Sour Candy

Sour Candy

by Kealan Patrick Burke


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At first glance, Phil Pendleton and his son Adam are just an ordinary father and son, no different from any other. They take walks in the park together, visit county fairs, museums, and zoos, and eat overlooking the lake. Some might say the father is a little too accommodating given the lack of discipline when the child loses his temper in public. Some might say he spoils his son by allowing him to set his own bedtimes and eat candy whenever he wants. Some might say that such leniency is starting to take its toll on the father, given how his health has declined.

What no one knows is that Phil is a prisoner, and that up until a few weeks ago and a chance encounter at a grocery store, he had never seen the child before in his life.

A new novella from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of THE TURTLE BOY and KIN.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781979533225
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 11/06/2017
Pages: 84
Sales rank: 159,016
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.20(d)

About the Author

Born and raised in a small harbor town in the south of Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke knew from a very early age that he was going to be a horror writer. The combination of an ancient locale, a horror-loving mother, and a family full of storytellers, made it inevitable that he would end up telling stories for a living. Since those formative years, he has written five novels, over a hundred short stories, six collections, and edited four acclaimed anthologies. In 2004, he was honored with the Bram Stoker Award for his novella The Turtle Boy.

Kealan has worked as a waiter, a drama teacher, a mapmaker, a security guard, an assembly-line worker at Apple Computers, a salesman (for a day), a bartender, landscape gardener, vocalist in a grunge band, curriculum content editor, fiction editor at, associate editor at Subterranean magazine, and, most recently, a fraud investigator.

When not writing, Kealan designs book covers through his company Elderlemon Design.

A number of his books have been optioned for film.

Visit him on the web at

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Sour Candy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite “Four months to the day he first encountered the boy at Walmart, the last of Phil Pendleton’s teeth fell out.” Phil Pendleton comes across a screaming child with his strangely worn-down mother in the candy aisle. The bizarre pair causes a ruckus that forces the store manager to try dealing with them. During this chaos, the child offers Phil a sour candy which he accepts before leaving the store. On his way home, the same haggard woman from the store rear-ends his car. From that moment on, Phil’s day that had started so perfectly quickly turns to hell. Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke is a demonic twist on parenting duties that one man unfortunately has to accept. The child, Adam, forced himself into Phil’s life and changes everything. Everyone strangely agrees that the child is his. Proof of Adam’s existence as his son suddenly appears out of nowhere, and Phil could no longer deny them or seek help from the police. He has to play along, while figuring out what the child really wants. I greatly sympathized with the protagonist and feared for his sanity. On the whole, Burke’s Sour Candy is a brilliant psychological horror novella that delves deeper into the human psyche. The page turning quality of this twisted horror story had me forgetting other things and simply wanting to read on – I finished this book in just one sitting. It’s a quick read but exceptionally well-written and the story will linger in readers’ mind for quite some time. Thanks to Burke, I’ll stay away from any screaming kid in a store.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When Phil Pendleton decides to stop at Walmart to pick up chocolate for his girlfriend, little does he realize what horror he's about to unleash. He witnesses a bedraggled mother in the candy aisle, where her oddly dressed son is throwing a tantrum. But then they see him watching, and what transpires next is the beginning of an unrelenting nightmare. Kealan is one of horror fiction's best, period. And if you haven't given his work a shot, this novella is the perfect introduction. Highly recommended!
entropyrulez More than 1 year ago
Damn, it seems Kealan can do no wrong. This one will creep into your brain and make you rethink what those screaming kids in supermarkets really are. You may never eat sour candy again. I love-love-loved it.