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Haunted Castles (Penguin Classic Horror) Hardcover – 3 Oct 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (3 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143124013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143124016
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.3 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 227,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The new Penguin Horror editions, selected by Guillermo del Toro, feature some of the best art-direction (by Paul Buckley) I've seen in a cover in quite some time." - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

"Each cover does a pretty spectacular job of evoking the mood of the title in bold, screenprint-style iconography." - Dan Solomon, Fast Company


Praise for Penguin Horror Classics:

"The new Penguin Horror editions, selected by Guillermo del Toro, feature some of the best art-direction (by Paul Buckley) I've seen in a cover in quite some time." - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

"Each cover does a pretty spectacular job of evoking the mood of the title in bold, screenprint-style iconography." - Dan Solomon, Fast Company

Praise for Penguin Horror Classics:
"The new Penguin Horror editions, selected by Guillermo del Toro, feature some of the best art-direction (by Paul Buckley) I've seen in a cover in quite some time." - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
"Each cover does a pretty spectacular job of evoking the mood of the title in bold, screenprint-style iconography." - Dan Solomon, Fast Company

"Russell links postpulp literature and the Grand Guignol tradition with the modern sensibilities of America in the 1960s. Within him resides a neo-paganistic streak that is passed from Algernon Blackwood and Sax Rohmer to him and other writers of unusual proclivities, such as Bernard J. Hurwood. A fascinating combination of the liberal and the heretic... Russell is the literary equivalent of the Italian filmmaker Mario Bava, a supersaturated neo-Gothiscist who shines above the premises of his material based on style, conviction, and artistic flair." - Guillermo del Toro, from the introduction
Praise for Penguin Horror Classics:
The new Penguin Horror editions, selected by Guillermo del Toro, feature some of the best art-direction (by Paul Buckley) I've seen in a cover in quite some time. Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
"Each cover does a pretty spectacular job of evoking the mood of the title in bold, screenprint-style iconography." Dan Solomon, Fast Company"

About the Author

RAY RUSSELL was born in 1924 in Chicago, Illinois, and served in the United States Air Force during World War II in the South Pacific. After the war, he attended the Chicago Conservatory of Music and eventually joined the editorial staff at Playboy, where he published such writers as Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Matheson, Jack Finney, Robert Bloch, and Charles Beaumont. His best-known work, 'Sardonicus', was called by Stephen King 'perhaps the finest example of the modern Gothic ever written'. He died in Los Angeles in 1999.

GUILLERMO DEL TORO is a Mexican director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and designer, most famous for his Academy Award-winning film, Pan's Labyrinth, and the Hellboy film franchise. He has received the Nebula, Hugo, and Bram Stoker awards and is an avid collector and student of arcane memorabilia and weird fiction.


Customer Reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Haunted Castles is "The Complete Gothic Stories" of Ray Russell. Published by Penquin as one of a series, edited by Guillermo del Toro, and a modern edition of the original USA publication from 1985.

Contents; Sardonicus, Sagittarius, Sanguinarius, Comet Wine, The Runaway Lovers, The Vendetta, The Cage.

Plus; Book and Series Description, About the Author, Title, Copyright, Dedication, Epigraph, Haunted Castles Dark Mirrors; On the Penquin Horror Series by Guillermo Del Toro.

Ray Russell was born in the early 1920s. His novels are now mostly out of print, keep your eyes open for stray copies, I was surprised and delighted to find this short story collection.

It's probably worth mentioning much of Russell's work heralds from the 1960s - 1970s. It has that vibe and you need to approach his stories without prejudice. What you'll find is an odd blend of the mysterious and grotesque wrapped in a thick blanket of modern Gothic; castles, deformity, torture chambers, beautiful women and insanity feature large.

Scary?. Not for any fan of contemporary horror but; Ray Russell regularly crossed the boundaries between what was or wasn't acceptable. He mixed it up. His style of Modern Gothic/Classic Horror/Playboy was 'horror for the masses' and influenced some of the most popular of our current crop of horror writers.

I can't recommend highly enough. A must for fans of real horror writing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had been looking for Ray Russell's short stories ever since I read 'The Cage' in an old anthology when I was little. The gothic story got under my skin and the image of the ending never left me. It is an excellent short story: perfectly formed, gothic atmosphere, great ending. Re-reading it after a decade or so, it lived up to the memory. I am really looking forward to reading Russell's other gothic horror stories in the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern master of the Gothic Horror Story at his best. 17 April 1999
By Len Helfgott (lhelfgott@carroll.com)_ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
No one in the latter half of this century has mastered the Gothic Horror form better than Ray Russell. This collection of his best is headed by his masterpiece novella "Sardonicus" which no less a writer than Stephen King calls the greatest modern gothic horror story ever written. Step back a century or more (or into the future!) and enjoy the modern master of this form at his best.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunted, Indeed 8 May 2014
By Orrin Grey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was disappointed to learn that the recent series of Penguin Horror hardcovers all had the exact same introduction by Guillermo del Toro, which not only seems like a bit of a cheat but also seems like a poor idea in encouraging people to buy the whole set. Luckily, the only one I didn't already have in some form or another was this Ray Russell volume, which I picked up, and which I loved.

I was already familiar with Russell as a screenwriter--and even think I had read one or two of these stories before, though I had never put the two together--but this book was right up my alley. If you know Russell's filmography, it's not very surprising what kinds of stories are here. Great Gothic stories that would have been right at home getting filmed by Roger Corman or William Castle (in fact, one of them was) in brilliant Technicolor (that it wasn't), complete with the sorts of lurid but off-camera sexiness that you can expect from those sorts of flicks.

Predictably, this was right up my alley. The meat of this collection are the three novellas or novelettes in Russell's "S trilogy": "Sardonicus," "Sagittarius," and "Sanguinarius." Of the three, "Sardonicus" is the most famous, having been filmed by William Castle (with a screenplay by Russell) as Mr. Sardonicus, but, like del Toro, my favorite of the trio was "Sagittarius," which begins as a club story and features the Grand Guignol in a major role, so you know I'm right there.

My favorite tale in the whole book, though, was the first of the shorter pieces, "Comet Wine," which had a great title (and a connection to "Sardonicus") and which felt very much like the kinds of stories I am always trying to tell in my own work.

The Penguin edition is a nice hardcover, and while I'm not the biggest fan of the cover choice, I do love the coloring. I've said before that more horror stuff needs to be bright pink, and it works beautifully here. Plus, if you hold the book up to the bottom part of your face, it makes a mask, so that's something.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 3 Jun. 2014
By Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These stories are fantastic. I am so glad that some of Russell's phenomenal stories are finally compiled together. Thank you Guillermo Del Torro!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who knew? 10 Jun. 2014
By Jim Newbury - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had never heard of Ray Russell, and he is amazing. Great stories, well crafted. Thank you Guillermo del Toro!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who loved Russell's Sardonicus 4 Nov. 2014
By REB1066 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those who loved Russell's Sardonicus, there doesn't need to be any more reason to purchase this collection, but in addition to the inclusion of most of Russell's best known horror work there is packaging. The book has all pages edged in black with flat black frontispiece and end page...Clever attractive and moody
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