Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Book of Horrors-Edited by Stephen Jones

A Book of Horrors

Edited by Stephen Jones

St. Martin’s Griffin, Sep 18 2012, $15.99

ISBN 9781250018526

This fabulous fourteen short story collection is a throwback to the days when the horror genre was more narrowly defined which Stephen Jones explains in his brief introduction. All the tales are well written with most being outstanding. In “The Little Green God of Agony” by Stephen King, the billionaire turns to a faith healer to relive him of his intense pain caused allegedly by a plane crash injury. Billy picks up the female hitchhiker who shows him the destruction of fire in "Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint" by Caitlín R. Kiernan. In Maine the idyllic life of Hugh and Angie ends when they drive into evil "Ghosts with Teeth" by Peter Crowther. In Angela Slatter’s "The Coffin-Maker's Daughter" Hepsibah the coffin artisan builds a box for a wealthy patron while flirting with the deceased’s daughter even as the ghost of the dead person taints him. Meth owns the small rural community as Gina and Dylan visit their late grandmother's house while thinking of their deceased cousin who many feel the Woodwalker abducted in "Roots and All" by Brian Hodge. The child plays his late mother's old piano when the ghosts of children warn him to beware of "The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer (by Karl Ajvide Lindqvist). With Ramsey Campbell, Dennis Etchison, Elizabeth Hand, Richard Christian Matheson, Reggie Oliver, Robert Shearman, Michael Marshall Smith and Lisa Tuttle also providing strong entries, A Book of Horrors is a great strong anthology.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: