Review: Dreams for the Dying by Adam Light

This is a long-winded review. Oops, sometimes I get carried away.

Dreams for the Dying by Adam Light

Published June 2021

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Received for Review Consideration 

Bad dreams don't always evaporate in the light of day.

Some refuse to fade, forever haunting dark corners of consciousness:

The dread of an approaching headlight on a deserted road . . .

Swirling black clouds claiming the sky, bringing death and madness . . .

The cabin of a trucker's rig, where a waitress lies bound and gagged . . .

A cursed soul in a moonlit pumpkin patch, desperate and lonely . . .

These are songs for the damned, poisons for the cure, and Dreams for the Dying.

For years, Adam Light has frightened and delighted readers around the world with his stories of horror and the bizarre. Fully revised to best represent the author's original vision, these fearsome tales of the macabre are finally collected under a single cover for the first time.

My 2 Cents For Free!

Dreams for the Dying is a well balanced collection of horror short stories. A few of them made me long for Halloween to hurry up and get here already. The author also kindly includes notes at the back end of every story and I’m super nosy so I loved reading those! It gives you insight into how many of them came to life and I always find that fascinating. I am a terrible note taker but I tried my best to take notes on every story here. I *think* I got them all but I also think I do a lot of things that I don’t actually finish so I can’t make any guarantees. Anyhow, I’ll try not to say too much because these are short stories and you should enjoy them without someone on the internet blabbing on about every little detail. 

Taken starts things off. It’s about a long-haul trucker doing his best to appease the love of his life. And by “appease” I don’t mean she wants him to bring her home a box of chocolates. Her request makes him nervous but the lovestruck fool makes an attempt and well you’ll have to read the rest - just know that sometimes things work out just fine for all. There’s a dark thread of humor through this story and if you have a twisted sense of humor I think you’ll like it a lot. 

Tommy Rotten is a story I read in the anthology Bad Apples 2 🍎 I gave it four stars then and give it the same now, several years later. Tommy “Rotten” longs for a new friend and hopes this Halloween will bring him one. This is fun with a heartwarming ending if you’re (again) the twisted sort. 

Vengeance by the Foot is a gruesome little nightmare of a tale! At turns grisly, disturbing and gruesomely comical. Fun stuff. You should read it. Get yourself good and grossed out. We all need that sort of fun in our lives. 

Gone You’ll likely see where this one is leading long before the protagonist does but it’s the journey, right? And this is a sad journey. I probably wouldn’t reread it again because I don’t like sitting in the sad feelings most days but hey you might like the sadness. I’m not here to judge. 

Ghost Light Road This is another story I read previously in the Bad Apples anthology a few years back. It a fun tale with bits of gore and dumb young people who are always excellent horror fodder. Here are my original thoughts which still stand a few years later: Billy was planning on spending Halloween avoiding trick or treaters, watching horror movies and drinking beer but his little sis calls and screws with his plans. Now he and her two friends are off to Ghost Light Road so they can spy a ghost, despite the rumors that people often do not return from their little visit. These four dummies decide to drink some concoction of booze which may or may not be laced with some magickal mushrooms and, as young drunkards will do, proceed to make some truly dumb ass moves that have them discovering the reason why some folks never return from their trip to Ghost Light Road. The story takes a bunch of horror clichés and mashes them together into something new. It was fun and a little gory and left me pretty happy with the outcome. 

Serving Spirits Natalie’s dad has gone missing somewhere in Haiti while researching his latest novel but he sends her a creepy little something to keep her safe. Ugh, this one made me so ANGRY at the man who was Natalie’s jerky husband but that was the point so well done, haha. This was a little Creepshowesque and I love me some Creepshow so I loved this story too. 

Way Out Of Here takes navel gazing to an entirely new level when a lottery winner exhausts all the fun out of life (oh, boo-hoo-hoo) and his never-ending pursuit of fulfillment leads him into an odd predicament. Maybe just be happy with yer life, eh? Because, damn man, things can always be worse! This short story was super strange. 

Valley of the Dunes was a fun story about a woman whose dates always exhaust and disappoint. Why must she always be the bad guy and end things? Why are these men so insufferable? So boring? Why, oh why, can’t they just shut up and take a hint? I found this story darkly humorous because I am the way that I am. I don’t know if it was supposed to be funny but I do know that it was a joy to read and I have no complaints here. 

The Continuance Agency Hmm, this one felt a bit dreadfully unfinished to me. It set up some good concepts but I felt a little abandoned at the end and things moved way too fast for me. After reading the author notes and doing some 30 seconds of internet research I realized it was supposed to be a serial novel that maybe never happened and now it makes more sense to me. 

Trick ‘Em All A lonely, angry, psychopathic teen spills all of his rage out into the pumpkin he’s carving and chaos ensues. This one is grisly! The perfect thing to get you in that Halloween spirit even if it’s still August. 

Panacea Ooh this one would fit right in with The Hot Blood series (PLEASE SOMEONE BRING IT BACK how many times must I beg?). This one kicks you right in the heart. Get ready. A man is watching helplessly as his beloved wife of many decades dies a painful death from cancer. One sleepless night this poor fella succumbs to a miracle cure ad and orders something called “Panacea”, a miracle elixir that claims it can cure cancer. Who can blame a guy for trying? Anyhow it arrives and has a side effect but there’s no way in hell I’m spoiling this one. It has many of my favorite things all wrapped up inside this one little story and it was the perfect ending to this collection. Sorry for all the words but I hope you give this one a go. There are some real gems inside this here book and I highly recommend it.



  1. I love a good short story collection and this sounds great. Perfect for spooky season coming soon. :) I like it too when authors have little notes or insights into their stories.

  2. This sounds like a pretty strong collection, plus I need to read Panacea, you've got me so curious😁

    1. It's a great short story. I hope you get a chance to read it.

  3. Those sound pretty good. Love that creepy cover too.


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