- Hardcover: 174 pages
- Publisher: Cemetery Dance Pubns (15 Dec. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1587674378
- ISBN-13: 978-1587674372
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 601,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Turn Down the Lights Hardcover – 15 Dec 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Summer Thunder" by Stephen King: I bought the book because I'm a huge King fan, so I was predisposed to think this was the best story in the book. And yet, I still think it's the best story in the book! Dark, dark stuff; one of the darkest short stories King has ever written, which is saying something.
"Incarnadine" by Norman Partridge: This was the one I disliked. But even it has some strong imagery.
"The Western Dead" by Jack Ketchum: A zombie Western? Yep. Pretty good one, too.
"An Instant Eternity" by Brian James Freeman: I wanted a bit more out of this one, but it was still pretty good; a reporter in a war-torn country tries to help a little girl.
"In the Room" by Bentley Little: No idea what is going in this story, but dang, is it creepy. You will never think of the phrase "in the room" the same way again.
"Flying Solo" by Ed Gorman: A darkly comic vigilante tale crossed with "Grumpy Old Men." Pretty great.
"The Outhouse" by Ronald Kelly: If you ever had the urge to go tipping outhouses on Halloween, this story will cure that urge.
"Lookie-Loo" by Steve Rasnic Tem: Bird-men of Tennessee. What more do you need to know?
"Dollie" by Clive Barker: I have not read anything by Barker in a couple of decades, which I regret. This is a short, simple story, but one that is nevertheless sort of epic in scope, and it makes me realize that not reading more Barker has defiitely been a mistake. I could say much the same about...
"The Collected Stories of Freddie Prothero; Introduction by Torless Magnussen, Ph.D." by Peter Straub: One of the strangest stories I have ever read. You'll either love it or hate it. I loved it.
Though it is a relatively small book (175 pages), this volume nevertheless bursts at the seams with ten incredible stories by some of the top names in horror. While every one of these short pieces are fantastic in their own right, here are a few that I found to be exceptionally noteworthy.
“Summer Thunder” by Stephen King is a post-apocalyptic tale detailing the final days of what could very well be the last two men on earth...
“The Western Dead” by Jack Ketchum. As one might discern from the title, this story is a zombie tale in which the undead wander the unpaved roads of the old west...
“An Instant Eternity” by Brian James Freeman is probably the only story in this anthology that I wouldn’t outright call a “horror” story. This piece is a taut, brilliantly written thriller in which a freelance photographer stationed in the middle east attempts to save the life of a little girl that should have watched her step...
“Flying Solo” by Ed Gorman is probably my personal favorite of the bunch. Two terminally ill men that could not be more different from each other (think The Odd Couple) nevertheless develop a close friendship, spending their last days on earth righting wrongs for the nurses that treat them...
In addition to these are beautifully crafted stories by Norman Partridge, Bentley Little, Ronald Kelly, Steve Rasnic Tem, Clive Barker and Peter Straub, along with an informative introduction by editor and Cemetery Dance founder Richard Chizmar on the birth of Cemetery Dance Publications and an afterward by Thomas F. Monteleone. Turn Down the Lights is a must-have for horror aficionodos everywhere.
Author of "Where Dying Flowers Lie"
Copyright © 2014 by Randy Eberle
4.5/5 stars for this for me. Would have been 5/5 if not for the one story I didn't like.
Unfortunately, I have to say I was a tad bit disappointed. I expected to be scared, or at least creeped out, but I wasn’t. Most of the stories didn’t really even make me bat an eye with the exception of “Dollie,” because of reasons (read the story to find out what she does with the doll).
There wasn’t anything horrible. It wasn’t like anything was badly written, although a giant WTF??? to Straub’s story because seriously, WTF???. Apparently it’s a love it or hate it kind of story, but I’m over on the “I have no idea what’s going on in the story” side of the readers because I had no idea what happened. Maybe it was the language, maybe it was the fact that I WAS A VERY CONFUSED READER, but…yeah. not my favorite story at all.
I thought King’s story was excellent, although a trite cliche. World wide death via incurable pathogen/virus/whatever has been done to death, but King is the king of horror for a reason. “Lookie-Loo” and “In The Room” were probably my favorites, bordering the fine line between reality and absolute absurdity that I love to see in my horror. “The Outhouse” had potential, but I didn’t think it reached it. I found it to be boring more than anything else. And the rest just…I don’t know. It’s that weird middle ground where you don’t hate the story but you don’t love it. I was “meh” about them.
I’m giving this collection a 3/5 stars. I think the gems are worth reading and bring this collection up a notch or two. The rest you could probably skip.
While the book was shorter than I had expected, the ten shorts inside are easy to plow through in one setting which isn't hard to expect considering the lineup: Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Peter Straub, Norman Partridge, Bentley Little, Ronald Kelly, Clive Barker, Steve Rasmic Tem, Ed Gorman, and Brian James Freeman.
There is no specific theme that these authors had to adhere to, just a common celebration of horror. Some may not have the gore, while some are dripping with it from the beginning. A Stephen King end of days story is always pleasing, no matter the length, Peter Straub seeming to try his hand at his version of the classic Flowers For Algernon, and a western themed short by Jack Ketchum are just the tip of the iceberg in this fun collection that tries its best to put something for everyone in between its covers.
With cover artwork by Alan M. Clark, this book is not only a celebration of 25 years of Cemetery Dance, but this is a celebration of horror.