The Nothing That Is

The Nothing That Is by Kyle Winkler

“Infused with cosmic, culinary dread and seasoned with dark humor, The Nothing That Is reads like Anthony Bourdain riffing on Lovecraft. Winkler’s engaging style and hypnotic prose will consume you whole, and if that doesn’t whet your appetite, there’s an exploding graveyard. Eat this one up, my friends, before it eats you!”
—Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Kin and Sour Candy

“Wild, fast-moving, and disorientingly hilarious… down to earth and completely unhinged. It also gave me a jolt of sickening, infinite horror I hadn’t felt since the Vermicious Knids jumped out of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.”
—Ben Loory, author of Tales of Falling and Flying

It’s 1986. Cade McCall is an assistant manager for a catering business. Driving to work one morning, part of the local graveyard explodes. Later the same day, Cade gets an odd message from a client who needs catering for an Extreme Food Club. He calls himself Mr. Dinosaur. And he’s paying $11,000. Despite Cade’s reservations, he takes the gig. Although, who’s feeding whom is another question entirely…Involving female biker gangs, cults, possessed furniture, and a full dose of cosmic horror, The Nothing That Is serves up the weird.

The IndieMuse Review

The first three sentences sizzled, I just knew this would be a great read.

Context: Making grilled cheese sandwiches on the stove top. You preheat the pan so when you place the buttered bread down it sizzles; no sizzle the bread won’t brown properly, sizzle means you’re hot to trot! I’m not saying I have to be grabbed by the opening sentences by way of action or drama; the tone and connection of the sentences fit. I could tell, at least with some certainty, I liked the book’s overall vibe. Has that ever happened to you? Maybe with a movie then, opening scene? I hope it has at least once, because it is a thrill.

The off kilter phone conversation was the first big dive into the weird for the reader; perfectly written. I found myself touching the spot of my neck right behind my ear, as if checking for or shooing something away.

Cade, our MC, has entered into a contract with something so far outside of his comprehension, purely by a split decision I might add, that it is the stuff of my nightmares, at the very least; it should be of most people’s honestly. Some of the things that happens to him, not restricted to the usual horror tropes of isolation and dark of night, instill a disquiet that I am carrying with me still, which is something to be proud of whether or not it’s a debut. I may not find libraries an automatic safe haven for awhile (sacrilege, I know!).

It’s hard to gush about my favorite parts when I don’t post spoilers, but trust me when I say that it is a phenomenal read. There is wit, horror, sadness, terror in these pages, and the lingering spirits of all, long after the tale is done. A favorite of mine for 2021, cannot wait to read more by Kyle Winkler.


Reading is my happy place and I want to share it with others; reviewing grew from basic tweets about books I enjoyed. I couldn’t be happier for how that turned out, book Twitter and the horror community have some of the nicest people. Dark fiction is where I find myself most of the time, but I enjoy almost any type of book if it catches my eye. I’m not really sure what this will turn into long term, but helping spread the word on an author’s book is the best feeling at the moment. Book nerd for life.

Curation Results: The Nothing That Is

Curator Notes: "Winkler's conversational prose lures you into the story, allowing for the weird events to be even more impactful and believable."—B-Baal

This title has been officially certified by indiemuse reviewers and curators as a recommended read. Read about our certification process here.

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This author has an official profile and author account at IndieMuse.

Reviewer Rating

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Curator Approved

This title has received an overall majority approval from our curators.


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