrum, let’s say this little bundle of joy inhabits the <b>really horrific, dark, murderous and sick</b> end of that spectrum.

The narrator lives in the Southern California State Asylum for the Criminally Insane – he has no hands because he, quite simply, chopped them off. His two-handed cell-mate is his scribe. The narrator creates a relationship with the reader immediately, he even apologises for introducing us to this journey of insanity. He warns us, the madness conveyed in this collection of twisted stories is CONTAGIOUS. Yeah, yeah – I hear you say – BUT there was a moment late in the book, where I was attending a séance hosted by our narrator – and I did indeed feel the chill down my spine as he ‘talked’ to me. It was at 1am admittedly, but yikes!!!

The various POVs of each story (don’t worry our narrator drops in now and then to keep us on his miserable track), are again, unique, dark and at times violently depraved. We follow the misfortunes of a prostitute, criminals, a child living in some sort of crack-house whose best friend is a TV, I think – the devil himself even drops in, and so many more reprobates.

I won’t pretend to understand everything here, it’s not just the content it’s the pace, it’s relentless, and it’s complex. The author is so clever, he changes format and style throughout. We even have poem titles “The Definition of Insanity”, and chapters that read like the Bible – or a variation of it.

There’s even a really clever transcript of an interview between an asylum doctor, who later took his own life, and a leader of one of the cults of the asylum concerned. The pages really did look like a photocopied typewriter written interview – even with images of the paperclips at the top of the page. Wow – authentic.

There’s not much joy here but reading this book and my experience was visceral.

The author, Jarelle Phillips, is a star. Up and coming, and remarkably unique and shocking, but wickedly clever.

I’m gonna stalk you and your books Jarelle Phillips – you deserve it!!

5 Stars!!!!!

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I had to let this book jump the TBR queue as it is simply genius! The Madness by Jarale Phillips took me all round the houses, up the stairs, into the basement, dropped me off at the park and hit me with a double decker bus out of nowhere. That good.

You think you are reading a compendium of different stories and poems with a uniting theme but all from different pov's. But are you? really? Nope. I will let you read it and find out.

The beauty of this book is the sheer versatilitiy, creativiity and skill of one person to speak with the voices and perspectives of many, to explore so many different psyche's and situations, all with a different view. The only other way I can describe it is by looking through a shattered kaeidoscope, still viewing a myriad different combinations, but each one is perfection in it's darkness, you still see thoes bright, sharp shards and one can take your eye out at any time (just for the purpose of metaphor, in a positive way, no negativity here)

Flipping brilliant

Thank you to Netgalley, BDA Publishing and the incredible author Jarale Phillips. My review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own

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Did not know what to expect, and pleasantly surprised. An enjoyable read. A talented writer. It plunges the reader into the depths of depravity and insanity. Narrated by a captivating inmate, the collection weaves interconnected stories, poems, and vignettes into a tapestry of darkness and chaos. Phillips shifts perspectives, embodying a diverse cast of flawed characters. Both intelligent and unhinged, Would recommend.

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The Madness has to be one of the closest things I've read to an actual piece of art in a while. Phillips has delivered such a unique overall story broken down to almost read like short stories, all with different voices, pacing, moods, and formats that it makes for a wild ride. If you fail to be drawn into the narrator instantly I'd honestly be shocked, It's truly impressive that this book was written by one single author because the way points-of-view are all so drastically different is great. If you're looking for something different, deranged, and that will leave you questioning your sanity....follow along in The Madness.

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review

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