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That Which Should Not Be

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Overview

Miskatonic University has a long-whispered reputation of being strongly connected to all things occult and supernatural. From the faculty to the students, the fascination with other-worldly legends and objects runs rampant. So, when Carter Weston's professor Dr. Thayerson asks him to search a nearby village for a book that is believed to control the inhuman forces that rule the Earth, Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch, the student doesn't hesitate to begin the ...
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That Which Should Not Be

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Overview

Miskatonic University has a long-whispered reputation of being strongly connected to all things occult and supernatural. From the faculty to the students, the fascination with other-worldly legends and objects runs rampant. So, when Carter Weston's professor Dr. Thayerson asks him to search a nearby village for a book that is believed to control the inhuman forces that rule the Earth, Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch, the student doesn't hesitate to begin the quest.

Weston's journey takes an unexpected turn, however, when he ventures into a tavern in the small town of Anchorhead. Rather than passing the evening as a solitary patron, Weston joins four men who regale him with stories of their personal experiences with forces both preternatural and damned. Two stories hit close to home as they tie the tellers directly to Weston's current mission.

His unanticipated role as passive listener proves fortuitous, and Weston fulfills his goal. Bringing the book back to Miskatonic, though, proves to be a grave mistake. Quickly, Weston realizes he has played a role in potentially opening the gate between the netherworld and the world of Man. Reversing the course of events means forgetting all he thought he knew about Miskatonic and his professor and embracing an unknown beyond his wildest imagination.

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Editorial Reviews

Dread Central
"A spooky, atmospheric story that pays loving homage to its roots. Brett J. Talley is a man with talent, and this book certainly makes him an author to watch. Fast-paced, classy, and with some terrific prose, this is an excellent read for horror fans. Very highly recommended."
horrornew.net - Dave Gammon HorrorNews.net
“Talley’s odyssey into the unknown makes this tale a heart stammering page turner from beginning to end. Talley’s use of present, to past and foreshadowing rivals that of any successful commercial author in contemporary horror fiction. His characters are well crafted, personable and allow us to root for the protagonists through and through.”
The Deepening - Clayton Bye The Deepening
"That Which Should Not Be is a fresh, intelligent, yet traditionally told story....Well written and well edited, Talley's That Which Should Not Be draws you into a simpler time, where monsters are god-creatures best left alone by man."
Kirkus Reviews
"Four and a half suspenseful, frightening tales in one. Talley is wonderful at crafting suspense, and each sub-story pays homage to a high theme of occult horror. Plenty of suspense and chills to satisfy occult-horror fans."
Hellnotes.com - Dr. Michael Collings
“Taken as a whole, That Which Should Not Be is a welcome addition to the ranks of the Cthulhu Mythos. It takes the originals seriously but at the same time feels free to take certain liberties with them as well. It exploits multiple possibilities in storytelling but at the same time remains a coherent novel. It is a pastiche but at the same time strives for—and attains—its own level of creativity. …..Highly recommended”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936564149
  • Publisher: JournalStone
  • Publication date: 10/7/2011
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 584,646
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A native of the South, Brett Talley received a philosophy and history
degree from the University of Alabama before moving to witch-haunted
Massachusetts to attend Harvard Law School. When people ask, Brett
tells them he writes for fortune and glory. But the truth is the
stories in his head simply refuse to stay put. Brett loves every kind
of fiction—from horror to literary to historical to sci-fi—as long as
there are fantastic characters with a compelling purpose. There's
still magic to be found in fiction, the mysterious and the unknown
still beckon there, and the light can always triumph over the
darkness, no matter how black the night may be.

Brett writes when he can, though he spends most of his time working as
a lawyer so that he can put food on the table. That is, until the air
grows cool and crisp and fall descends. For then it is football time
in the South, and Brett lives and dies with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Roll Tide.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Terrifying and Beautifully Written Tale of Good Versus Evil

    Finally a contemporary author has written a novel worthy of the appellation "literary horror." Evocative of the work of H.P. Lovecraft, this many-layered story takes the reader from a stormy New England seaport to the mountain ranges of Eastern Europe; from snowy forest to the dreadfully still waters of a dead sea; from the peculiar halls of an ancient university to the infinitely more ancient dangers that lurk beneath the surface of the earth and inside the heart of man. The author's language--reminiscent of Lovecraft, Faulkner, and Melville--paints a series of deeply entrancing pictures. This is a book you will struggle to put down. But Carter Weston's journey is not just a battle of monsters and phantoms; it is a quest that illuminates humanity's deepest truths.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    Carter Weston finds himself on a journey to find a book for his professor Dr. Thayerson , Weston goes to a village and in a tavern he is told stories by men that have seen unspeakable evil,stories of a school of dark magic taught by the devil himself, one of a cruel evil man named Vladmir, to an occult and mysterious Insane Asylum . Once he leaves the tavern he joins one of the men , Captain Gray at his home where he discovers Gray has the book he is searching for . Gray freely gives Weston the book , little by little Weston finds out what Evil the book holds. Once he returns , he gives the book to his professor , but little did he know of what evil the professor was about to unleash with it.

    This was a Great book , it's devilish stories kept me on the edge of my seat.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    JournalStone 2011 Horror Contest Winner.

    Author Brett J. Talley's masterful retelling of ancient legends, of creatures which existed before many of our own gods. That Which Should Not Be is a wonderfully rich combination of five separate stories, made common by excellent characters, and the evil they encountered within each tale. It is an evil which must not be released.

    Talley takes us on a journey, to find a mysterious book - the Incendium Maleficarum - a text written when the earth was shrouded in darkness. If ever combined with the equally dangerous Necronomicon, untold horrors will be released from their eternal prison. We meet elements of this wickedness in each of the first four tales, and we dread what will happen when the forbidden book is found.

    For Literary Horror fans, this book will be a joy to read. For those unfamiliar with those oldest demons who ever walked before daylight blessed our world.don't read this in the dead of night; Talley has set those demons free.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant

    The things that go bump in the night, the zombie apocalypse, the amount of money it takes to fill up your gas tank are horrors that may seem truly frightening - until you read what is in store for humanity inside the covers of this book.

    Carter, a student at a university known for its dabblings in the occult, the otherwordly, and the possibly demonic, is asked by his professor to undertake a particularly daunting task. A book known as Incendium Maleficarum has been rumored to be nearby, and Carter must go searching for the book. Fate and the book have things worked out just a tad bit differently.

    When Carter comes into a lonely little town, a blizzard to take on all other blizzards arrived before him, and he must struggle to find a place to get some hot food and shelter while the storm runs its course. The book starts its move. Carter runs into a motley crew in the pub he is using for a bite to eat and shelter from the bitter winds. These four people have stories to tell that will chill your bones.

    The final story comes when the 'leader' of the group invites Carter to stay the night with him in his ocean front mansion. Book - checkmate. The horrors in store for the world are just now being placed to take control of all. And we have never imagined the dreadful things the deepest, darkest places of the world have been hiding.

    This is a masterfully written piece of work. There are smaller stories that you get to be a part of while wandering down the adventure with Carter. At first, you may not see the point of these musings, but once you get to the end, everything that you have learned, all of the stories that have been shared, all tie together into one giant puzzle you never realized your were putting together until the last piece falls. Then you sit transfixed thinking, how in the world did I not see that coming, all the while rubbing the goosebumps from your skin from the horrors that you just lay witness to.

    This isn't a graphic story, there are a few instances in there where you may have some spilled entrails, but the most horrifying part is the book itself. What it can do, what it can bring forth, what could be lying in wait. If you have an imagination like mine, this book will leave you thinking long into the night, and several days later you will still be thinking of the tales, how each part wove it's way in relation to the others. Brett's debut book is nothing short of superb.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2013

    Great Story

    I was surprised how much I liked this book. the author really creates powerful visions in his story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    Over-hyped but not bad

    An entertaining read. I don't know that I can give it credit for re-inventing or renewing Lovecraft, but it's definitely a better-than-average homage.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    No matter what you like in horror, you'll probably find it in TH

    No matter what you like in horror, you'll probably find it in THAT WHICH SHOULD NOT BE. The hunt for a book of ancient and evil secrets takes the book's protagonist on a quest during which he encounters several fascinating characters, each of whom has a terrifying story to tell. From a backwoods tale of the Wendigo to an eerie nunnery in an eastern European castle, from a snowbound Massachusetts insane asylum to a ghost ship, THAT WHICH SHOULD NOT BE touches on so many different facets of the horror genre.
    It's extremely well written, with each tale possessing its own voice, and yet the central story of the quest for the ancient book is in no way lost. Lovecraftian overtones abound, but the author is obviously well informed on everything from medicine to ancient Egypt. 
    If you enjoy works of horror, this is the book for you. 

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  • Posted October 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Extraordinarily chilling Novel

    As a great admirer of the Lovecraftian lore and pantheon of the Old Ones I found this book to be a wonderful addition to the number of authors and anthology editors of this genre of Horror novels. The lovecraftian Genre are truly a set apart group within the horror genre and this particular novel is a magnificent addition and a lofty undertaking. \As a novel that will keep you in thepages, hour after hour and make you lose sleep; it is a master. Loved every page!

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  • Posted October 22, 2013

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Multiple stories of horror inter

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Multiple stories of horror intertwine as the 'author' of the testament, Carter Weston, relates an entrancing tale of the ongoing fight between good and evil.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    When Carter Weston is sent on an errand to retrieve an ancient


    When Carter Weston is sent on an errand to retrieve an ancient artifact by his mentor he knows he will face dangers but not of the kind that awaits. The story of Weston’s journey is intertwined with the stories of four men he meets during the errand. Their fates, along with those of the rest of the world, are linked to the ancient book that Weston is trying to find. They cannot allow the book to fall into the wrong hands and together they must face an evil that no one should ever know of.
    This one started out strong, slowed down in the middle for awhile, but ended with the same fast pace I encountered at the start. There were a couple of times in the middle that I worried it wouldn’t pick back up. The folklore feel throughout most of the book kept me interest enough to get me through that slow section. The characters are a strong part of this novel. Reading their individual stories was exciting but they seem to have their own personalities. Besides their own experiences they could have been the same person. Overall I liked this book and it was a fun read at times. I do recommend this one.

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    It's not often that a new novel will please both horror aficiona

    It's not often that a new novel will please both horror aficionados and newcomers alike, but Brett Talley's first book does just that. Told in five parts, That Which Should Not Be is the story of Carter Weston, a student sent on a mission to secure an ancient tome. What he finds along the way are four old men, snowed into a seaside tavern during a nor'easter, each with their own frightening tale to offer. Through the course of the stories, readers will have their own favorite tale (mine was the one of students on a grand adventure who wander into trouble in Eastern Europe, but others might enjoy a psychologically frightening tale of a New England asylum -- or that of a fur trapper who faces evil in the woods).

    This is a great read -- a real page turner -- my only wish is that there was more. Keeping my fingers crossed for more from Talley -- and that Hollywood gets its hands on this one.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    WOW!

    This was probably a little "heavier" than what I normally read, but WOW! Mr Talley does a fabulous job with this book. He takes several men's short stories and manages to make it applicable to his main character, THEN he continues on to an action packed ending! I didn't know a lot about the Wendigo mythology but he did a fabulous job explaining things with out over doing it. I don't think I can say enough about how engrossed I got into this book. I don't like to give away a lot details in my reviews, but if you like paranormal with action, this is the book for you. It's not action front to back, but in the most appropriate of places :) Try it, you'll love it!

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  • Posted September 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Lovecraftian story, modern writing

    That Which Should Not Be, by Brett J. Talley, is a love-letter to Lovecraft fans. It takes place around the turn of the 19th century, ending in the mid-1930s. Carter Weston is a college student at Miskatonic U and is sent on an errand to collect an ancient tome that has turned up in a nearby town. There, he hears tales of encounters with otherworldly creatures - each story leading to the conclusion that The Rising of the Old Ones could be taking place soon.


    I enjoyed TWSNB better than original H.P. Lovecraft stories. While the novel seems firmly entrenched within the Lovecraft lore and takes place a hundred years ago or more and the writing is meant to evoke those stories, the plotting and structure are more modern and easier to read.

    I'm generally not a fan of first-person novels, especially ones with multiple characters all telling their own story in first-person, but TWSNB clearly separates each narrative so it's not confusing who's telling what story. Also, I enjoy suspense sometimes, but not gore. There's only one particular scene of a graphic nature early in the book that bothered me - the rest of the story didn't stray into graphic gore too much.

    Fans of Lovecraftian fiction should love this, especially if you wish Lovecraft were a bit easier to read.

    The publisher, through LibraryThing, provided an e-copy of the book for my review.

    That Which Should Not Be: 3.5 stars out of 5. I liked it.

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  • Posted September 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended award-winning Lovecraftian horror

    Carter Weston attended Miskatonic University against the wishes of his father, who wanted him to go to Harvard. However, Weston's fascination with the occult led him to Miskatonic, which had the reputation - albeit only whispered about - of being closely connected with all things occult and supernatural. One day, Weston's mentor - Dr. Thayerson - sends Weston on a quest to find a very rare book; a quest that leads him to a small fishing village in the middle of a blizzard, where he meets four men with extraordinary tales - and one who has a very rare book. But bringing the book back to Miskatonic is a mistake, because now someone has the ability - with both this book and the "Necronomicon" - to open the gates to the outer spaces, raise R'yleh from the depths, and wake Cthulu.

    Written in Lovecraftian style, "That Which Should not Be" is lushly evocative, like black velvet. The uncanny nature of the story builds along with the pressure of the suspense; starting off somewhat normal, but by the end you're in a completely different world. This book is the book for horror lovers, and fans of Lovecraftian fiction and Cthulu. I am apparently not alone in that feeling, as it won 1st place in Journalstone's 2011 Horror Fiction category. Highly recommended!

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    Good book

    This was an exciting read. I did not realize, however, that it was a horror novel. This was not apparent to me when I read the description. That being said, I did enjoy most of the book...just not the parts with blood and gore in them. If you like mystery, intrigue and solving puzzles in life, you will enjoy this book!

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    New life to Classic Horror-- Don't miss this one!

    Author Brett J. Talley has breathed new life into legends and stories as old as the Cthulhu creature itself. More importantly, he has captured the voice of the legendary writers who go before him. Told in the classic literary horror style of Lovecraft, Shelley, and Stoker, this book is alive with imagery and rich characters which bring to life the terrifying story in a way that will keep you up at night long after you have turned the last page.

    Told through the eyes of five main characters, the book strings together four stories that each could stand alone as masterful shorts, with a fifth that ties them together and moves them towards a terrifying ending. Carter Weston is a student from the legendary Miskatonic University, with a smiling nod to Lovecraft for the reference, and is charged with the task of recovering an ancient book of incredible value and, it turns out, untold power to awaken an evil that could destroy the world. On his quest he meets four men, each of whom share with him their own personal tales of horror which bring to life classic creatures like the wendigo, witches, the Kraken, and the terror of an insane asylum. In the tales of terror from the dark woods of New England to the mountains of eastern Europe to the blue water oceans onboard great sailing ships from long ago, young Carter finds a thread that moves him on his quest towards its inevitable, spine chilling conclusion.

    In setting, characters, and tone Mr. Talley has done far more than mimic the classic masters of the genre- he has embodied them completely. This is an absolute must read for all lovers of the genre any lover of well told stories. If you like well told adventure stories mixed with mystery and ancient legends of horror- you have found your perfect read in That Which Should Not Be.

    Brett J. Talley has made a dramatic entrance onto the fiction writing stage with this, his first book. I have no doubt his name will be well known and I look forward to his next works.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    Nice addition to the Cthulhu mythos!

    This book is composed of several stories in fine Lovecraftian tradition, which are really only linked because of this, excepting the last one. They are very well written, and the author is well versed in the Cthulhu mythos. I will definitely keep an eye open for further additions to the mythos from this writer.

    No spoilers here, just a brief summary of the main plot. The protagonist, a student at Miskatonic U, is sent on a mission to recover an eldritch tome (no, not the Necronomicon, something far worse!) from a nearby town. All he knows is that this tome has turned up there, but no clue as to exactly where it is, or who has it. Upon arrival, in the middle of a nasty storm, he takes refuge at a pub. He is invited to join the table of several local gentlemen, each of which regales him with his own personal encounter with the occult. These tales make up the seemingly unconnected stories that make up the bulk of this book.

    In the end, of course, the tome is found and a final adventure ensues.

    While the book is hardly to be mistaken as one being written by H.P. himself, it is still very much worth reading.

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Early Reviewer Gives Big Thumbs Up

    I was not aware that there was a 'Lovecraftian Horror' catagory, but if this falls there, I will definitely read more of Lovecraft's stories. It is a well written book. The stories told in the novel are entertaining all by themselves, and blended together into the overall tale. And, while the ending was expected, it still surprised.

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    Excellent Book - Sent Chills Down My Spine

    Unlike my movie choices, I tend to be highly picky about what I read. I often spend hours just trying to figure out what my next book should be. This has been one that I loved from the moment I picked it up. Despite my work (which is reading intensive) and another book already started, I found myself reading this whenever I had a spare moment.

    I'll limit my description so as not to give anything away. If you are a horror fan, this is a book for you. But, even if you are not a horror fan, I would still recommend this novel. Talley weaves a tale that lets your imagination take flight and honestly - who doesn't enjoy leaving their world behind for a little while? I found myself invested in the characters and the story and the twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat. The ending truly caught me by surprise.

    I hope Talley publishes additional works because I can't wait to read them.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Literally, a first place novel!

    That Which Should Not Be
    By: Brett J Talley
    ISBN: 9781936564149
    Published October 7, 2011 by JournalStone
    Available Format: Paperback, ebook

    My Rating: ?????

    That Which Should Not Be is the winner of JournalStone's 2011 Horror Writing Contest!

    As a student at the mysterious Miskatonic University, Carter Weston is accustomed to the well-known reputation of the school's association in all things occult and supernatural. When Professor Thayerson sends Carter on a secretive search for a dark and powerful book, he doesn't even blink an eye. Shortly after Weston reaches the seaside town of Anchorhead in pursuit of the Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch, he meets a small group of fascinating men in a local tavern. Deep into the night, the men share their stories with Carter-stories that are chock full of paranormalcy and evil. Two particular stories seem to deal directly with the very item Carter is in search of, proving their chance meeting anything but. Will Weston find what he is looking for, and what could this mean for the fate of the entire world?

    I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher for proofing and review.

    Since this book is the winner of the Horror Writing Contest, it is indeed of the horror genre. I have not read horror in years.YEARS! JournalStone is corrupting me! Nevertheless, this is a fantastic novel and absolutely worth first place!

    For starters, I think this is one of my favorite book covers, at least of the JournalStone published books. It really captures one of the pivotal scenes of the novel and puts a face, so to speak, on the evil that threatens the world.

    Okay, so it really wasn't that scary. Actually, a tremendous amount of the "fantasy" out there could be labeled horror but probably would be read less. The worst this did to me was give me some interesting material for some pretty creative dreams! Yes, there are a few rather gruesome parts in Jack's trapper story, and the whole psychotic professor deal was a bit disturbing, but the overall plot was first class fiction in my opinion. (At least, I hope it is fiction!)

    I love how the different stories within the narrative tied the beginning and ending together so perfectly. It was a truly creative and entertaining way to slowly add pieces to the puzzle of Miskatonic and the darkly magical books involved. There were the necessary twists, turns, and deceptions that I feel are essential to a good horror or suspense novel. You will find no objection from me that Mr. Talley is a fantastic writer!

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