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What Do Monsters Fear: A Novel of Psychological Horror

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The Thing meets One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in Matt Hayward's thrilling debut novel... After waking up one too many times in puddle of his own mess, Peter Laughlin, a thirty-five year old rock musician, has decided to kill himself. However, after catching an advertisement for rehabilitation in the back of a local newspaper, coupled with the fact that his one night sta The Thing meets One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in Matt Hayward's thrilling debut novel... After waking up one too many times in puddle of his own mess, Peter Laughlin, a thirty-five year old rock musician, has decided to kill himself. However, after catching an advertisement for rehabilitation in the back of a local newspaper, coupled with the fact that his one night stand with old friend Bethany resulted in pregnancy, Peter decides to try and clean up his act. Again. Only this time, things will be different. At Dawson Rehabilitation, things seem idealistic. Peter quickly befriends Henry Randolph, an alcoholic in his sixties, who, along with Donald Bove, Shelley Matthews, Jamie Peters and a mentally-defunct man named Walter Cartwright, make up the rest of the guests. Something is wrong at Dawson Rehabilitation. Peter and Henry don’t trust the center’s councilor, a man named Jerry Fisher. Jerry’s hiding a secret. One ancient and terrible. Tucked away in the Pennsylvania backwoods, in a remodeled farmhouse once owned by Dr. Harris Dawson himself, Peter finds himself in a fight for his life against Phobos, the great God of fear. To defeat him, Peter will have to set aside his doubts and answer the all important question: What do monsters fear?


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The Thing meets One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in Matt Hayward's thrilling debut novel... After waking up one too many times in puddle of his own mess, Peter Laughlin, a thirty-five year old rock musician, has decided to kill himself. However, after catching an advertisement for rehabilitation in the back of a local newspaper, coupled with the fact that his one night sta The Thing meets One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in Matt Hayward's thrilling debut novel... After waking up one too many times in puddle of his own mess, Peter Laughlin, a thirty-five year old rock musician, has decided to kill himself. However, after catching an advertisement for rehabilitation in the back of a local newspaper, coupled with the fact that his one night stand with old friend Bethany resulted in pregnancy, Peter decides to try and clean up his act. Again. Only this time, things will be different. At Dawson Rehabilitation, things seem idealistic. Peter quickly befriends Henry Randolph, an alcoholic in his sixties, who, along with Donald Bove, Shelley Matthews, Jamie Peters and a mentally-defunct man named Walter Cartwright, make up the rest of the guests. Something is wrong at Dawson Rehabilitation. Peter and Henry don’t trust the center’s councilor, a man named Jerry Fisher. Jerry’s hiding a secret. One ancient and terrible. Tucked away in the Pennsylvania backwoods, in a remodeled farmhouse once owned by Dr. Harris Dawson himself, Peter finds himself in a fight for his life against Phobos, the great God of fear. To defeat him, Peter will have to set aside his doubts and answer the all important question: What do monsters fear?

30 review for What Do Monsters Fear: A Novel of Psychological Horror

  1. 3 out of 5

    Karl

    This hardcover edition is numbered 14 of 52 numbered copies and is signed by Matt Hayward and Edward Lee. Contents: 011 - Forward 015 - "What Do Monsters Fear" 215 - "That's The Price You Pay" 227 - "Father's Day" 239 - "That's What Comes With The Rain" 251 - ""Meeting Gregory" 277 - About the Author

  2. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Rolfe

    Matt Hayward is an author on the rise. Checking him out online, reading interviews and such, you get the sense that he’s one of those guys writing for the love of it. I don’t sense that he’s one of those writers concerned with the numbers or one that aggressively seeks out your attention. He’s passionate and genuine, and it turns out he’s a pretty freaking good writer, too. I read and enjoyed his previous release, BRAIN DEAD BLUES (Sinister Grin Press, 2017), a really good collection of short sto Matt Hayward is an author on the rise. Checking him out online, reading interviews and such, you get the sense that he’s one of those guys writing for the love of it. I don’t sense that he’s one of those writers concerned with the numbers or one that aggressively seeks out your attention. He’s passionate and genuine, and it turns out he’s a pretty freaking good writer, too. I read and enjoyed his previous release, BRAIN DEAD BLUES (Sinister Grin Press, 2017), a really good collection of short stories that displayed Hayward’s massive potential in stories like, “That’s the Price You Pay” and “The Faery Tree” had me eagerly awaiting Hayward’s debut novel, WHAT DO MONSTERS FEAR? (Post Mortem Press, 2017). This novel is about a group of addicts that sign up for a rehab facility of sorts, where unbeknownst to them, the end game might not be the promise of a clean and sober life, but that of something far more sinister. There are definitely some cool influences here. I saw a review that mentioned One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest, and rightfully so, as the author also refers to the book and film in the story itself. There’s also a bit of John Carpenter’s The Thing, as well. Both movies that I love. As with both of those films, the characters here are real, and Hayward does a great job making them stand out from one another, something that some newer writers stumble over with a larger cast. Peter and Henry’s relationship is the best in the book. Two guys trying to kick the bottle, one older, and the other in his early thirties, their initial meeting out on the front porch is a memorable one. From there, Hayward develops them even further and it really makes the horrors to come all that much more intense. For me, although Hayward uses the front half of the book to get you acquainted with everyone, and does a great job, it is a little slow, but you feel there is definitely something horrible just around the corner. And believe me, when you get to the second half of this one, hold on to your seat! Hayward delivers in the horror category with lines like: “…___’s innards slopped away from his sliced open stomach, like saliva dripping from the jaw of a pit bull.” Also, his use of Phobos (the personification of fear in Greek mythology) is righteous and wicked fun. I really enjoyed this one, and so will all you horror fiends. Great characters, great blood and guts, and a fun story. Overall, I give WHAT DO MONSTERS FEAR? 4 stars! Recommended!

  3. 3 out of 5

    Tim Meyer

    More top-notch writing from Matt Hayward. In What Do Monsters Fear?, Matt digs deep into his characters, giving us a colorful cast the reader can easily identify with. The novel touches on many themes dealing with addiction and facing one's fears, something that's not necessarily new to the genre, but Hayward manages to keep the plot fresh with his unique narrative and strong story-telling abilities. Definitely a must-read for genre junkies who crave throwback horror with a strong taste of origi More top-notch writing from Matt Hayward. In What Do Monsters Fear?, Matt digs deep into his characters, giving us a colorful cast the reader can easily identify with. The novel touches on many themes dealing with addiction and facing one's fears, something that's not necessarily new to the genre, but Hayward manages to keep the plot fresh with his unique narrative and strong story-telling abilities. Definitely a must-read for genre junkies who crave throwback horror with a strong taste of originality.

  4. 5 out of 5

    The Grim Reader (Beavisthebookhead.com)

    Great 80s style horror novel from Matt Hayward. My review is at https://beavisthebookhead.com/2017/08...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Curtis

    What Do Monsters Fear? is Matt Hayward's first book. I read his short story collection, Brain Dead Blues, earlier this year, which I really enjoyed. What Do Monsters Fear? is on point! I was hooked from the first scene! Peter Laughlin starts contemplating suicide after he wakes up from a binger in his own mess one too many times. He is about to go through with it, but he finds an advertisement for rehabilitation in the back of a paper. He decides to go to rehab to straighten out his life because What Do Monsters Fear? is Matt Hayward's first book. I read his short story collection, Brain Dead Blues, earlier this year, which I really enjoyed. What Do Monsters Fear? is on point! I was hooked from the first scene! Peter Laughlin starts contemplating suicide after he wakes up from a binger in his own mess one too many times. He is about to go through with it, but he finds an advertisement for rehabilitation in the back of a paper. He decides to go to rehab to straighten out his life because he got his old friend Bethany pregnant. When Peter arrives at Dawson Rehabilitation, he becomes friends with Henry Randolph, an alcoholic who is trying to get his life together as well. Matt Hayward does a great job of character building. The other rehabilitation guests are Shelley Matthews, Donald Bove, Jamie Peters, and Walter Cartwright. Dawson Rehabilitation is not what it seems. Peter and Henry are suspicious of Jerry Fisher, the rehab counselor. Jerry Fisher has a sinister secret. An ancient evil lurks there. Peter will have to face the ancient evil head on if he wants to survive. What Do Monster Fear? is a crazy book! It doesn't let up from the first page. The characters are great and easily relatable. The story unfolds nicely, and Matt does a great job of keeping the tension tight. The ending is great too! Kealan Patrick Burke did a great job on the cover! That cover is catchy as hell! I highly recommend this book to fans of horror, The Thing, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest! 5/5 stars!

  6. 3 out of 5

    David Murphy

    I don't want to start a review with a description and I want to keep it short, synopsis on goodreads gives a very good idea what to expect from this story wise. It's very hard to compare Matt Hayward's style of writing to anyone else, or his books to any other books. He stands out by himself and has proven that with his first novel. If you do want a comparison think one flew over the cuckoos nest with elements of the shining, at least that's what I thought. I read this in a day, once you have st I don't want to start a review with a description and I want to keep it short, synopsis on goodreads gives a very good idea what to expect from this story wise. It's very hard to compare Matt Hayward's style of writing to anyone else, or his books to any other books. He stands out by himself and has proven that with his first novel. If you do want a comparison think one flew over the cuckoos nest with elements of the shining, at least that's what I thought. I read this in a day, once you have started it's hard to out it down. he keeps things moving throughout the book and at no point did I think it was dragging on. Characters in the book are well thought out and written, they are very believable which helps draw you further into the book. Descriptions are vivid and Matt really paints a picture in your mind of what is going on at all times. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Matt Hayward is one to watch in the horror genre and this book just further cements that idea. Overall an excellent book, one of my, if not my overall, favorite books this year.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    THIS is what I am talking about. What Do Monsters Fear is Matt Hayward's first novel and I am beyond impressed. I'm going to go ahead and say this is a must read, with strong potential for it to be on my favorite books to come out this year list. It tells the story of Peter, a former rock star with a crumbling life and baby on the way. Beyond that, he's got a drinking problem that is on its last legs of sustainability. Hitting rock bottom, he checks into a rehabilitation facility. Rock bottom doesn THIS is what I am talking about. What Do Monsters Fear is Matt Hayward's first novel and I am beyond impressed. I'm going to go ahead and say this is a must read, with strong potential for it to be on my favorite books to come out this year list. It tells the story of Peter, a former rock star with a crumbling life and baby on the way. Beyond that, he's got a drinking problem that is on its last legs of sustainability. Hitting rock bottom, he checks into a rehabilitation facility. Rock bottom doesn't seem quite as bad when strange occurrences start happening, patients start vanishing and all hell breaks loose. This book just has it all. Monsters, mad scientists, mutated giant cats, squishy gooey gore to the brim. It's an absolute blast. Great characters, a pace that is relentless, perfect writing... just a top of the line read. Out now on Post Mortem Press, I give this my highest recommendation.  Originally posted on my blog http://undivineinterventions.blogspot...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Drenning

    Loved this story.

  9. 3 out of 5

    John Quick

    A well-told character study that just happens to include demons and some decidedly brutal deaths. Can't wait to see what's next from Matt Hayward!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rob Errera

    What do monsters fear? Responsibility. Withdrawal symptoms. Owning up to their past mistakes. One of the recovering addicts in Matt Hayward’s creep-fest What Do Monsters Fear? sums up the plot in a few well-chosen words: “Three strung-out fucks are gonna stop an ancient evil god?” Hell, yeah, they are! Because the ancient evil god—a body-snatching baddie called Phobos—has underestimated the drive and determination of men with nothing left to lose. There’s a claustrophobic quality to this novel compar What do monsters fear? Responsibility. Withdrawal symptoms. Owning up to their past mistakes. One of the recovering addicts in Matt Hayward’s creep-fest What Do Monsters Fear? sums up the plot in a few well-chosen words: “Three strung-out fucks are gonna stop an ancient evil god?” Hell, yeah, they are! Because the ancient evil god—a body-snatching baddie called Phobos—has underestimated the drive and determination of men with nothing left to lose. There’s a claustrophobic quality to this novel comparable to the trapped arctic explorers in John Carpenter’s The Thing. Tensions ratchet up by as Phobos picks off victims and terrifies those that remain. Like Freddy Krueger or Pennywise, Phobos knows what scares you, and takes perverse pleasure in torturing victims with their own deepest fears and phobias. Hayward’s writing engages the senses and propels the story forward, like when he introduces the shifty doctor: “A waft of aftershave drifted from him, tainting the honest smell of raw wood.” Or describes the death of supernatural beings: “Unlike in the movies when a supernatural entity died, the cat didn’t dissipate into nothingness with a sizzle. Instead, it burned and burned, the smell of charred flesh and singed hair filling the space. Dark smoke packed the room.” Hayward employs the same multi-sensory technique even when the scenes get visceral: “Shelly’s body slopped from the table and splashed to the floor.” Poor liquified Shelly makes another appearance later on: “He stepped in Shelly Matthews. The liquefied blob of flesh quivered like a fried egg beneath his heel. One eye blinked within the mess and stared back at him.” Yuck! Sucks to be Shelly! Beyond the blood and monsters, What Do Monsters Fear? tackles the issue of addicts in recovery, and the way they view themselves as they attempt to turn their lives around. “Peter hated to admit it, but for the briefest moment, he related to the monster.” But men and monsters alike get second chances. Seeing elderly drunk Henry’s redemption is perhaps the novel’s most triumphant moment. “I was useful for once in my miserable piece of shit life… My actions meant something.” That’s the kind of validation we all seek, both addict and non-addict, man and monster alike. Hayward has a great sense of pacing and a cinematic writing style that makes What Do Monsters Fear? a fast, fun read! He leaves the door open for potential sequels, and implies that the worst kind of monsters don’t live in alternate, cosmic dimensions but inside the hearts of men. (And women. Chill out, ladies. You’re evil, too.) -30-

  11. 3 out of 5

    Mkittysamom

    What do monsters fear..Hmm I know the answer to that now! But I can’t tell you, if you want to know.. you have to read all about Peter the former rockstar and his friends he meets in rehab! Turns out that addicts especially are very underestimated and the truest thing is when they are threatened usually they are already at the point where they have nothing left to loose since.. addiction tends to swallow everything it crosses. (Im speaking from personal experience.. we are tough cookies! Especial What do monsters fear..Hmm I know the answer to that now! But I can’t tell you, if you want to know.. you have to read all about Peter the former rockstar and his friends he meets in rehab! Turns out that addicts especially are very underestimated and the truest thing is when they are threatened usually they are already at the point where they have nothing left to loose since.. addiction tends to swallow everything it crosses. (Im speaking from personal experience.. we are tough cookies! Especially when we are sober or on our way to becoming sober) But this book isn’t about me... but it resonates with me and the author did an amazing job portraying his characters! I felt it in my heart.. take that monster!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Russell Coy

    WHAT DO MONSTERS FEAR? is a gem of a debut novel. Hayward ratchets up the tension one notch at a time and creates a thick atmosphere of isolation and dread, then goes into ambush mode in the second half, filling the pages with gore and action. The pacing is pitch-perfect, and the characters are well-drawn and relatable throughout. Highly recommended.

  13. 3 out of 5

    Jeff Terry

    I'm beginning to think it's me. I've asked myself the hard questions: Dude, what's wrong with you? Don't you want to have fun? Do you hate fun now? Why you got these high standards all of a sudden? I just haven't been happy with much of what I'm reading lately. And this book was the most recent example. You should know that the Thunderstorm Books edition contains the short novel What Do Monsters Fear? as well as four short stories. The novel started out very promising. There were a few moments th I'm beginning to think it's me. I've asked myself the hard questions: Dude, what's wrong with you? Don't you want to have fun? Do you hate fun now? Why you got these high standards all of a sudden? I just haven't been happy with much of what I'm reading lately. And this book was the most recent example. You should know that the Thunderstorm Books edition contains the short novel What Do Monsters Fear? as well as four short stories. The novel started out very promising. There were a few moments that I thought were approaching excellent. And then it just wasn't. I forced through. I spent a LOT of time reading about how the main character's stomach was lurching. All that lurching. But I paid a lot of money for this book so I also lurched. I got to the end. And I debated going on and reading the short stories. I considered that maybe I had weathered enough. I began forming my one star review for Goodreads. But no. I decided to be a real warrior and see how much abuse I could take. And I found that the short stories were REALLY good. Father's Day was the best and there was enough material in It Comes With the Rain that it could have been a much better novel than What DO Monsters Fear? So I was really glad I kept going. To be honest, when I bought this book, I was buying a Thunderstorm Book--not a Hayward book. I've never bought a book just for the publisher before. And the production of this book is excellent! I'm giving this three stars based on the quality of the production and those 4 short stories. I'll definitely read Matt Hayward again. This was his debut novel and I'm hoping he gets better because there's stuff in his imagination that works! Or maybe he just needs a good editor to keep him disciplined and out of his character's stomach all the time. I'm going to read a Lansdale book now because I know that I won't be disappointed with his stuff. Probably Cold in July since it's now July. Kinda on the nose but so what?

  14. 3 out of 5

    Seán O’Connor

    The Feel Good Hit of the Summer! Matt Hayward's debut novel is a fast paced, rock 'n'roll horror story. It is a very impressive debut novel from one of the emerging voices in horror fiction - With interesting characters and a plot that powers along dragging the reader with it, What Do Monsters Fear? is a tale about about one mans redemption and his battle against the demon that keeps him from living the life he desires. With a setting reminiscent to Ken Kasey's One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, I'd h The Feel Good Hit of the Summer! Matt Hayward's debut novel is a fast paced, rock 'n'roll horror story. It is a very impressive debut novel from one of the emerging voices in horror fiction - With interesting characters and a plot that powers along dragging the reader with it, What Do Monsters Fear? is a tale about about one mans redemption and his battle against the demon that keeps him from living the life he desires. With a setting reminiscent to Ken Kasey's One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, I'd highly recommend this book for fans of horror and dark fiction.

  15. 5 out of 5

    James

    Fun even without polish This was a fun horror story. The Kindle edition has lots of typos and some of the writing was a bit sophomoric, but I would still recommend it. I’ll probably also try another book of Hayward’s, as well. He’s off to a good start.

  16. 5 out of 5

    DENNIS g BRUNSWICK

    Good read This book was a good quick read. Some of it was a little over the top but it was fun. My only complaint would be the editing. Pretty shabby.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Bailey

    A fantastic combination of physiological thriller and Old One Horror. Hayward knows how to creates some damn creepy atmosphere. He answers the question what do monster fear through out the novel. Highly recommend for any horror fan.

  18. 3 out of 5

    Randy

  19. 3 out of 5

    Matt Naylor

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  21. 3 out of 5

    Ella Rose

  22. 3 out of 5

    Will Hartzo

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Woolstencroft

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michael Chapman

  25. 4 out of 5

    John Boden

  26. 5 out of 5

    C.A. Hart

  27. 4 out of 5

    Timothy P Flynn

  28. 3 out of 5

    Greg Johnson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Billy Miller

  30. 4 out of 5

    David Denison

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