Stephen Jones (Editor)
St. Martin's Griffin
September 18, 2012
In the anthology A Book of Horrors we are treated to a number of very good genre stories by some of the most talented writers in fiction today. While not every story is satisfyingly scary enough to send us under the covers or give us the cold shivers its refreshing to find that the genre is comprised of more than glowing vampires and six-pack wielding werewolves. On the contrary, the world of horror fiction still thrives beneath the weight of paranormal romance and while I firmly believe there is room for every sub-category of the genre it’s good to see that traditional horror stories are still being written and sold. Though not really a revival, since conventional horror never really died off, I do think it important that works of this nature, in the short form, find their moments in the limelight. I’ve said it many times before, horror has never been my favorite genre but, when done right, and theses stories are done right, they can be as entertaining as any form of fiction on the planet. In fact, most of my very favorite stories have some element of horror in them and that’s not a bad thing at all.
A Book of Horrors is recommended for fans of Stephen King, conventional or traditional horror, paranormal mystery, and spooks that go bump in the night.
Stephen King - "The Little Green God of Agony"
*Caitlin R. Kiernan - "Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint"
Peter Crowther - "Ghosts with Teeth"
*Angela Slatter - "The Coffin's-Maker's Daughter"
Brian Hodge - "Roots and All"
Dennis Etchison - "Tell Me I'll See You Again"
*John Ajvide Lindqvist - "The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer"
*Ramsey Campbell - "Getting it Wrong"
Robert Shearman -"Alice Through the Plastic Sheet"
Lisa Tuttle - "The Man in the Ditch"
Reggie Oliver - "The Child's Problem"
Michael Marshall Smith - "Sad, Dark Thing"
3 ½ stars out of 5
* The strongest stories in the collection.