Customer Reviews


8 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great and good stories.
Short story collections are always worth a look at. Solaris has put together a varied team of writers to contribute a short story each all loosely based around `a haunted house' the obvious that happens here is that some step up to the task better than others, Christopher Fowler writes a stand out piece in this collection called `An Injustice' which takes on the tale of...
Published on 2 Feb. 2012 by Gavlar

versus
3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I'd hoped.
Readers by now will know that I'm a huge fan of horror books so when this one landed it pretty much was one that, for me, was worth abandoning what I was currently reading in favour of having my favourite genre to sink my teeth into. Whilst this book had a few positive things going for it, I want to start the review with a negative and to be honest with you it's quite a...
Published on 25 Sept. 2011 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great and good stories., 2 Feb. 2012
By 
Gavlar (south wales U.K.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories (Paperback)
Short story collections are always worth a look at. Solaris has put together a varied team of writers to contribute a short story each all loosely based around `a haunted house' the obvious that happens here is that some step up to the task better than others, Christopher Fowler writes a stand out piece in this collection called `An Injustice' which takes on the tale of kids out to have fun and things just don't go according to plan, this does seem to have a bit of a current affairs influence behind it. Inside/Out by Nicholas Royle turned out to be a bit of a let down considering his novel `Regicide' which was also released through Solaris was by far one of the creepiest books I have picked up in a long time, similarly Sarah Pinborough's `The Room Upstairs' and Garry Kilworth's `Moretta' were not quite up to scratch.
`The Windmill' by Rebecca Levene was probably a favourite for me after reading it through a couple of times, Levene looks at prison life for somebody who thinks they rally shouldn't be there. Weston Osche Takes a bit of a different spin in `Driving the Milky Way' with the tale unfolding around an R.V. in a desert making for a very memorable read. . Jonathan Green and Adam Nevill also put across stellar pieces of work.
I could happily go into detail about each and every story included here in detail but then the review would end up as long as the book. All in all, House of Fear is a very worthwhile project edited very well by Jonathan Oliver. As always with short story collections the real beauty is being able to pick it up whenever there is a spare half hour and blast through a quick satisfying read. 90% of what is included is brilliant and the other 10% is more than acceptable anyway.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best original horror collection in years, 1 Oct. 2011
This review is from: House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories (Paperback)
House of Fear collects almost twenty original short stories from some of the top names in horror (including a few that I, embarrassingly, had never read before!). All ostensibly united by the theme of "haunted houses", this isn't a collection of creaky Victorian floorboards - rather, the authors take a far-ranging and creative approach.

Robert Shearman's "The Dark Space in the House in the House in the Garden at the Centre of the World" is a grim little retelling of the Genesis myth, as set in modern suburbia. Mr. Shearman is a cult hero for his weird and terrifying short fiction and this is an excellent start.

Lisa Tuttle ("Objects in Dreams may be Closer than they Appear") and Stephen Volk ("Pied-a-terre") both look into what it is that makes a house special - not the structure, but what it means to a family or couple. Both stories having their hauntings, but they're more likely to elicit a forlorn sniffle than a shriek. They're good horror, but they make you think.

For more overtly horrifying tales, Jonathan Green ("The Doll's House), Adam Nevill ("Florrie") and Weston Ochse ("Driving the Milky Way") will all make you lose sleep. Mr. Green, known more for his swashbuckling fantasy series, unveils an unexpected dark side in this tale of a crumbling family and the difficulties of raising a child. Adam Nevill's tale has a similar theme, but in the case of "Florrie", it isn't about children, it is about the elderly. Mr. Nevill makes a grandmotherly parlour into a truly horrible place. Mr. Ochse's haunted house is a caravan in the middle of the desert - a playhouse for children over the summer and the gateway to a terrible obssession.

There are some traditional tales, but even those have unique spins. Rebecca Levene's "The Windmill" is the closest to the Victorian ghost story/morality play model, but it takes place in Brixton Prison and follows a truly damned soul as his comeuppance catches up with him. Joe Lansdale's "What Happened to Me" reminds me a bit of Arthur Machen's "The Willows" with its portrayal of the sinister atmosphere of an isolated house and its surrounding orchard. Mr. Lansdale is a little more overt than Mr. Machen, so some of his trademark action sneaks in.

Like any anthology, there are some slow points. Sarah Pinborough's "The Room Upstairs" was a little slow - relying on an emotional connection between two characters that only grudgingly grew into fruition. Garry Kilworth's "Moretta" was, if anything, the reverse - a rapid plunge through a very traditional sort of haunted house that had a twist ending with no foreshadowing and much explanation, a pet peeve with this sort of literature. Finally, Nicholas Royle's "Inside/Out" was simply 'not my thing'. Given more space to play (e.g. his new novel, Regicide), I enjoy his work more. But the complexity introduced in a few short pages made it hard for me to enjoy.

Overall, this is an incredibly strong collection - I remember reading the first half dozen stories and then consciously realizing that I'd liked each and every one of them. That's such a rare feeling with an anthology or collection of any sort. But editor Jonathan Oliver has put together over 400 pages of really good stuff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Set of Spooky Stories, 10 Oct. 2011
By 
Bâki (London - UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories (Paperback)
It is just under a year since I reviewed Jonathan Oliver's first collection of themed original horror shorts, The End of the Line. That was, I thought, an excellent collection overall, and therfore I've been excited for this second anthology ever since it was first announced. House of Fear has the classic haunted house as its theme. This is heavily traversed ground and so the challenge here, far more than with the previous collection, is to find original and exciting ways to tell these stories. I'm pleased to say the contributors to the House of Fear have succeeded admirably in this regard.

First up is Objects In Dreams May Be Closer Than They Appear by veteran supernatural scribe, Lisa Tuttle. This is a great opener to the collection, and one which I feel perfectly sets the tone for the anthology as a whole. Focusing as it does on the search for a rural idyll and a house that may not even exist. It is well told and shows from the outset that this is a collection happy to play creatively with its theme.

Up next is one of the standout stories in the collection for me, Pied-Á-Terre by Stephen Volk. Volk is one of a number of contributors to House of Fear who also contributed to The End of the Line. This tale is poignant and understated, taking as its basis a real event and using its haunting as a warning to spur the protagonist into making a key decision about her life. It is expertly done. This is followed by another great story, In the Absence Of Murdoch, by Terry Lamsley. Lamsley is one of a handful of writers in this anthology whose work is previously unknown to me, but this quirky, darkly mischievous and very enjoyable tale has placed him firmly on my radar.

Adam Nevill is a writer whose work I am familiar with, and who, in my opinion, is very skilled at crafting tales of unease. His contribution is one of several which touch upon the subject of old age. Florrie is a sad tale that is haunting in ways not limited to the supernatural. Christopher Fowler is another whose contribution has a theme related to the elderly, but in this instance, An Injustice didn't work for me as well as the others. I wasn't entirely convinced by the actions of a key character. Also, a crucial aspect of this story brought to mind a tabloid rant, in which an elderly white woman in a multi-racial inner city, the mother of a serving soldier in Afghanistan, is the victim of Asian Hoodlums. Tim Lebbon's tale, Trick Of The Light, completes the trinity of tales that have ageing as part of their theme. Like Nevill's earlier, it is melancholic and infused with sadness and regret. It is a potent evocation of the haunting nature of memory.

Sarah Pinborough is another writer whose work is well known to me. Her story, The Room Upstairs, is actually a kind of slow burn love story. I really liked it, and it stood out for me as having a character quite different from all the other contributions without trying hard to be different. That by Robert Shearman, conversely, did feel like it was trying hard to be different. The Dark Space In The House In The House In The Garden At The Centre Of The World although clever in some aspects, left me with mixed feelings overall.

Characteristically surreal, Inside/Out by Nicholas Royle may not be as captivating as his story in the End of The Line, but is still memorable for its twisting unreality. It may also leave you scratching your head, wondering what the heck you just read. Driving The Milky Way by Weston Ochse is a spirited number in more than just the obvious ways. It is a striking tale which brings to mind strong images and creates a lasting impression. More conventional (but no less effective) tales are provided by Jonathan Green and Paul Meloy, both Villanova and the Doll's House are disturbing, and each builds to a powerful conclusion.

With so many excellent tales, choosing the best from among them is a difficult task. Aside from those already mentioned, Christopher Priest is a definite contender. Willow Weeds is a mesmerising tale of misdirection with a unique take on the concept of haunting, and it's completely brilliant. Another strong contender is the closing tale from Joe R. Lansdale, What Happened To Me wraps up the collection perfectly with its weird fiction undertones and elemental haunting.

The House of Fear is a great set of stories. An anthology that deserves to be in every horror fans collection. Editor, Jonathan Oliver is rapidly shaping up to be a key name in horror anthologies, soon able, if this standard continues, to take his place alongside the likes of Stephen Jones and Ellen Datlow. I haven't mentioned all of the stories featured, and of course, I preferred some more than others, but there really are no bad stories in House of Fear. This collection contains some of the best writers of horror and supernatural fiction at work today as well as some of the field's rising stars. I'm already impatient for the next of these themed anthologies. You should be too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars House Of Fear Review..., 15 Sept. 2012
By 
J. Everington (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: House of Fear (Kindle Edition)
House Of Fear from Solaris is billed as an anthology of 'haunted house' stories, but that's not quite true. For one thing there's a haunted windmill, a haunted camper-van, a haunted doll-house... And for another, if 'haunted' means merely inhabited by a ghost then not all these places are haunted (although some most definitely are). If, however, 'haunted' means infected fear, guilt, and secrets then yes, these stories most definitely tell of hauntings...

How do you judge whether an anthology is good or not? One can't expect to love all of the stories, after all. But by any objective criteria I can think of House Of Fear isn't a good anthology; it's a great one:

Is the 'strike rate' of brilliant stories to merely average ones amazingly, impossibly high? Check
Do the stories selected illuminate and contrast well with each other? Check
Does the anthology introduce you to a load of great new authors you've not read before? Check, check, check
Here were a few of my favourite stories; I plan to write about some of these in more detail in my Strange Stories feature at some point.

Objects in Dreams May be Closer Than They Appear - Lisa Tuttle. Okay, Lisa Tuttle is not a writer who is new to me, but this story was, and it might be the best thing by her I've ever read. It's a story of our dream house (and dream life) as a trap, and it's deeply unnerving. And it would be the winner of the best titled story in the anthology, if not for:

The Dark Space in The House in The House in The Garden at The Centre of The World - Robert Shearman. Manages to combine the haunted house theme with an off the wall creation myth, a satirical look at modern middle-class life, and humour that genuinely made me laugh (especially the bits about cancer). The kind of bravura story you feel like applauding after you finish it.

Florrie - Adam L.G. Nevill. I've not read anything by this author before (despite the fact he's always cropping up in my Amazon recommendations) and I've obviously been a fool not to. A brilliant re-imagination of the tired old ghostly possession story.

The Room Upstairs - Sarah Pinborough. Another author new to me, and another where I think I must have been missing out. I've talked a lot on this blog about ambiguity as it relates to ghosts, but in this story the reality of the haunting and its metaphorical aspects dovetail together so well it almost doesn't matter. The ending is inevitable (and brilliant) either way.

Inside/Out - Nicholas Royle. A truly bizarre tale of identical girls, Hitchcock references, dream-like logic, and a house with two doors (like Doctor Jekyll's). Excellent.

There are lots of other really strong stories in this book though, and none of them are anything less than worth a read. Heartily recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Scarey Read, 12 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories (Paperback)
This is a very good book indeed,If you like modern ghost stories,there are 19 stories in the book all from seasoned authors who know their craft well and it shows,and I hope there will be House of Fear 2 very soon,...............
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good..., 6 July 2012
This review is from: House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories (Paperback)
A very good collection of stories You will not regret this purchase. You will also not sleep well after reading it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Home is where the Horror is, 28 Feb. 2014
By 
I. R. Kerr (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories (Paperback)
The cover does state 19 Haunted House stories and although not all of the stories were what that led me to expect there are more than enough decent tales here to warrant a solid 4 stars.
There's a pretty good mixture from traditional ghosts to tales that really make you wonder where they are heading. Lisa Tuttle's story "Objects in dreams may be closer than they appear" is a great example of the latter and a good choice to open up this collection.
The following tale "Pied-a-Terre" is more of a haunting with a message then a series of decent tales in succession "In the absence of Murdock", "Florrie" "Driving the Milky Way" "The Windmill" and "Moretta" before it stalls a little with "Hortus Conclusus" then slams the brakes full on with Robert Shearman's "The Dark Space in the House in the House in the Garden at the Centre of the World" which was totally unexpected and brings a refreshing burst of humour with a retelling of the Biblical tale of creation and is one of my favourite tales in this volume .
There's one tale that doesn't actually involve any supernatural element but that would be telling but keep on reading and there's some other gems like "The Room Upstairs" which has a really spooky build-up, "Villanova" "Widow's Weeds" and "Trick of the Light" before closing with Joe R Lansdale's "What Happened to Me".
There's a few tales that didn't quite grab my attention but considering several of these authors were writing outside of their usual genres it is well worth getting if you are a horror or fantasy fan.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I'd hoped., 25 Sept. 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories (Paperback)
Readers by now will know that I'm a huge fan of horror books so when this one landed it pretty much was one that, for me, was worth abandoning what I was currently reading in favour of having my favourite genre to sink my teeth into. Whilst this book had a few positive things going for it, I want to start the review with a negative and to be honest with you it's quite a big one.

What's that? Well to be blunt it's that I feel that too many people think that they can write a good horror story and that its an area where anyone can tread. It's not. It's a genre that requires certain skills and for me, saying that any writer can jump in to create it is akin to saying that any cook can bake a superior cake. Some can, most can't and to prove my point I'd like to go straight to the Adam G Nevill story, for me it was the books best tale and demonstrated that it was hands down another level compared to the vast majority in here. That's not to say that there weren't some other decent tales here but against Florrie they showed a marked difference in giving the reader what they wanted almost as if some of the authors were half hearted in giving in to their darker side such as the Doll's House story by Jonathan Green where I felt that the ending would have been improved had the author gone for what I felt was a better more gruesome ending.

All in, it is a fair book and the story by Adam G Nevill merits buying this title by his fans for this alone but when an author is clearly well ahead of the game from others within the feature it might be time to narrow down your requests further still to those who write exclusively for the genre.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories
House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories by Jonathan Oliver (Paperback - 1 Oct. 2011)
£6.45
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews