A New Collection of Crime, Horror, and Western Short Stories

MOBcoverThe Meaning of Blood screams (and I mean screams!) Poe. Caruso is more than a Poe expert. He’s practically Poe reincarnated, channeling the master’s dark spirit to create stories that feel both ominously gothic and totally fresh.” – Steve Hockensmith, author of the NYT bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

“A lethal cocktail of hardboiled noir, gothic horror and more.” – Paul D. Brazill, author of Last Year’s Man and A Case of Noir

The Meaning of Blood promises a descent into a netherworld of blood and perversity, and it delivers on this as well as something even more heinous: the idea that ordinary people crave blood and perversity just as much as violent perverts.” – Linda Thorlakson, Foreward Reviews

“A walk on the wild side; dark, slightly cynical and sardonic … these stories have a ring of truth to them, this is human nature writ large, writ dirty but writ honest.” – Paul Burke, NB Magazine

“A collection of tales so twisted and twisty they give new meaning to the word perverse. In these stories, Chuck messes with your mind and unravels your nerves, but you’ll just keep turning the page. Trust me. You won’t be able to stop. You might not be able to sleep either.” – Bill Cameron, author of the award-winning Skin Kadash mysteries

“If Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, and Ray Bradbury were to mix their DNA, their literary lovechild would be Chuck Caruso. These mindblowing stories had me hungering for more.” – Orlando Ortega-Medina, award-winning author of Jerusalem Ablaze

In a near-future Pacific Northwest, a made-to-order sex robot tests a married couple’s concept of fidelity; in the Tennessee hills of 19th-century America, an itinerant preacher forces others to prove their devotion to God at gunpoint; and in a settlement town in the Old West, a former outlaw seeking to rescue his deceased brother’s family from a life of poverty discovers to his horror the true meaning of blood.

In this collection, Edgar Allan Poe scholar Chuck Caruso combines his deep roots in the American Gothic with his own contemporary sense of macabre humor. These sixteen stories of dark fiction range from crime thrillers to western noir to grotesque horror. Each twisted tale displays Caruso’s unique blend of wry prose, feverish storytelling, and tragically-flawed characters discovering that even the most innocent encounter can lead to death. Or sex. Or both.

The Meaning of Blood and Other Tales of Perversity was published by Cloud Lodge Books, Ltd. It is currently available in print from booksellers everywhere and online as an e-book or audio book.

  • Paperback: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Cloud Lodge Books
  • Date of Publication: October 31, 2018
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1-9995873-0-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-9995873-0-7
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches

Visit your favorite local bookshop or order it now on Amazon.

Please also consider coming to one of my release events. I’d love the chance to meet you and sign your copy of The Meaning of Blood.