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The End of the Line [Paperback]

Christopher Fowler , Gary McMahon , Adam L.G. Nevill , Pat Cadigan , Paul Meloy , Ramsay Campbell , John L. Probert , Nicholas Royle , Simon Bestwick , Al Ewing , Conrad Williams , Mark Morris , Stephen Volk , Michael Marshall Smith , James Lovegrove , Natasha Rhodes , Joel Lane , Jonathan Oliver
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (1 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907519327
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907519321
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 319,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable collection of underground horror 13 Nov 2010
By Bki
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anyone who's ever spent any length of time travelling on London's underground system knows what a nightmare it can be, the congestion, the chaos, the stifling heat in summer; the delays, and of course the dark foreboding tunnels that snake into the hidden heart of the metropolis. In The End of the Line, Editor Jonathan Oliver has put together a collection of contemporary horror tales set in or around the underground, and not just London's famous Tube, but other underground rail systems and places of the deep.

The first story in the collection is by Paul Meloy, a writer whose work I've not encountered before. His story Bullroarer is an interesting choice to open the collection with. Unfortunately, although I enjoyed his writing style, the story didn't really work for me. It is essentially a tale of revenge for childhood bullying with a mythological twist. To me it came across as a little juvenile. I also felt that it could have happened anywhere. The fact that part of it takes place on a London Underground train seemed entirely incidental. I would have liked an opening in which the theme of the underground felt essential to the story, and apart from the possible mythical metaphor of descent to the underworld, this didn't really have that for me.

Next up, is The Girl in the Glass by John Llewellyn Probert. I found this addressed the theme much more fundamentally, with the haunting story of a girl who falls under a train desperate to get her life back - literally. A creepy tale and one I enjoyed. This is followed by the stand out story of the collection for me, The Lure by Nicholas Royle. This takes place in Paris, and uses the world famous Metro for part of its setting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Good 29 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
End of The Line is a collection of short horror stories set underground.

In their own right all the stories are solid and I feel would be above-average if included individually in generic horror anthologies. However, lined back-to-back as each one is with eighteen other stories on the same theme, they lose their individuality a bit, and some of the themes become increasingly repetitive. A common theme is the tube as an interdimensional gateway where the story's protagonist alights from the train and things "aren't quite right". Even individual concepts such as baggage checks between dimensions and the smell of roses crop up more than once. Clearly the stories have mostly been inspired by the strangeness and inhumanity of commuters once they're fixed on their destinations while crammed together, yet wholly indifferent to each other.

Given the theme of 'underground' to work with, most authors have chosen the London Underground or another tube system, whereas Mark Morris' "Fallen Boys" stood out for being set in a mine railway, which was quite refreshing. Incidentally, its front cover is remarkably similar to the DVD cover of the horror film Creep, also set on the London Underground.

The editor introduces each author both before the story and then also at the end, giving each one a short biography; this makes the pre-story introductions somewhat redundant, and they're also delivered in a somewhat annoying style "Al Ewing is mental" "Natasha Rhodes is pretty (expletive) metal" etc, more akin to a band's intro for a Student Union rock night than a piece of literature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Please move down inside... 12 Dec 2010
I was very taken with the idea of this collection - a loose bag of stories inspired by "underground", mostly, though not all, "the Underground" (ie the London one) - a brilliant idea: the Underground seems to inspire fascination (at least in some) and is the subject of a wide literature. There's a deep (pardon the pun) fit with horror - all those people pressed together, the dark, the speed, the tangled routes, the history. So it's a promising idea.

As you would expect, with nineteen different stories, some come closer that others to capturing this essence. And some don't try at all, but deal with different "undergrounds" - a putative line in Manchester, the Paris Metro, a Cornish mine railway, the Liverpool underground. The positive way to put this is that everyone will like some stories more than others, and I don't think it would be very helpful to go through and rate each one, because my views are unlikely to match yours. I will just say that as individual stories I think these range from three to five stars, and that my favourite was the very last story, "Down" by Christopher Fowler, because it did seem to me to catch the essence-of-Tubiness, and was rather off the beaten track of something-nasty-in-the tunnels.

My only criticisms would be that in some of the stories - not all, and not, oddly, those actually set off the London Underground - the Underground connection seems a bit forced. I found myself thinking a few times that the story would have worked as well if the McGuffin had been a bus or a plane: or, frankly, without the transport connection at all. And perhaps there is slight overuse of what I would described as the "Sliding Doors" trope: a misstep on the Underground sends the protagonist astray into the "wrong" world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag but worth the effort
A great collection of short stories based around the underground. There is a focus on the London underground but there are others featured including the legendary underground in... Read more
Published 12 months ago by nohatjim
3.0 out of 5 stars From somewhere ahead of them came a scraping, a shuffling, as if...
These are new horror stories all set underground, encompassing several locations, such as Berlin, Prague and London. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Eileen Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Spine chilling underground horror
A spine chilling collection of 19 short stories based in and around The London Underground, New York Subway, Paris Metro and some other lesser known metro systems. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Martin Belcher
2.0 out of 5 stars At best average
There are probably 2 decent stories in the entire book, some aren't even related to underground lines (I'm thinking specifically of the mine shaft story), all in all, given the... Read more
Published on 11 July 2011 by strangelad
3.0 out of 5 stars Mind the gap
It had been a long time since I read a collection of horror stories by a whole bunch of different authors. Read more
Published on 29 Jan 2011 by zerot
3.0 out of 5 stars Reliance on one line too often
A title of short stories all based on the underground tube stations of one city or another written by a wealth of top Solaris talent Yet within this book there is a number of... Read more
Published on 12 Dec 2010 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
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