MTV PRESS—=Crushing defeats! No happy endings! Abject misery! Pointless, endless grief! True stories of totally undeserved suffering! Spectacularly depressing! Nobody gets their just dessert!
Sin, suffering, redemption. That’s the movie, that’s the front page news, that’s the story of popular culture—of American culture. A ray of hope. A comeuppance. An all-for-the-best. Makes it easier to deal with the world’s suffering—to know that there’s a reason behind it, that it’ll always work out in the end, that people get what they deserve.
The fact: sometimes people suffer for no reason. No sin, no redemption—just suffering, suffering, suffering.
Tales of Woe compiles today’s most awful narratives of human wretchedness. This is not Hollywood catharsis (someone overcomes something and the viewer is uplifted), this is Greek Catharsis: you watch people suffer horribly, and then feel better about your own life. Tales of Woe tells stories of murder, accident, depravity, cruelty, and senseless unhappiness: and all true.
A title so appropriate to the unrelenting suffering the book details that there’s little to tell you beyond that. ... Powerful, disturbing and unforgettably painful.
—Calvin Reid, Publisher’s Weekly
Completely void of didacticism, hope, and redemption. Instead, Tales of Woe offers a parade of captivating, affronting stories that challenge and delight — er, disturb — the reader.
—Ben Mirov, Bomb Magazine
Tales of Woe is a book that will undoubtedly come define our generational zeitgeist, in it's overturning of the thrall of commercialist catharsis. ... after Friends and The X-Files, Boston Legal, House and The Corrections, reading Tales of Woe feels like a beginning, like the fertile soil of a generational nightmare has at last been properly tilled and readied for something to grow.
—Shathley Q, Popmatters
The most depressing, unbelievable, gore-soaked, abusive, disturbing and generally unacceptable stories you’ll ever hear, and they’re all TRUE! ... ugly, disturbing and unapologetic. Definite stocking-stuffer material for the nihilist on your list."
—Andy Swist, Campblood.org
So twisted and perverse, and so TRUE that even the editor of a horror blog walks away feeling a little sickened. ... Tales of Woe is nearly two hundred pages of strange and twisted tragedy without even the slightest inclination to serve up a single happy ending. It’s a sickening look at the horrors of real life from around the globe, and while I’m hesitant to recommend it, I have a feeling I pretty much just have.
—Marc Patterson, Brutal as Hell