World of Hurt (2006)
A novel by Brian Hodge

Foreword by Stephen Jones

Introduction by Brian Keene

Afterword by Brian Hodge

Art by Robert Sammelin




SYNOPSIS: From the author of HELLBOY: ON EARTH AS IT IS ON HELL and WILD HORSES comes WORLD OF HURT, another masterwork that transcends the horror genre….

U never told me how u died.

Nearly half his life ago, Andrei spent 38 minutes as a corpse. It's not a secret that he shares with many people. Especially these last six years, ever since the comforting lie of tunnels and white lights crumbled away to leave him with the memory of what he really found on the other side of death…not Hell, but something worse: a Heaven unlike anything he'd ever been taught to expect.

& u havent blown yr brains out yet?
Or screamed yr throat raw until they sedated u?
Pretty impressive, Andrei. U may B 1 of those that make it.

Now, as Heaven seeks to reclaim him, Andrei awakens to the hidden truths of this world and the next, caught between two unequal sides waging a clandestine war for the soul of the world, in which everything he's ever taken for granted about good and evil has just been turned upside down.

Demon est Deus inversus.

When death is no escape, what do you do? Andrei has a fierce need to know, as the clock runs out on the most excruciating moral choice of his life.


 

 

WORLD OF HURT features a Foreword by World Fantasy Award-winning editor Stephen Jones and an Introduction by Stoker Award-winning author Brian Keene. Dustjacket and signature page art by Robert Sammelin.

WORLD OF HURT is available in the following editions:

500 numbered hardcovers, bound in cloth and signed by Brian Hodge $40
26 lettered, traycased hardcovers, books and traycases will be hand made with the finest materials (e.g., leather, Japanese cloth, and/or French marbled paper), signed by Brian Hodge, Stephen Jones, Brian Keene, and the artist, Robert Sammelin $250


 

"A short but powerful novel tackling such complex topics as faith, the afterlife, and divine intent, Brian Hodge's WORLD OF HURT packs an emotional wallop that will send its audience reeling. As always, Hodge's prose is sleek and muscular, his narrative both poetic and poignant as he delivers what may be his most thought-provoking work yet."
—The Daily Camera

"WORLD OF HURT is a darkly disturbing novel of good and evil that will leave you breathless and questioning your beliefs."
—Horror World

"As far as I'm concerned, for fifteen years, Brian Hodge has delivered butt-kicking horror. Hodge is still burning, even more brightly than before, and WORLD OF HURT is leaner and much more intense than [his earlier work]. Hodge manages to combine fragility and sheer terror, to erect tender emotions and then rend them from the flesh of his characters. In WORLD OF HURT, he peels away the skin of the world. There is a war within us, and it will exact a toll that we're probably not prepared to pay. We humans have exerted quite an effort imagining Hell and its denizens, but it might behoove us to look at the flip side of Perdition. After all, Heaven is by definition every bit as dead as Hell."
—Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column

"Brian Hodge has always been one of those rare writers who can fuse ingenious concepts with exceptionally rich writing, and WORLD OF HURT stands as a testament to his redoubtable skills. This superb novel is everything you've heard it is — twisted, frightening, filled with stunning imagery and infused with a courageous gray moral center where the answers are never neat and tidy. Hodge can pack more descriptive power into a single paragraph than most writers can in ten pages. WORLD OF HURT is a masterpiece, pure and simple, and if you value exceptional, exquisite writing as much you do the well-told tale, this novel is a must-have."
—Bram Stoker Award-winner Gary A. Braunbeck, author of KEEPERS and PRODIGAL BLUES

"From its arresting premise to a jaw-dropping conclusion, WORLD OF HURT is a contemporary fable in which a truly Gothic darkness lies skin-deep under our everyday world. Brian Hodge has a powerful sense of the hidden forces that drive us, and a ruthlessly effective talent for getting them onto the page."
—Stephen Gallagher

"Brian Hodge remains one of the most marvelously irreverent voices in dark fantasy today. WORLD OF HURT is a gritty and welcomed anecdote to a thousand rose-colored visions of immortality and afterlife. A thoroughly captivating read!"
—Caitlín R. Kiernan

"WORLD OF HURT thrusts you, sometimes unwillingly, into the mind of a remorseless killer, a timeless assassin of killers, and a troubled and confused young man who cannot find rest from his memories of what awaits beyond the shadowy veil. The pace is quick, the writing crisp and smart, the underlying themes and philosophy thought provoking. In short, this is the kind of smart horror that’s missing from the chain store shelves these days. Thank God for Earthling Publications for bringing Hodge’s excellent voice back to the reading public. It’s intelligent, emotive work that only gets better as time goes on."
—HELLNOTES

"In WORLD OF HURT, Hodge creates a palpable, sometimes overwhelming sense of dread on almost every page...it manages to pack volumes of emotion. WORLD OF HURT is one tale you do not want to miss. 4 ½ out of 5 Mugs O' Blood."
—The Horror Channel

"Brian Hodge's WORLD OF HURT is at once both one of the most horrifying and moving books I've ever read. There are moments of breathtaking tenderness and hope amid the carnage, and a sense of real people — damaged, frightened, courageous people — trying to find their way in a world that has abandoned them. A thrilling, intelligent and devastating novel that deserves every success."
—Conrad Williams, author of LONDON REVENANT and THE UNBLEMISHED

"WORLD OF HURT compresses an epic's worth of complexity, vision, and the mythic horrific into one little lean, mean heartbreak machine. You wouldn't wanna live in Brian Hodge's psychopathic snapshot of Heaven, but you sure as hell owe yourself a visit. This is spiritual hardcore horror, both brutal and transcendent. And it will punch you right in the soul."
—John Skipp, author of CONSCIENCE and THE LIGHT AT THE END

"Hodge is a very talented writer. His scenes blaze with energy and life, and his characters are very real."
—Robert R. McCammon, author of SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD and BOY'S LIFE

"To say Brian Hodge is one of the best authors working in the modern horror genre is like saying the Beatles were one of the best bands writing love songs in the sixties—it's true, but it ain't the half of it. Hell it ain't even the sixteenth of it. Hodge is one of the best writers writing fiction today, period. His explorations of religion, sexuality, violence, and magic, his characters so vividly drawn that they make most of the rest of us look like we're working with stick figures, and his always-absorbing, never-faltering voice have appointed him the master of any form he tries. If you've not read him, you're missing out on one hell of an enjoyable and important writer."
—Poppy Z. Brite, author of LIQUOR, PRIME, and LOST SOULS


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian Hodge's books number into double digits and have earned him favorable critical comparisons with luminaries as diverse as Clive Barker, Elmore Leonard, Honoré Daumier, David Cronenberg, and even Carl Jung. Recently he was chosen to contribute to the world of comics legend Mike Mignola, with Pocket Books releasing his novel HELLBOY: ON EARTH AS IT IS ON HELL in autumn 2005. Forthcoming works include the crime novel MAD DOGS and his next collection A LOVING LOOK OF AGONY.


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