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The Ninth Black Book of Horror [Paperback]

Simon Bestwick , Paul Finch , Charles Black
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 5.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

29 Sep 2012
Horrible people, horrible places, horrible things and horrible fates all await you in The Ninth Black Book of Horror. The new anthology from Mortbury Press is truly horrible. Check in at a horror hospital, witness grisly acts, observe dreadful family reunions, meet a man who hates waste, the things that are not there, and find out what's behind you in The Ninth Black Book of Horror. Sixteen stories by John Llewellyn Probert, Craig Herbertson; Simon Bestwick, Gary Fry; David Williamson, Anna Taborska; Sam Dawson, Paul Finch; Gary Power, Thana Niveau; Tom Johnstone, Marion Pitman; Kate Farrell, John Forth; Marc Lyth, and David A. Riley.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Mortbury Press; First Edition edition (29 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955606187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955606182
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 506,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NUMBER NINE IN A CONTINUALLY GREAT SERIES 24 Jan 2013
There are not a lot of things I look forward to each year. Most of the time they fail to live up to my expectations. However one thing I do really look forward to is the publication of the latest Black Book of Horror. This anthology edited by Charles Black is im my humble opinion one of the best and most consistent anthologies out there. The range of story styles and mix of lesser known and more well known authors is almost pitch perfect. The Ninth Black Book of Horrors keeps this high level of excellence going for another year.

I do judge a book by it's cover, the cover to this book is excellent, but a book only succeeds if the stories are worth reading.

I don't know how many submissions Charles must have to read through to get to the final draft of the book, judging by the high standard throughout this anthology I would be interested to see some if the stories that didn't make the grade.

The anthology kicks of in glorious, theatrical style with a highly entertaining and macabre story form the splendid John Llewellyn Probert. The Anatomy Lesson is just brilliant, John balances the gory elements of the story with a sense of dramatic flair that is sadly lacking from a lot of horro writing today.

The other fifteen stories in the collection are all of a very high standard, that manage to bring in a lot of different styles and tones to the anthology. Some of the other stand out stories for me were

Thana Niveau's The Things That Aren't There, this is a wonderfully subtle and creepy story, with horrible things living in the shadows beneath the stairs. It's stories like this that keeps my electricity bill so high. One of these days I'll become brave enough to turn the hall light out when I go to bed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Volume 9 and the series continues to shine 7 Mar 2013
Charles Black has chosen 16 tales and gathered them into this relatively small book of less than 200 pages.
Wisely he starts out with a very dark tale The Anatomy Lesson where although you may guess what will happen the shock still remains. Grab your audience with a good opener and you have a chance and this volume does that. Not all the tales are of such a high standard but there's plenty horror and very black comedy here to keep most horror fans amused for many hours.

The Anatomy Lesson (John Llewellyn Probert) - a brilliant dark opener with a twisted sense of humour with an anatomist who goes one step further than most.
The Mall (Craig Herbertson) - a trip to a special store in the lower level of a shopping mall, would have been a great tale for one of those old Amicus movies.
Salvaje (Simon Bestwick) - a pregnant woman is dragged forcefully into a search for a secret stolen from the time of the Spanish Civil War
Pet (Gary Fry) - Edgar has to work away from his usual location and stays at his mother's house but his mother is a little strange.
Ashes to Ashes (David Williamson) - it started with a slight itch of the scalp.
The Apprentice (Anna Taborska) - a very dark tale of a baker who mistreats his staff and takes on a young dumb apprentice.
Life Expectancy (Sam Dawson) - whilst searching their newly renovated lodgings student Judy finds an old telephone in the attic. Not one of my favourites I have to admit, it just didn't grab me first time round, far better on a second reading.
What's Behind You? (Paul Finch) - this is far better, a reminiscent tale of a painter taking a group of students on a painting holiday to the Welsh seaside in 1960, an old apparently haunted house and a twist.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ninth Black Book: Editor Charles Black - defintely very horrible 12 Dec 2012
By C. G. Herbertson - Published on Amazon.com
Well, it's horror on horror here with no punches spared and several right on the jaw. The Ninth Black Book edited by Charles Black is not for the squeamish. It begins with John Llewellyn Probert's The Anatomy Lesson and I almost wish it didn't. The author is at his most sickeningly nasty when he deals with medical subjects and this story of a twisted anatomist meeting another `enetertainer' is only marred by the impossibility of identifying with the main protagonist when the denounement arrives - which is in itself a testament to just what a damned good horror writer John Llewellyn Probert is.

Craig Herbertson's The Mall takes a step into the commercialized Hell of Christmas while Gary Fry's Pet deals with a rather incestuous family and their...pet. Simon Bestwick's Salvaje is a well constructed story of the facisistic franquistas picking on the wrong girl. David Williamson, veteran of Pan Horror come out with a good tale of a man falling to bits in Ashes To Ashes and demonstrates that the later Pan Horror authors definitely still have the mojo. Anna Taborska in The Apprentice gives us an accomplished effort with a man who is clever at making bread and dishing out unwarranted violence. A short story I particularly liked is Sam Dawson's Life Expectancy, which has an old phone bringing a bleak message to a poor lady.

As one might expect Paul Finch's What's Behind You? is a definite highlight. What I like about Finch is that he often tries to stretch the boundaries of the form and, in this case, one is vaguely lulled into a pattern before a moment of real psychological horror creeps up on you, after which, the denouement shocks again with its unexpectedness.

Gary Power's Ben's Best Friend provides a warning leaflet about picking your friends carefully, a good story of external terror but for me Thana Niveau's The Things That Aren't There is a standout piece of brilliant childhood horror that really captures the essence of inner terror reminiscent of the kind of fear that Ray Bradbury so eloquently unveiled in his early work.

Tom Johnstone's Bit On The Side and John Forth's A Song, A Silence are enjoyable and well told but as with Marion Pitman's Indecent Behaviour seem to lack a little credibility - although in the latter, being haunted by a hand was rather neat. His Family by Kate Farrell provided a sickly disquieting image of hospital life but I felt the ending was almost unnecessary. Marc Lyth's - The Man Who Hated Waste is short and humorous.

Finally, the veteran, David A. Riley, provides us with Swan Song, another highlight of this edition. Riley's work has the bleakness of P.K. Dick and he is the master of the almost Ballardian antihero. No holds barred here in a grim unrelenting tale of three old nasties about to have a last evil fling - with unexpected and awful consequences.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Horror Anthology 15 April 2013
By Matthew Scott Baker - Published on Amazon.com
When first I saw the cover for THE NINTH BLACK BOOK OF HORROR, I knew immediately that I had to read it. As you can see from the picture, it screams `intrigue'. And let me tell you: the book delivers, too. It certainly lives up to the creepy cover. This horror anthology will make you cringe, cause you sleepless nights, and might just scare the life right out of you.

I have to start off by saying I enjoyed this anthology so much that I am going to try and review the previous copies in the series as well. There's an amazing amount of talent packed into this ninth book, so I can only imagine what volumes one through eight hold. The stories are all well written and draw you in immediately.

Every story in THE NINTH BLACK BOOK OF HORROR is good, which is quite a statement to make. Many collections entertain but then usually have a few stories that are only ho-hum. This is not the case here. Each tale in this anthology is crafted to scare, whether bluntly or subtly, and the result is a horrific group of stories filled with darkness and frights.

One of my favorite stories is "Indecent Behaviour" by Marion Pitman. In this tale, two men beat up a gay gentleman, who eventually dies from his wounds. But their victim haunts them from the grave in a truly, uh, `unique' fashion. This is one of those stories that you'll read a couple of times through simply to derive the full satisfaction of what occurs.

Another favorite of mine is "Ashes to Ashes" by David Williamson. This story tells of a man who starts off with a persistent itch, but discovers it's something much more hideous. I loved the ending of this one so much that I woke my wife up to read it to her.

THE NINTH BLACK BOOK OF HORROR is a definite win for me and I think any horror-fiction fan will love it. The book is available now, so check it out for sure.
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