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A Book of Horrors Paperback – 27 Sep 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books; paperback / softback edition (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857388118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857388117
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'A quality primer for initiates to the genre' Time Out. (Time Out)

'[An] outstanding collection ... Stephen Jones has put horror back on the bookshelves in fine style and makes sure it stays there' Black Abyss. (Black Abyss)

'outstanding anthology' Black Static. (Black Static)

'a splendid collection that showcases everything that's best about both the short story and the horror anthology' SFX. (SFX)

'Excellent' TLS. (TLS)

Book Description

A call to arms for the horror story: a collection of the very best in chiller fiction by some of the brightest stars in the field.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this years ago, and have only just got around to reading it. I see mixed responses among the other reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Depends what you mean by 'horror' I suppose; if you expect lots of gross and grue, 'sledge-hammer to crack a nut' material, this won't satisfy you. If you prefer intriguing, subtle, psychological, 'is it genuinely paranormal, or imagined, or a faulty mental construct?' tales, you will love this, as I did.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have to say I was bowled over by some of these stories and, yes, I'd willingly agree with other reviewers who point the way to "The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer" by John Ajvide Lindqvist as being the best of the bunch however; "Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint" by Caitlin R. Kiernan is possibly the most unique and original. I'm particulalry impressed that A Book of Horrors features several female writers, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Angela Slatter, Lisa Tuttle & Elizabeth Hand who are all new to me and bring a breath of fresh air to the horror genre. That old stalwart of everything twisted and surreal, of course I'm talking Mr. Stephen King, starts off the collection with his own short story "The Little Green God of Agony" and it's Stephen King at his best; a tried and tested formula, possession and exorcism, given his own unique twist with darkly, horrible, comic undertones. Some of the stories are long and some, "Tell Me I'll See You Again by Dennis Etchison" for instance, shorter and perfect for a quick read when you only have limited time. There's a contribution from each author as they explain where they found the inspiration for their indiviudal stories and an introduction by Stephen Jones. Obviously, I found a couple of the stories disappointing, that's always going to happen with a collection by such diverse authors, but I can honestly say that it's worth spening money on the download just for the King and Lindqvist contributions and, who knows, like me you might find yourself introduced to a new writer you'll want to read in the future.

Contents:-

Introduction:- Whatever Happened to Horror? Stephen Jones
The Little Green God of Agony - Stephen King
Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint - Caitlin R.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
About half these short stories were good, the other half not so much. Something for all horror lovers here. The two stories at he beginning were the best for me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stephen Jones is the editor of the long running horror anthology series "Best New Horror" published by Robinson and here he produces a book to rival, and possibly beat those books for Jo Fletcher publishers.

Jones opens the book with a short introduction entitled "Whatever Happened To Horror". It's an enjoyable 'rant' which I fully agree with and bodes well for the rest of the book.

Directly following on from the introduction is the master of horror Stephen King and from there the quality of the book rarely dips. Of course with a volume of this size (427 pages) and this many stories (14) there are likely to be one or two that don't quite hit the spot but generally each tale is worth reading and, as you would expect from authors such as Ramsey Campbell, Dennis Etchison, John Ajivde Lindqvist, Lisa Tuttle, Michael Marshall Smith, the quality of writing is very good indeed.

As the nights draw in and one's thoughts turn to October and inevitably Halloween you could do a lot worse than have this on your dressing table to read before finally turning in for the night. Be warned. I cannot suggest that sleep will come easily afterwards.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll admit that I'm not a lover of anthologies. I own several, including Robert Aickman's Cold Hand in Mine and Ramsey Campbell's Superhorror. I've had those some years and still haven't read all the stories in them. I always prefer to read a novel by a writer I like or have just discovered. A Book of Horrors is, I must say, a hefty slab in hardback and has a splendidly creepy cover, but I have been skirting around it for longer than I should. Not for the first time in my life, I've been a fool.

This collection of short stories, edited by Stephen James and published by Jo Fletcher Books assembles original works from no fewer than fourteen accomplished horrorists. The list includes Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Crowther, Robert Shearman and John Ajvide Linqvist.

Now, it's no secret chez moi that I'm a Lindqvist fan. I have loved everything he's ever written. So it was his contribution that I went to first. The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer is a splendidly chilling tale, and one of which Lindqvist himself says "It might be the one story I have written that has scared me the most......I wrote on in a state of mild but constant horror...It was a relief when it was over."

For me, quite unashamedly, A Book of Horrors is well worth having just for the Lindqvist contribution, but I'd be doubly foolish to overlook all of the others that sit so well with it between these superbly crafted covers. To have so many of the best horror writers of our day to dip in and out of makes for a must-have book.

The big surprise is the introduction from editor Stephen Jones, to my mind, a work of genius in itself. To quote from it:

"What the Hell happened to the horror genre?...
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