The Bird Room

The Bird Room

by Chad Hofmann

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The Bird Room by Chad Hofmann

Eli threw open the door and stood shocked. Behind the door Eli saw two men. One was in a bathtub with red ice surrounding his blue body, and beside him a man was sitting on a stool next to a table. The table had many brownish-red lumps piled in a bloody heap, and on top of the pile was the distinct shape of a human tongue. The man sitting next to the bathtub turned and looked at Eli, his eyes were sunken and he had patches of missing hair where it had been pulled out. His lips parted in a crazy smile revealing a large number of broken teeth, and he pointed the scalpel he held in his blood-covered hand at Eli.
“It’s too late for him too,” said the man in a high-pitched voice, drooling in anticipation, like a dog with a bone. Eli stood frozen, his brain issued a hundred different commands that his body would not obey. The man let out bone chilling cackle and, with lightning quickness, sunk the blade of the scalpel into Eli’s left thigh. The pain hit Eli like a train and he was instantly brought back to reality. He looked over at the parrot, who was now calm and quiet. Its mysterious gray eyes connected with Eli’s, and he felt as if the bird was staring into his soul. Eli turned and ran through the open door as fast as his pain infused leg would let him; he got into his room and threw the door closed behind him. Frantic, Eli looked around the room and went to the dresser, he pushed the large chest of drawers in front of the bedroom door and fell to the floor next to his bed.

-Excerpt, The Bird Room

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781483531441
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication date: 07/07/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 170
File size: 449 KB

About the Author

Chad Hofmann is the author of Helena, the second book in his young adult fiction series Jack-o and the Amulet. He currently lives in Virginia with his brother and dog.

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The Bird Room 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
nikcolewrites More than 1 year ago
First, I’d note that it is important to read the introduction to The Bird Room. The tendency is to skim through or skip entirely the introduction of a work, but I highly recommend reading through the introduction as a whole. This is going to serve your reading enjoyment well.  There are some excellent ideas coming to life in this book, and half the time, I found myself reading on and on just to figure out where Chad Hofmann was going with the story. I bet Hofmann could write a book of story ideas he has, and I would read that—that is how off the wall and surprising (in a good way) some of the ideas in these short stories tend to be.  Yes, this is a collection. This means there are seventeen stories to read here, and of course, as with any collection, some of the stories fall a little flat. This can happen for a number of reasons, with the primary one being that varied readers have varied interests, and you can’t please them all. However, in The Bird Room specifically, if a story of Hofmann’s falls a bit flat, it is usually because it is the type of story a reader has heard before. For Hofmann, it is the stories that hit you with something new, slightly twisted, or exaggerated that explode off the page. I am happy to report that I believe that is over half the book. There are seventeen stories altogether, and there are ten of them I think are just great. I could read them again and again. The stories that really hit are “The Bird Room,” “The Forest,” “The Spiders,”  “Rodney,” “The Survivors,” “Phone Calls,” “The Wicked,” “Poison,” “The Hunt,” and “The Park.” Hofmann, a master of ideas, leaves you speechless in these stories.  Even the stories that aren’t as strong in plot are well-written and easy to read. You move through them effortlessly, and something compels you to continue reading. This is fair to say of the entire collection—it is easy to read, effortless, compelling, and leaves you wondering what it all means. A bit of icing on the cake, Hofmann includes tidbits of poetry throughout the short story collection as well. The poetry is awesome. It is sprinkled here and there, teasing you a bit, driving you to anticipate the next couple of sprinkles that will show up five to ten pages later. It leaves you wondering about Hofmann’s poetic capacities—if he writes a book of poetry, or already has one, I’ll be sure to pick it up.  If you find yourself drifting off during a short story you don’t love as much as some of the others while you’re reading The Bird Room, don’t give up. The poetry is awesome, the good stories outweigh the weaker ones, and remember—it is near impossible to write a collection without some short stories people won’t like. However, it is worth it to read Hofmann’s The Bird Room all the way through to that final story. The final story itself allows everything to fall into place, bringing Hofmann’s excellent ideas together in a way that leaves The Bird Room deserving of being dubbed a “collection.” 
Mark2014 More than 1 year ago
This wickedly chilling collection of stories will have you on the edge of your seat as it lets you explore the dark realms of terror, eerie wonderment, and worlds beyond the unknown. At first glance, the front cover of “The Bird Room” looks warm, inviting and a bit mysterious but the actual story “The Bird Room” tells a tale of a horrible murder witnessed by the unlikely character of pet parrot. Without giving too much away because I really want everyone to enjoy this book to the fullest, here’s a brief rundown of several tales found inside of “The Bird Room.” “A Beautiful Day” gives you a look inside the world of a young boy being bullied by a group of brothers but it’s only so much someone can take before they reach their boiling point. “Crew MJOP420” is a far out adventure into outerspace that boasts some really cool references to a funny little plant that’s not quite legal in all of the United States, not yet anyway. “Gold” is a short but fantastic read that takes you into a dreamy atmosphere focused around the beauty and danger of a golden flower that feels so real yet so far away. “The Forest” follows a boy named Jacob that unintentionally discovers the truth behind an urban legend in his sleepy little town. “The Spiders” is a haunting story of a bright, innocent child with a few skeletons in his closet…or in this case, his basement. “Phone Calls” shakes up the humdrum life of an office employee as he’s met with an unexpected scenario where he has to make a life or death decision. “Gray” takes you into the near future where the skies are gray from an abundance of bombs and pollution and a sister and brother are met with sudden danger. “Snow” is a beautifully written tale that captures the essence of young love and tragedy all in one breath. “Payback” follows the trail of a woman seeing red and seeking revenge after suffering through a vicious assault in a dark alley. I can tell that the author of “The Bird Room,” Chad Hofmann, really dug deep within himself to bring forth stories that pushes readers’ imaginations while leaving a little mystery in the air. You’ll find your mind playing out every scenario that it can possibly handle as “The Bird Room” leads you down various roads of fantasy and insanity. In particular, I liked how each story was not similar to each other at all, every one of them were original and written with a sense of sincerity.  Complete with plenty of chills and thrills, this book is right on time as Fall and the Halloween season approaches and brings with it a distinctive chill in the air. If you like to get into the spirit by curling up with a good book that’s full of frightful and delightful tales, “The Bird Room” should be right up your alley. It’s worth checking out goes well beyond your average campfire story.
BritneeF More than 1 year ago
Upon reading 'The Bird Room' which is comprised of several short stories that touch on various topics of murder, magic, mayhem and more, I noticed that every story included in the book individually possessed its own particular fear factor. Sprinkled with a sort of old-school flair, I feel that the book and stories as a collective were reminiscent of the scenarios found on The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents which I love wholeheartedly. The author Chad Hofmann does an excellent job of laying down the groundwork for each story and setting the mood with the proper details that would keep any reader engaged. I found myself getting lost in the buildup of each story, wondering what would come next and preparing myself for scare, a twist, or a feeling of awe. Kicking off the literary fright-fest, the opening story in which the book was named after paints a scene of a parrot that has seen and heard a little too much in its lifetime followed by the ultimate demise of its unsuspecting owners. I thought this was an awesome way to start the book off because it really set the tone for what’s to come as you get further through the book. Although the stories are different and unique in their own way, each one causes you to linger on what you just read for a minute. I began to imagine how it would feel to be in the position of hearing my new pet parrot say disturbing things in the middle of the night, or how truly enchanting the sunset must have looked from the top view of the snowy tower in the story “Snow.” The stories that you find in 'The Bird Room' are relatable on one end of the spectrum and totally out of this world on the other end. In one instance, you’ll find yourself right on the playground with a child who has had it up to here with his bullies in “A Beautiful Day” and then you’ll find yourself being catapulted straight to the moon on a trippy, psychedelic mission in the haunting depths of outer space in “Crew MJOP420.” What really stayed with me were the stories that weren't necessarily scary but still left an eerie impression on me like “Gold” which reads like a serene dream that felt all too real. One story that walks the fine line between innocence and sheer terror is “The Spiders” which starts off as pleasant as can be until you find that the sweet little boy reveling in his anticipation for Christmas to come may not be as sweet as he seems. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Bird Room' and can see myself revisiting the book for those times when I want to go to other worlds for a nice bone-chilling feeling. It was well-written and by far one of the most intriguing books I've read in a while. I also feel that the brief illustrations throughout the book meshed well with the stories and I honestly wish that there were more of them. If Chad Hofmann decides to pen another set of short stories along the lines of those found in 'The Bird Room,' I’ll be there with bells on my feet and goose-bumps on my arms.
Cociyo More than 1 year ago
Chad Hoffman’s “The Bird Room” is a collection of short stories that have left me feeling somewhat conflicted, so I’ll start with the most glaring obscenity I can find and work my way back from there… Perhaps I’m sensitive, but I find the story “Flight 187” to be: a) a touchy subject, and b) tasteless. Part of the appeal of horror is playing out situations that haven’t occurred in real life – it is the fantastical element that is both mysterious and terrifying, and I think the use of a hijacking story is a line that just doesn’t need to be crossed. Now to get to the book as a whole: “The Bird Room” is a fun journey into the dark, twisted, and somewhat perverse world of Mr. Hoffman (and I hope he takes that as a compliment). I’ve always believed that monster stories have always been a way to explore mankind’s shadow-side, and a much-needed outlet for things that may otherwise be undiscovered, unrefined, and undigested. That being said, the greatest tragedy of Mr. Hoffman’s stories is that almost all of the stories, aside from the introductory story, “The Bird Room,” are altogether too short. I agree with what he says in his introduction, that the magic of stories is how we travel with them off the page. But what I find his stories lacking is substance – not of imagination or ability to create miniature universes and the characters that dwell within them, nor of the darker and disturbing aspects of man and the wicked creatures he fears, but instead of something that invested me in them. You know what makes horror really terrifying? When it hits you from nowhere. There was just no time to fall in love with the characters and then really feel the despair of losing a character that you were just getting attached to. So the stories, while at times melancholic and demented, I think ultimately failed to deliver the real one-two punch, which comes from the lack of suspense that the first story really keys you into. There’s just no struggle, and to that end, my impartiality at the hardships of the characters just never got keyed in. I also found a few of the stories a little predictable, which I never really enjoy in my fiction. On the flip side of that, there’s almost a certain nihilism to his work – and that absolutely worked for “A Beautiful Day,” where the tragedy of the event is ironic, victorious, and believable. Even in “Crew MJOP420” the futility and sardonic humor of the characters lands right where it should in a sci-fi story, though admittedly that story has so much more that could be brought into it. And the small poems he interjects between some of the stories are playful, enjoyable, and wonderfully distanced from the work in a way that abstracts the stories on a whole. My favorite story is the final one in the collection, “The Park,” which is a wonderful, meta-perspective of the writer from himself…I am certainly very excited to see what other stories will come out of that relationship. In conclusion, on the whole, I enjoyed reading through this collection, and getting to glimpse into what Mr. Hoffman has only begun to birth from the recessed, forgotten basements of his mind. And while I found myself really wanting to be terrified by these stories, as the ideas and imagination were all there in spite of many of those stories falling just short of a full investment, I assure you, dear readers, that with practice and patience, Mr. Hoffman will be delivering abject terror to us very soon. I am very excited to see what he will develop for us in the future, and with luck, the voices in his head will have become even better minions to him by then.
jimdavin More than 1 year ago
Mr.Hoffman shows real potential as a writer. He draws you in to his dark world and does not pull any punches. He backs his focus on the dark side with excellent flashes of humor and real dialogue. Mr. Hofmann is definitely a writer with real talent.
FAB3 More than 1 year ago
“Bird Room” is better than much of what's out there in self-published books, but still needed some work. Hofmann is obviously quite talented, though, and is certainly someone to keep an eye on. I've seen some very poor works put forward as e-books, and it was very refreshing to not get tripped up every line over some grade school error. The grammar, punctuation, spelling etc were very good. I'm assuming this was self-edited. If so, then Hofmann shows a very good eye for the bones of the language. The next level, though, is where I had most of my problems – that which would fall under the purview of a line-editor. To my ears, I felt the prose too often dipped into the “dark and stormy night” style of writing, and many of the passages felt padded. For instance, lines like “...invisible minutes passed, on the silently ticking digital clock.” It seems to me that many passages in the collection could use a trim & polish. Looking to the big picture, my only real complaint is that most of the stories seemed to end, under horrific conditions, in a contented death. Even a child who dies does so smiling. Imagine the scene from 'Alien' where the creature bursts from the man's chest, and imagine the camera showing a close up of the man … smiling? There were exceptions, certainly, but the rule seemed to be that victims did not feel horror in their final moments. I also caught a few moments where the old adage of 'kill your darlings' could have been used. By that I mean that we writers come up with clever ideas, but sometimes have a hard time removing those ideas after they outlive their usefulness. As an example, the “exotic pet store” in 'Bird Room' was small enough that despite being “only a few miles” away was not known to the main character (it was found on the internet). And it had at least thirteen registers. That's a big store. When I read something like that I (right or wrong) assume the writer had a cute idea that prompted the scene, developed the scene further, then failed to remove the initial prompt solely because it was cute. There were a couple stories that really stood out to me, though. 'Spider Cookies' was especially well done. Very horrific in its implications, and neither too short nor too long. I really appreciated that the back story was mostly hinted at, with a lot left to the reader's imagination. By far my favorite of the lot. 'The Forest' was nice, too. I did find the plot to be a bit strained, yet Hofmann did a good job of invoking a more oral, folk tradition where such is perfectly fine. 'Phone Calls' started with me yelling 'just call 9-1-1!' and had some of the clunky prose I mentioned earlier. However, the ending was very well done and stuck with me. I also enjoyed the ending of 'The Wicked' and felt the story was good. 'Poison' also had a good ending, though the story itself was a bit abrupt. Now, I did like that the whole story of the situation was not rammed down out throats, but still wish the characters had been more developed. 'The Hunt' was my second favorite of the collection. Very cute story. Hofmann could, of course, expand it, but that would risk losing its obvious charm. Very well done – hats off for this and for 'Spider Cookies'. I could almost give this four stars if there more thorough line editing, and wish Hofmann good luck. He's certainly got talent, plus the courage to jump into the publishing world with both feet.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite The Bird Room is a collection of short horror and dark fantasy stories written by Chad Hofmann. The title story is a macabre piece in which a pet parrot carries, along with his ability to speak, an unearthly and evil manifestation of the past. Some stories in this collection are dystopian, and the reader gets to glimpse an unsettling possible post-apocalyptic future. Others, like the concluding piece, The Park, are concerned with ancient evil that is still very much alive and present. The stories in The Bird Room are connected only in that they are all macabre, with a sly, dark humor that seems to chuckle dryly as the reader turns the page. In his collection of horror stories, The Bird Room, Chad Hoffman deftly creates alternative worlds. Their tortured inhabitants parade themselves before the reader's eyes for a few brief moments before their turn is up, and the next story's opening words appear on the following page. It is an oddly unsettling thing peeking into those worlds and metaphorically backing out slowly, carefully, lest something attach itself to the reader and hitchhike a ride into this reality - but that is, after all, what horror is all about, isn't it? Hoffman's writing is seductive and sinuous, and while you know these stories have no happy endings, they are just about impossible to resist. The Bird Room harkens from a place beyond The Twilight Zone and, like that series of yesterday, there are heroes and villains and something else that we'd better not even think about. I got plenty of spooky shudders and uncomfortable glances into the author's creative dark cellar, and I think I've managed to escape unscathed, or have I? The Bird Room is filled with stories of eldritch terror and the macabre that will delight and surprise the most jaded horror fan. It's a fun read and a recommended one.