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$23.10 list($35.00)
1. H.p Lovecraft Tales (Library of
$7.19 list($7.99)
2. Bite
$8.06 $2.01 list($8.95)
3. The World's Shortest Stories:
4. The Book Of All Flesh
$11.55 list($16.99)
5. Essential Tomb Of Dracula Volume
$10.50 $8.90 list($14.00)
6. The Call of Cthulhu and Other
$10.85 $10.80 list($15.95)
7. Sick: An Anthology of Illness
$16.10 list($16.95)
8. The Book of More Flesh
$39.95 $26.20
9. Tales of Terror!The EC Companion
$10.36 $8.42 list($12.95)
10. Best Ghost Stories of J.S. Lefanu
$7.16 $4.33 list($7.95)
11. Spooky Campfire Stories (Spooky)
$14.93 $14.47 list($21.95)
12. Dark Water
$12.21 $11.84 list($17.95)
13. The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost
$18.87 $14.95 list($29.95)
14. The Dark Descent (Dark Descent)
$16.29 $8.48 list($23.95)
15. Shadows Over Baker Street
$16.00 $13.10
16. Demons of the Night : Tales of
$10.36 $8.56 list($12.95)
17. The Haunted Looking Glass: Ghost
$10.17 $9.79 list($14.95)
18. Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos
$18.66 $10.95 list($21.95)
19. Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected
$9.00 $8.02 list($12.00)
20. Excitable Boys

1. H.p Lovecraft Tales (Library of America)
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931082723
Catlog: Book (2005-02-03)
Publisher: Library of America
Sales Rank: 485856
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2. Bite
by Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson, Angela Knight, Vickie Taylor
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 051513970X
Catlog: Book (2005-01-31)
Publisher: Jove Books
Sales Rank: 2316
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Book Description

A never-before-published Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter story from New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton. A brand-new story from New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris, featuring the much-loved Sookie Stackhouse.

A hot new novella from USA Today bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson, set in the world of Undead and Unwed's Betsy Taylor, the newly, and reluctantly,crowned Vampire Queen.

Introduced in the collection Hot Blooded, and on the heels of the wildly successful Master of the Night, Angela Knight has created a fascinating universe of Arthurian Lore and erotic vampirsim. And a sexy original story from Vickie Taylor, a new addition to Berkley Sensation. ... Read more

3. The World's Shortest Stories: Murder, Love, Horror, Suspense, All This and Much More in the Most Amazing Short Stories Ever Written, Each One Just 55 Words Long
by Steve Moss
list price: $8.95
our price: $8.06
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Asin: 0762403004
Catlog: Book (1998-02-01)
Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
Sales Rank: 41075
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Murder.Love.Horror.Suspense.All this and much more in the most amazing short stories ever written--each one just 55 words long!Imagine O. Henry's tales if he'd only had the back of a business card to write upon... ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and haunting!
I read this book last summer and some of the stories are still lurking in my head... quite an amazing feat for tales only 55 words long! Each story (with few exceptions) made me feel as if I had just read a novel. This book is essential to any story-lover's library.

2-0 out of 5 stars The best short stories and a few that don't deserve the hype
The reason I give this book a 2 out of 5 stars is because only 2 out of 5 of the stories are good at all.(ratio) Some of the short stories are great.....but a lot of them are terrible. It's hard to judge a story in 50 words but that is no excuse for understanding the difficulty and excepting it as a good story.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT!!! It shows less is MORE!!!
This book contains incredibly complete and haunting 55-word stories (this review is 55 words). Horror. Romance. Mystery. Crime. Many have trick endings. You'll read this wonderful book repeatedly. I've always wanted to write a 55-word story about a hideous monster who devours people who write too many reviews for Amazon but no one would believe

5-0 out of 5 stars Things that make you go, "Hmmmm"
I am amazed at how truly entertaining these stories can be in such a short space of time. The tricky endings on some came as such a surprise, that I found myself rewinding the tape to listen to them again. A clever writing style that shows that less is often more. Funny, creepy, romantic. Very well done.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good!
This book was so inspirational that I plan to submit some 55 Fiction for the next version. ... Read more

4. The Book Of All Flesh
by James Lowder
list price: $15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1891153870
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Eden Studios
Sales Rank: 338559
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The dead have risen. God help the living. It's too late to run. The zombies are everywhere. They stalk through urban jungles and across the carefully manicured lawns of suburbia. They shudder to unlife on the bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War and in the deepest tunnels of interstellar mining colonies. They lurk on your street, in you company boardroom, in your own bedroom. And they hunger. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars BEST ZOMBIE ANTHOLOGY EVER!!
This anthology has got to be the best one around. Namely, because there aren't that many zombie books in print (why is this?), but also because the stories are realistic and very creepy. Aside from a few stories that borderline on being a bit too cerebral (remember, zombies are of a survival/apocalyptic based genre), the book has an overall scary thrill to it. Aside from one story that might be considered blasphemous, the book is great. Very, very spooky, and definate scary read.

3-0 out of 5 stars what the world needs now is another zombie anthology.
hey, lets give em' a hand.
not everyone is trying this.
the book has some entriguing moments.
one complaint i have is that all the good stuff is in the first half.
lets get it straight-zombie stuff isn't rocket science.
for those of you out there that beleive it is......i'
for real though, most of the authors got it right in this edition.
i would say that 60% of the stories were good, 10% being outstanding.
sorry to say i wouldn't feed the other 30% to my brain damaged 3 legged dog.(although, next to rotten meatballs that would be his favorite dish-SH!TTY ZOMBIE STORIES!)
so buy it already, we won't get another 10% until you do......

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best
I've read a number of zombie books, but most of them were essentially a "Night of the Living Dead" knock-off. Not so with "The Book of All Flesh". The stories contained therein are both well-written and innovative. They're not just more "Oh-no-we're-trapped-with-a-horde-of-flesh-eating-zombies-outside" schlock. For gamers, it's also a great companion to a great game.

4-0 out of 5 stars Actually, it is as good as it sounds.
You can't trust anyone's opinion on editing if they spell it with two t's. The Book of All Flesh is surprisingly good for an anthology of zombie stories. It could have easily been nothing more than a George Romero rip-off, but the stories are much more than that. They range from the humorous "Middles" to the disturbing "Susan" to the creepy "Murdermouth". There's a science fiction zombie story set on the moon, a pulp detective zombie story set in Hollywood in the thirties, and even a superhero story with zombies in it. Despite the occasional odd juxtaposition of genres, all the stories work. There are certainly some stories that I liked more than others, but there weren't any that I found disappointing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Book of All Flesh, Two Rotted Thumbs Up
I found the Book of All Flesh to be a wonderfully fresh and macabre take on the living dead genre, made famous by George A Romero. The book features some heavy hitting talent, including Robert E Vardeman, co-author of the War of Powers series of novels. The stories are tight and well though out, making the book a stimulating read from the first story to the last. Two of the stories, Prometheus Unwound and Dawn of the Living Impaired have been nominated for Origins awards.
Although most of the stories lend themselves to the "shoot them in the head" theory, made popular by many Living Dead movies, the settings and styles of the stories are all excellently vivid in their detail and dark in their subject matter. There were a few typographical errors, but not enough to detract from the total enjoyment of the book.
I give the Book of All Flesh high marks for its imaginative styling and its wonderful examples of this lesser known and under appreciated genre. I highly recommend the anthology to anyone who loves the genre, enjoys horror and the macabre in general, and likes the feeling that a good horror story gives them when they're up reading late at night; and with this book, you will be. ... Read more

5. Essential Tomb Of Dracula Volume 4 Tpb
by Marv Wolfman, Steve Gerber, Doug Moench, Gerry Conway, Gene Colan
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
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Asin: 0785117091
Catlog: Book (2005-04-13)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Sales Rank: 74111
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Book Description

The Essential Tomb of Dracula series continues featuring tales of Dracula through the ages - from when he first became a vampire and eventually Lord of the Undead to his resurfacing in modern times. Collects stories from Tomb of Dracula Magazine #2, 4-6, Dracula Lives! #1-13. ... Read more

6. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
by S. T. Joshi, Howard Phillips Lovecraft
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0141182342
Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 20783
Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An unparalleled selection of fiction from H. P. Lovecraft, master of the American horror tale

Long after his death, H. P. Lovecraft continuesto enthrall readers with his gripping tales of madness and cosmic terror, and his effect on modern horror fiction continues to be felt-- Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker have acknowledged his influence. His unique contribution to American literature was a melding of Poe's traditional supernaturalism with the emerging genre of science fiction. Originally appearing in pulp magazines like Weird Tales in the 1920s and 1930s, Lovecraft's work is now being regarded as the most important supernatural fiction of the twentieth century.

Lovecraft's biographer and preeminent interpreter, S. T. Joshi, has prepared this volume of eighteen stories--from the early classics like "The Outsider" and "Rats in the Wall" to his mature masterworks, "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." The first paperback to include the definitive corrected texts, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories reveals the development of Lovecraft's mesmerizing narrative style, and establishes him as a canonical--and visionary--American writer.

"I think it is beyond doubt that H. P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." --Stephen King
... Read more

Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars Created His Own World
I found it interesting that most of the stories by H.P. Lovecraft (at least in this volume) seem to take place within the same strange world. It's almost like some reference each other without having the same characters reappear. Many of the creatures in his stories are either aliens from another world or demons.

I originally purchased this volume because of "The Colour Out of Space" which was used for the movie Die, Monster, Die starring Boris Karloff and Nick Adams. You also have "Herbert West - Reanimator" which was used for Re-Animator. Although I haven't seen it, judging from the DVD case, the movie Dagon is actually based on "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and not "Dagon." ("Innsmouth" has the Order of Dagon in it.)

Although there is a quote from Stephen King on the back, I didn't find these stories overly scary. They were enjoyable and interesting. "The Picture in the House" and "The Hound" are good horror stories.

His writing style took a little getting used to. Using words like "shew" struck me as a bit odd at first.

These are the only stories of his I've read, but I do feel he is a great writer.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nightmare Fuel
This was my first exposure to the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, and I enjoyed it so much that half way through, I went out and bought another collection, THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES. Lovecraft's prose is creepy in a way that I really hadn't experienced from other so-called horror writers. A lot of the stories follow the same basic structure, but that didn't distract from the fact that these were some of the wildest and most chilling stories that I have read in a very long time.

I had heard a lot about the types of stories that Lovecraft wrote, but I wasn't really prepared for how creepy they would be. A lot of them really shouldn't be as shocking as they are, but somehow Lovecraft gets away with it. He likes to use a lot of frivolous language and has the tendency to take short cuts by saying that the various creatures and entities are too frightening, too complicated, or too alien for the human mind to comprehend. While I'm usually the first person to roll my eyes at this sort of literary cop-out, I was completely enthralled by its use here. Lovecraft's command of language is precise and effective. The monsters and Gods that he describes truly seem fearsome and unnerving.

The actual plots of these stories seem to be vaguely repetitive. Since this is the first collection of Lovecraft that I have read, I'm not sure if these is indicative of his work in general, but it is certainly apparent that many of these stories follow the same basic structure. I didn't really find this to be a problem though. There are enough major differences in the stories that they don't all seem to blend together, despite their commonalities. This was helped, no doubt, by the fact that I only read a few stories at a time, managing to absorb the book slowly over a longer period of time.

This edition is semi-annotated, though I'd advice against reading them if you've never encountered these stories before. They contain a lot of background detail, but also contain numerous spoilers. I found myself reading a story and then going back and safely reading the notes and references. Each story is also given a short write-up that gives a non-fictional account of the background. Interested readers can see what the circumstances were behind each of the writings, as well as their publishing history.

To be honest, it's difficult to review a short story collection. After all, there are eighteen different tales in this book, and the reviewer simply doesn't have enough space to discuss each one individually. The best that I can do is to state that while there were one or two stories that failed to grab, the vast majority of these were spellbinding and genuinely unsettling.

4-0 out of 5 stars A splendid introduction to Lovecraft.
This was the first Lovecraft book I ever read. In keeping with Penguin's tradition of scholarly presentations of literary masterpieces, this volume begins with an essay by Joshi on Lovecraft's life and works. The stories themselves are fairly heavily laden with endnotes, which, while initially distracting, eventually lead the reader to discover richness in Lovecraft's work which would not be evident at first blush. Prominent among the annotations are explanations of geographical places and names which appear in the stories, together with allusions to works by other authors (most prominently Poe and Bierce) which echo Lovecraft's.

This book is highly recommended for anyone wishing a good first glimpse of the masterful mind of Lovecraft.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Horror Fiction
H.P. Lovecraft is without a doubt one of the best fiction writers of the 20th century. It's no surprise his writing techniques and stories still enthrall people today. The world he creates in his short stories and novels have often been revisted by various modern writers, but nobody has been able to top Lovecraft when it comes to cosmic terrors.

The most famous story in this volume is, of course, "Call of Cthulhu", in which one of the central entities of Lovecraft's stories appears: Great Cthulhu. As with many of Lovecraft's tales, the story focuses on the main character gaining forbidden and unblieveable knowledge of prehuman intellegences that once roamed the Earth. Some came from other dimensions, others from the stars. These "Old Ones" are chronicled in forbidden texts handed down by hideous cults who worship them like gods. The world in which Lovecraft places human beings is not a pleasant one. He basically paints a rather frightening picture; human beings live on a planet surrounded by gulfs of unknown monstrosities and extraterrestrial forces.

By contrast, some of Lovecraft's other tales, such as "Pickman's Model" and "The Hound" have a more basic, creeping fear feel rather than cosmic terror. "The Whisperer in Darkness" and "At the Mountains of Madness" combine both themes, resulting in stories that both intrege and frighten readers. Lovecraft's ability to decribe the emotions of his characters and the world in which they live adds the final gruesome touch. Like Poe, Lovecraft has a nack for portraying the emotions of his characters, and in these stories fear is the emotion that receives the most attention. Another aspect of these stories that I really enjoy is Lovecraft's ability to weave myths into his tales. He ficticously explains everything from Robert Blake's death, the Tuscan Event, witchcraft and ancient mythology as man's racial knowledge of various weird entities they could not understand.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Call of Cthulhu during World War II
I first read the "Call of Cthulhu" during WW2. The Services distributed "pass-it-along" editions of many classic novels and the "Call" was one. It was so exciting, I kept my copy and took it home. Dog-eared after so may readers, my kids soon found and read it 15 years latter. Now, this yellowed and torn copy has been replaced by this new Penquin edition. Lovecraft's style is odd and sometimes overdone. He never wrote about romance and very little about science fiction. Modern Cthulhu mythos novels, like "The Riddle of Cthulhu", correct all these faults and are cool next books, after the "Call"! ... Read more

7. Sick: An Anthology of Illness
by Andi Olsen, John Edward Lawson
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0974503118
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press
Sales Rank: 79046
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The world of publishing has just received its bill of health, and the prognosis isn't pretty. Literary marauders are rising up from the hazardous material bins labeled Horror, Surrealism, and Science Fiction. These malcontents have only one intent: spreading the disease. Here the pen is not merely mightier than the sword; it is a plague heralding the apocalypse for convention, writing a dirge for complacency.

SICK is an anthology compiled by editor John Edward Lawson. Themes explored are physical, mental, and societal in nature. These stories are horrendous, hilarious, and stupefying dissections of creative minds on the scalpel's edge. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Keeps you on your toes
Now I ask you, with so much going on in the world today and horrors revealed daily on the evening news, is it still possible to shock the apathetic and indifferent? After reading this book all I can sum up is, "Hell Yes"! In fact, let me back up that statement with the admission that I was physically ill not once but twice during my visit into this world. This is not your typical run-of-the-mill scare here kiddies. In an arena created with mayhem and anarchy, Lawson makes sure to not only make you tremble with fear; he's going to make you beg to be released.

Bringing together a stellar collection of writers to assist him, Lawson annihilates the standard. With thirty-six stories revolving around the abnormal, the insane and the alluringly repugnant, I warn you - you will find no comfort here. Lets start off with the tale that resulted in my illness, A Terrible Thing To Waste, written by Vincent W. Sakowski. A tale about an operation that went south, Sakowski took only two pages to mangle and distort the perception of hospital protocol and induce my lunch to resurface [figuritively].

Some other tales here are Mouthful of Dust, Along Came Auntie Rose, Drainage and Portrait of a Suburb. Adding their own piece of flayed skin to an overpopulated pool of horror, each author and story adds a new perspective. This collection confirms my theory that should horror writers not be permitted to write out their therapy, they might have been highly successful serial killers.

What makes a compilation like this stand out is the distinctive angle of each story. From one tale to the next, you're never really sure where you'll end up. From the quietly haunting to the appallingly shocking, this book keeps you on your toes and your mind in chaos.

My rating? I give it a 4 . For the Simple fact that even though I love horror, I like my meals even more. Buy the paperback and save those extra few dollars for some paper bags and a bottle of Pepto Bismol.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting anthology
It is not for those who are faint of heart, but if you like horror stories, Sick: An Anthology of Illness is for you. Like all anthology collections, it's a mix bag of stories in varying quality. But when it's good, it's great, and makes it worthwhile. True standouts are The Kind Old Fellow by James Chambers, an interesting science fiction story that crosses the worlds of Judge Dredd and Philip K. Dick with the best of hard boiled crime noir; Christ Machine by Tim Curran, an off-beat look on Christianity; Unicorn's Revenge by Greg Beatty, a story that asks what if computers can take revenge on pedophiles; The Shadow by Jack Fisher, a character study on the spilt personality of a child murderer; and Visits with Mother by Kurt Newton, where a man who visits his mother and gets more than her bargained for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must read dark fiction
Sick is undoubtedly one of the most successful collections of horror and dark fiction in recent years. Eschewing formula and tradition, the tales gathered here chart fresh new territory through the grotesque, the frightening, and the downright nauseating. This is the genuinely edgy work of probing (and, yes, most likely disturbed) authors who don't know the meaning of pulling their punches, but do understand style, wit, and intensity. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars completely horriffic
this book is full of truly underground writers and the type of material that could only be delivered by such a group. john lawson -- known as a 'don' in many circles -- has finally started his own company. this is one of the first releases from raw dog screaming and its SOLID. forget about trash playing itself off as 'horror', this is the real deal. quit messing with that garbage and take a dose of this stuff. this release was a long time coming but well worth it. raw dog is on the come up move! look out!!! ... Read more

8. The Book of More Flesh
list price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1891153862
Catlog: Book (2002-10-15)
Publisher: Eden Studios
Sales Rank: 104106
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

They won't stay dead! The zombies can't be stopped. From the pitch-black holds of pirate ships and the tunnels beneath the steaming, war-torn jungles of Veitnam, they rise up. And there's no way to slow their shambling march of conquest, no corner of the world or period in history that's safe from the invasion. Secret government labs, the trendy galleries of New York's art scene, and the drawing rooms of nineteenth century England all become the lair of the living dead in this inventive and chilling collection of horror and dark fantasy fiction. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
A fantastic anthology of sci-fi/horror/fantasy fiction! The contributing authors are mostly well-known - or should be. Alexander Marsh Freed's story was one of my favorites, as was Scott Edelman's. Good plots, good characters, good everything!
Totally enjoyable!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Anthology
Cannot say enough about these books. Find the whole trilogy, its worth it. I, being a lover of all things Zombie, can honestly say that some of these stories will stay with you for a long, long time.

Dig it! ... Read more

9. Tales of Terror!The EC Companion
by Fred Von Bernewitz, Grant Geissman
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560974036
Catlog: Book (2000-10)
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Sales Rank: 714785
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Fifty years in the making.This is the definitive story of EC Comics, the most notorious and well regarded mass-market publisher in comics history.The EC line - having published such seminal titles as MAD, Tales from the Crypt, Two-Fisted Tales, and so many others - was a high point in terms of craft and presentation.From the humanistic, well paced writing of editor Harvey Kurtzman to the artwork of lauded masters like Wally Wood and Bernie Krigstein, what truly sets EC apart from other pinnacles in comics history is its wider influence on American pop culture.Tales of Terror! is the most comprehensive overview to date of the EC Comics line: a visual checklist, creator index, guidebook and more!Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, Frontline Combat and all of the other EC titles are included in this comprehensive volume that uncovers the amazing history behind the comics, from the very beginning to the bitter end, when the U.S. Senate drove EC out of business for allegedly corrupting America's youth. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars In a Class by Itself
If you have any interest in EC comics, horror comics, or the history of the comic book genre at all, this is THE book to have. I cannot praise it highly enough. The scholarship is incredibly thorough and the details the authors have dug up is amazing. Also, the book is beautifully well done, with top-notch production values. This book is the ultimate, believe me.

5-0 out of 5 stars the ultimate history of EC
This is, simply put, the greatest work of comic book scholarship ever in print. The authors delve so deeply into EC facts, history and lore that you can depend upon the thoroughness of this work. Much more than a history, this tome is also a beautiful art book. Don't it now!

3-0 out of 5 stars Superb bibliography, but not the ultimate EC art book
While the bibliographical data is literally a life-long labor of love, I was disappointed by limited amount of images reproduced from the original artwork; the illustrations seem to be limited to photographs of the author's personal collection. The complete series of Graham Ingels' Old Witch paintings and sketches screams out for inclusion. I would have liked to see panel pages reproduced from the originals; full-color reproduction of line art reveals editorial changes, paste ups, blue pencil, and other subtleties undetectable in conventional reprints. A greater outreach to the art collector community could have yielded a definitive reference book/coffee table art book, but TALES OF TERROR fall short of this potential.

5-0 out of 5 stars Only Need One Word
WOW! Okeh, I'll use some more words. If you wanted to know about the history of EC Publications this is the book to own. Very well researched and a labor of love that comes shining through!

4-0 out of 5 stars No Tales!
Customer, listen! This is a book full of wonderful pieces of art, covers in abundance etc. But there are definitely _no_ Tales of Terror, as I foolishly presumed.... ... Read more

10. Best Ghost Stories of J.S. Lefanu
by Joseph Sheridan Lefanu
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486204154
Catlog: Book (1964-06-01)
Publisher: Dover Publications
Sales Rank: 207150
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Le Fanu is a Victorian writer who, along with Edgar A. Poe before him, invented the unity of mood and economy of means that characterizes the modern horror short story. Jack Sullivan, in Horror Literature, maintains that "Le Fanu was more revolutionary than Poe, for he began the process of dismantling the Gothic props and placing the supernatural tale in everyday settings." These quietly elegant tales include a female vampire who predates Dracula, a vicar troubled by a spectral monkey, a cruel hanging judge who gets his due and many other fine portents and hauntings. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not your standard ghostly fare
Probably the most distinguishing characteristic of LeFanu's writing to me is that he doesn't explain why something is happening in his stories. Ghosts search through drawers, skeletons are dug up, heroes disappear, and barons die of unseen causes, and we are never told what happened. LeFanu doesn't necessarily explain the motives and occurrences of his stories and loose ends are not all tied up. At first, I was unsure about what to think; what kind of ghost story doesn't explain all the events at the end? How am I supposed to be terrified if I don't know the ultimate cause of Baron X's demise? The method of storytelling began to grow on me, though, and I now feel that a lack of resolution on every issue creates a better story. Why should the supernatural be fully explained in 20 pages? When the reader is demoted from an omniscient viewpoint to that of only an eyewitness, the tale is more compelling.

My favorite stories are probably "Sir Dominick's Bargain" and "An Authentic Narrative of a Haunted House," the former for its mood and atmosphere, and the latter for its minimalist telling. "The Haunted Baronet" is another excellent story, with strong attention to detail and background that help in the story-telling; it was a very satisfactory read. "The Fortunes of Sir Robert Ardagh" is the same story told sans background and detail, and is clearly inferior. The other stories I enjoyed based on the setting, which is 19th century Ireland, which evokes a mood much like James'. Overall, it is the sort of book that makes you wish for a warm fireplace and a stormy night.


3-0 out of 5 stars stories from "the builder"
when it came to building a ghost story, through dialogues and occurences, noone matches Lefanu. At this, he is a master. he describes the situation before THE happening magnificently. however, when it does happen, the story is over. the horror itself seem to escape Lefanus writing style. his ghost stories are mostly not catching to a modern(living)reader. only 2 of his ghost stories are worth reading. I still recommend this book. the reason are the two stories who are not ghost stories. Carmilla, one of the very best vampire stories, built beautifully through subtle hints, psychology, and descriptions. my favourite gothic story. then it's Lefanu's masterpiece: green tea. in fact, one of the best horror stories ever written! too bad Lefanu insisted on writing so many ghost stories, instead of common horror, otherwise he might be a real master in the genre, as Carmilla and Green Tea proves

4-0 out of 5 stars This and M R James
I don't much like ghost stories, but these and the ones by M R James really stand out from the pack. Atmospheric, inventive, and original. In "Carmilla" LeFanu invented the vampire story, and with its subtle horrors and hints of lesbianism, it is at least as good as Dracula. Rich and intricate prose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic psychological chills.
Not only would I say that Lefanu is superior to the supposedly incomparable M.R. James, he actually rivals Poe in terms of psychological profundity and intellectual denseness. These tales are meticulously crafted and some of them are inexhaustible in their potential readings. M.R. James, on the other hand, is a pleasure to read, to be sure, but shallow when placed alongside the likes of Lefanu. I have nothing against James but he is strangely over-rated for some reason. Lefanu, Onions, Poe and Lovecraft I would have to rate ahead of him, with Lefanu and Poe at the top.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Powerful Collection of Ghost Stories Ever Published
I have probably read this book more often than any other book on my shelves. In the creation of mood, the elaboration of motifs and their own inexorable progression beyond the veil of reality into the numinous, these tales have never been excelled. As highly respected a practitioner of the ghost story as Montague Rhodes James wrote:

"He stands absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories. That is my deliberate verdict, after reading all the supernatural tales I have been able to get hold of. Nobody sets the scene better than he, nobody touches in the the effective detail more deftly."

I first read "Green Tea" in the mammoth Modern Library anthology GREAT TALES OF TERROR AND THE SUPERNATURAL at about the age of 11 after reading several tales by Poe. Poe I had found fascinating, feverish and disturbing, but this tale terrified me. Unlike Poe's often dream-like excursions, the settings in Le Fanu's works are quite concretely of this world. The characters are tied to this world by the same dull occupations and concerns with commerce or law that dog us to this day. However, a subtle intrusion is soon seen or otherwise makes itself felt, and from this point the conclusion, no matter how surprising, is inevitable. Nothing will save the seemingly upright man from "The Familiar." Nothing anyone does in their ineffectual way will keep the beloved of "Schalken the Painter" from her fate as a death-bride. A more lyrical version of the same motif appears in a less unified, but equally fine tale set in the aftermath of the Jacobite Rebellion in Ireland. "Squire Toby's Will" both as document and motive force will have its way no matter how what is done in an attempt to circumvent it. The implications of the haunting in "Green Tea," wherein a man falls subject to demonic harrassment by making his presence know to those from outside through the slightest of infractions - I am abusing caffeine by way of sipping an enormous glass of green tea as I write this - terrified me when I read it 30-odd years ago and continues to terrify me to this day. "An Authentic Narrative of a Haunted House," with its seemingly inexplicable haunting, "Mr. Justice Harbottle," which raises the question, "Whose justice are we seeing here?" "Carmilla", whose final line hints that the victimization may have ended only with the heroine's death, and the short novel "The Haunted Baronet," in which nature itself seems to be imbued with the evil genius presiding over the title character's doom are just a few of the tales in this volume that have haunted me for decades. There is nothing else quite like them in literature, their mixture of fantasy and reality, illusion and verisimilitude is so assured.

As bonuses to an already excellent volume, E. F. Bleiler's introduction and notes are exemplary and though a large paperback, it is solidly bound in signatures, with durable, laminated cover stock, uses acid free paper and is better made than a majority of hardcovers. ... Read more

11. Spooky Campfire Stories (Spooky)
by Amy Kelley
list price: $7.95
our price: $7.16
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Asin: 1560448679
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Falcon
Sales Rank: 75220
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This collection of scary classics and frightening folktales will send shivers up your spine.These stories can be read along or easily retold; either way, your fellow campers may want to sleep with a light on. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-take-along for any camping trip!
My middle-school son has been taking this little book along to camp and on camping trips for several years now, and delights in scaring his tentmates with different stories every night. While a couple of the stories may be TOO frightening for the younger set, most are really terrific read-alouds for nature loving campers of all ages. ... Read more

12. Dark Water
by Koji Suzuki
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
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Asin: 1932234101
Catlog: Book (2004-10-25)
Publisher: Vertical
Sales Rank: 17614
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Book Description

A collection of horror short stories from the acclaimed author of Ring and Spiral.These spooky stories share the sea as a theme. ... Read more

13. The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories
by Michael Cox, R. A. Gilbert
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
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Asin: 0192804472
Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 79332
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Book Description

The Victorians excelled at telling ghost stories. In an age of rapid scientific progress, the idea of a vindictive past able to reach out and violate the present held a special potential for terror. Throughout the nineteenth century, fictional ghost stories developed in parallel with the more general Victorian fascination with death and what lay beyond it. Though they were as much a part of the cultural and literary fabric of the age as imperial confidence, the best of the stories still retain their original power to surprise and unsettle. In Victorian Ghost Stories, the editors map out the development of the ghost story from 1850 to the early years of the twentieth century and demonstrate the importance of this form of short fiction in Victorian popular culture. As well as reprinting stories by supernatural specialists such as J. S. Le Fanu and M. R. James, this selection emphasizes the key role played by women writers--including Elizabeth Gaskell, Rhoda Broughton, and Charlotte Riddell--and offers one or two genuine rarities. Other writers represented include Charles Dickens, Henry James, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and R. L. Stevenson. There is also a fascinating Introduction and a chronological list of ghost story collections from 1850 to 1910. ... Read more

14. The Dark Descent (Dark Descent)
by Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, John Collier, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates
list price: $29.95
our price: $18.87
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Asin: 0312862172
Catlog: Book (1997-01-15)
Publisher: Tor Books
Sales Rank: 41983
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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If you could have only one anthology of dark stories, this would be the one to have. Having observed that "fans of horror fiction most often restrict their reading to books and stories given a horror category label, thus missing some of the finest pleasures in that fictional mode," David G. Hartwell assembles here 56 important tales within an insightful critical framework; his purpose is to "clear the air and broaden future considerations of horror." Several well-known classics are included, but there are also dozens of lesser-known horror tales, including many by science fiction and literary writers. Get one copy for yourself. Get another for that friend or relative who doesn't understand why you like to read horror. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best
The best one-volume collection of horror stories I've ever read, and I've read a few.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent textbook!
This HUGE book is an excellent comprehensive survey of some of the landmark horror stories of the past couple hundred years. Most of the important authors are here. Poe, Lovecraft, Matheson, Jackson, Bloch, Ellison, King, Barker, etc. It'll be tough to read the whole thing cover-to-cover, but it's very good to have.

5-0 out of 5 stars There are 2 anthologies every horror fan should own
One is Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, edited by Cerf and Wagner. The other is The Dark Descent. From Poe and J. Sheridan LeFanu to Stephen King and Shirley Jackson, this anthology covers the horror tradition like few others. The selections in The Dark Descent are a bit more in-your-face than the ones in Cerf and Wagner's elegant anthology--an attribute fans of late twentieth century horror will surely appreciate. At the same time, though, Hartwell has certainly not avoided the classic chillers. Even better, Hartwell has chosen to include some lesser-known tales by some heavy hitters within the genre--so while you won't see Jackson's "The Lottery," you will find two tales by her that you likely haven't read a dozen times before: tales that will hit you with the same force "The Lottery" did the first time you read it. Also not to be missed is Hartwell's introduction, which does a nice job of laying down a critical framework within which to read horror. It doesn't take the place of Danse Macabre or Dreadful Pleasures, but it's a nicely written piece that seems aimed toward readers who wouldn't otherwise read literary criticism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Certainly the finest horror anthology available
This sprawling collection will keep the fan of weird fiction (and just plain good fiction) happy and spooked for a long time. The stories are broken into three sections, the boundaries between which are not terribly well explained by the editor (in my opinion, anyway). No matter, the quality of the stories is amazing throughout.

This is not just modern gore and sex horror. Victorian stories such as The New Mother show just how frightening a tale told with restraint. Clive Barker's Dread, perhaps his best short work, may have you sleeping with the lights on. The three Stephen King pieces are all career highlights, especially the Lovecraftian Crouch End.

I can't tell you how many marvellous writers I discovered in this collection. Robert Aickman, Oliver Onions, Robert W. Chambers, Russell Kirk. In some cases, this is the best source of fiction by these writers, as most of their work is out of print.

My edition clocks in at just over 1000 pages. That's 1000 pages of pure enjoyment. Not bad for the price.

5-0 out of 5 stars This one has it all! A great resource...
The Dark Descent is an anthology of short horror fiction, that spans the full range of the genre from the extremely overt to the quietly subtle. The editor, David Hartwell, has not only ordered the selections in a way that highlights the influences and references inherent in the work, but introduces each story with a brief, but informative foreword.

What's most amazing to me about this tome, is that, having been an avid reader of horror short fiction for many years, and having read many such collections of work, this one included so many masterpieces that I'd never encountered before.

I believe this to be one of the most, if not THE most, comprehensive collections available, and recommend it to any fan of short fiction, particularly those who appreciate gothic, horror, and psychological thriller genres. ... Read more

15. Shadows Over Baker Street
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345455282
Catlog: Book (2003-09-30)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 42482
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is among the most famous literary figures of all time. For more than a hundred years, his adventures have stood as imperishable monuments to the ability of human reason to penetrate every mystery, solve every puzzle, and punish every crime.

For nearly as long, the macabre tales of H. P. Lovecraft have haunted readers with their nightmarish glimpses into realms of cosmic chaos and undying evil. But what would happen if Conan Doyle’s peerless detective and his allies were to find themselves faced with mysteries whose solutions lay not only beyond the grasp of logic, but of sanity itself.

In this collection of all-new, all-original tales, twenty of today’s most cutting edge writers provide their answers to that burning question.

“A Study in Emerald” by Neil Gaiman: A gruesome murder exposes a plot against the Crown, a seditious conspiracy so cunningly wrought that only one man in all London could have planned it–and only one man can hope to stop it.

“A Case of Royal Blood” by Steven-Elliot Altman: Sherlock Holmes and H. G. Wells join forces to protect a princess stalked by a ghost–or perhaps something far worse than a ghost.

“Art in the Blood” by Brian Stableford: One man’s horrific affliction leads Sherlock Holmes to an ancient curse that threatens to awaken the crawling chaos slumbering in the blood of all humankind.

“The Curious Case of Miss Violet Stone” by Poppy Z. Brite and David Ferguson: A girl who has not eaten in more than three years teaches Holmes and Watson that sometimes the impossible cannot be eliminated.

“The Horror of the Many Faces” by Tim Lebbon: Dr. Watson witnesses a maniacal murder in London–and recognizes the villain as none other than his friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

With these and fourteen other dark tales of madness, horror, and deduction, a new and terrible game is afoot.

The terrifyingly surreal universe of horror master H. P. Lovecraft bleeds into the logical world of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s champion of rational deduction–in these brand-new stories by twenty of today’s top horror, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction writers, including:

• Steven-Elliot Altman
• Elizabeth Bear
• Poppy Z. Brite
• Simon Clark
• David Ferguson
• Paul Finch
• Neil Gaiman
• Barbara Hambly
• Caitlin R. Kiernan
• Tim Lebbon
• James Lowder
• Richard A. Lupoff
• F. Gwynplaine McIntyre
• John Pelan
• Steve Perry
• Michael Reaves
• Brian Stableford
• John P. Vourlis
• David Niall Wilson & Patricia Lee Macomber
... Read more

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag
I have to agree with other reviews printed here. The book is something of a mixed bag. Few of the stories are well balanced quality pieces of professional writing. Their strengths and limitations differ.

Some of the stories show a paucity of knowledge about Lovecraft's work. In such stories, only a few of the most general references are made to the Lovecraftean canon. Otherwise the stories just suggest the pursuit of a "nightstalker" figure similar to a sort of Jack the Ripper. To justify the story's inclusion in this collection, the author tosses in a couple of Lovecraft's character names or place names such as "Cthulhu" or "Innsmouth" into the story. Nothing is ever done with these references, mind. That would require too much effort.

Some stories work pretty well because the writer has worked with the material before and knows it well. I think that Richard Lupoff's story "The Voorish Sign" is one of the book's best. But Lupoff has written and published other Sherlock Holmes pastiches over the years. He has a track record, so to speak.

Some of the most intriguing and most enjoyable stories set a Lovecraftian stage beautifully, drawing us in, getting us really eager to move on to the denouement. Unfortunately, it is as though the writer at this point does not know what to do with the situation he/she has established, and just . . . stops. Such is "The Mystery of the Worm" by John Pelan.

A series of biographic sketches appear at the end of the book, profiling the authors of the various stories. Here one sees quite a range of experience. Some of the writers have published a number of books and stories, and seem to have done their share of "weird tales." Others have published very little professionally, and seem to be either beginner professionals or serious amateurs. This may partly explain the sense of unevenness one gets from the book.

If I could ask for one thing, it would be a more genuine knowledge of H.P. Lovecraft's writings by some of the authors. Most of the writers, not surprisingly, have a good sense for Holmes and Watson, since Arthur Conan Doyle's characters are well known through a myriad of books and movies, although even here there are disappointments. One of the weakest stories in the book, "The Drowned Geologist" by Caitlin Kiernan, is just a long letter supposedly written to Dr. Watson -- but we learn at the end of the story, it was never mailed. This story reveals virtually no serious detailed knowledge of either Doyle's OR Lovecraft's writing. In fact, the only evidence that Holmes and Watson are even involved in the story at all comes in the letter's salutation, "My dear Dr. Watson." One suspects the author congratulated herself that she could make a token gesture toward the editors' requirements while writing something else entirely.

I enjoyed the book despite its uneven quality. It is the kind of book that is very good to take on an airplane trip. Three or four of the stories are very good.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing collection
Maybe my hopes were just too high for this one. It sounds like a great idea, but I have to agree with Cyberalchemist. Holmes in no instance ever confronts the weaknesses in his deductive system, which is where the real drama should lie. Instead, he displays a ridiculous erudition concerning all things Lovecraftian, which makes for a series of predictable, boring denouements. Some of the stories are decent reads, but reading them one after another gets tiresome. No points for guessing how many times Holmes' cocaine is mentioned either. I think every single author had to throw that one in there, whether it was pertinent to the story or not.

4-0 out of 5 stars Extremely high coolness factor
Not every story is a gem, but most of them are very, very good. The less successful ones cleave too much to Holmesian or Lovecraftian conventions too closely, so they feel too much like a geeky in-joke. (The tiger hunt one definitely fits into this category for me, as does the re-animator pastiche.) If I had been the editors, though, I would have put the Neil Gaiman story at the end. It's a jaw-dropping stunner...worth savoring at the very, very end. If you can resist, save it until you're done with the rest of the book, even though it's the first story in this anthology.

The coolness factor of mixing Lovecraft and Doyle is off the meter. I'm surprised no one had done it before--and I've read a lot of Lovecraftian fiction, and to a smaller extent, the modern Holmes riffs like The Seven Percent Solution. I wouldn't be surprised if the editors produce another volume soon, with the number of writers who'd like to try their hand at this literary hybrid.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sherlock Holmes versus the Cthulhu!!
I stumbled upon this book by accident and being a huge Sherlock Holmes fan as well as a huge Lovecraft fan I decided to pick it up. I was NOT disappointed. This Book is TERRIFIC!! Neil Gaiman's short story "A Study in Emerald," alone is worth my money. Gaiman was able to capture Sherlock Holmes in a different light and still stay true to the character (that story had a lovely twist at the end).
Most of the other stories are also wonderful with maybe one or two that lose the Holmes feeling to them. I like how Holmes was able to accept the possibility of other worldly creatures through the use of logic and deduction and that he knew of cults because cults are the cause of many a small murdering sprees and one has to keep up with that kind of information.
I read the entire book in a span of three days and just devoured everything in it. This book made me want to go and read other Holmes pastiches!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Three stars does not mean unreadable. That's what 1 is for.
I can half heartedly reccomend this with serious caveats.

Problem one. It is really a one-trick pony. OK. You get it. Holmes vs. various mythos creatures. This looks great on paper but does not sustain a book. If you are really interested, however, and since many of the stories are entertaining and a couple actually thought provoking, then buy it and read no more than one story a month, maybe every 6 weeks. This isn't only because of the limitations of the idea, but also because all but two authors chose (generally successfully) to mimic Doyle's/"Watson's" writing style.

Problem two. A disproportionate number of stories are based on The Shadow over Innsmouth. One that isn't, "The Curious Case of Miss Violet Stone," is, as has been pointed out by a previous review, based on The Shadow out of Time. This is one of the two best stories in the book. A few stories seem headed off down that sidetrack created by August Derleth where there was a chance in fighting back and winning with Help from Outside. In HPL doom was eventually inevitable and there was no Help available.

"Death Did Not Become Him" is very tenuously mythos being more related to the story of the Golem and Cabbalistic mysticism with a pretty lane excuse given for the connection.

Most of The Uspeakable Old Ones are named in various chants and so forth, but few put in an appearance. In the original HPL the power of suggestion hightened the suspense. Here it is merely disappointing. Shub-Niggurath has a cameo and I think (based on precious little evidence) that Nyarlathotep has some off-stage schtick. Most disappointing, Chthlhu Himself is totally AWOL, replaced by innumerable aquatic hybrids.

"The Case of the Antiquaritan's Niece," is vaguely related to "The Dunwich Horror."

The best story is by Neil Gaiman. More or less connected to At the Mountains of Madness, it also reminded me of the wonderful Kim Newman's Anno Dracula books. ... Read more

16. Demons of the Night : Tales of the Fantastic, Madness, and the Supernatural from Nineteenth-Century France
list price: $16.00
our price: $16.00
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Asin: 0226432084
Catlog: Book (1995-04-15)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 109192
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Demons of the Night is a trove of haunting fiction--a gathering, for the first time in English, of the best nineteenth-century French fantastic tales. Featuring such authors as Balzac, Mérimée, Dumas, Verne, and Maupassant, this book offers readers familiar with the works of Edgar Allan Poe and E. T. A. Hoffman some of the most memorable stories in the genre. With its aura of the uncanny and the supernatural, the fantastic tale is a vehicle for exploring forbidden themes and the dark, irrational side of the human psyche.

The anthology opens with "Smarra, or the Demons of the Night," Nodier's 1821 tale of nightmare, vampirism, and compulsion, acclaimed as the first work in French literature to explore in depth the realm of dream and the unconscious. Other stories include Balzac's "The Red Inn," in which a crime is committed by one person in thought and another in deed, and Mérimée's superbly crafted mystery, "The Venus of Ille," which dramatizes the demonic power of a vengeful goddess of love emerging out of the pagan past. Gautier's protagonist in "The Dead in Love" develops an obsessive passion for a woman who has returned from beyond the grave, while the narrator of Maupassant's "The Horla" imagines himself a victim of psychic vampirism.

Joan Kessler has prepared new translations of nine of the thirteen tales in the volume, including Gérard de Nerval's odyssey of madness, "Aurélia," as well as two tales that have never before appeared in English. Kessler's introduction sets the background of these tales--the impact of the French Revolution and the Terror, the Romantics' fascination with the subconscious, and the influence of contemporary psychological and spiritual currents. Her essay illuminates how each of the authors in this collection used the fantastic to articulate his own haunting obsessions as well as his broader vision of human experience.

... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great translations of spooky tales
Kessler's translations of these French stories are an invaluable treasure to the English speaking community. Many of these stories have never been translated or were out of print for many, many years. Kessler gives them new life in this collection that will appease both francophiles and lovers of spooky stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great thanks to Kessler
I was lucky enough to read this book in a class on 19th Century French Lit. taught by Joan Kessler herself. I have never forgotten these stories or the depth of psychological exploration each presents. This amazing book brings the genre of 19th French Macabre to non-French readers for the first time. Each story is truly classic, all at once an original and the obvious predecessor of horror and psychological thrillers as we know them today. Fans of Poe will love this book, and fans of King will be delighted by these twisted tales, though they may need to keep a dictionary handy.

Ms. Kessler's notes are the perfect guide through each work. She places each story in it's own history, giving ample insight into the mindset of the authors and their audiences.

From beginning to end this book will keep your heart pumping. It is the perfect read for those who have a hard time finding great work. It will keep you up at night, if not out of interest, then out of terror. ... Read more

17. The Haunted Looking Glass: Ghost Stories (New York Review Books Classics)
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
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Asin: 0940322684
Catlog: Book (2001-03-12)
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Sales Rank: 163926
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Haunted Looking Glass is the late Edward Gorey’s selection of his favorite tales of ghosts, ghouls, and grisly goings-on. It compiles stories by a number of masters of the art of making the flesh crawl including Charles Dickens, M. R. James, and Bram Stoker. This volume provides an introduction to the best of their lesser-known works, accompanied by Gorey’s inimitable illustrations. His meticulously executed line drawings and quirky and often morbid sense of humor have made his works instantly recognizable and widely loved. The Haunted Looking Glass is a spine-tingling tribute to the master of the macabre. “A brilliant draftsman, Mr. Gorey has raised the crosshatch, a timeworn 19th century mannerism, into a timeless visual language ... [His works] tickle the funny bone as they raise hair on the back of the neck.” — The New York Times ... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Spooky Tales for a Late Night
This is one of the most interesting books I've read of late, I must say. It's a collection of short fiction from the turn of the last century, writer Edward Gorey's favorites, and they range from odd to downright spooky. It begins with explorers in a haunted house, and over 250 pages manages to cover much of the breadth of late Victorian English ghost stories.

Each tale is definitely unique. A couple involve haunted houses, some demons from hell, mysterious magic, ancient curses, strange events, and normal humans on the underbelly of society, afflicted with a dose of the supernatural. There are both long ones, nearly novellas, and more succinct pieces. None are truly gruesome or horrifying, with the exception of "The Body-Snatcher", but rare are the pages that will not send chills down your spine. These writers were the masters of their times, thrilling audiences from newspapers and bookstands. These are tales to be told in the cover of darkness, where the shadow takes firm grip upon the soul of the unwary, tales to be told aloud, for the chuckle and boom of a voice will bring their ghosts to life.

To those who would enjoy such tales, and I believe that includes a very wide range, this book is probably one of the best samplers of the genre, a solid footstep from which more can be found. Certainly several of the authors I've already sought out more from. At least some of the stories are bound to appeal to almost anyone, especially on a foggy night around a fireplace. Some are better than anything I've ever read from Stephen King and other modern dealers of this type. Not to mention that I simply enjoyed the archaic dialect of these, being a fan of the old styles. You will not regret picking this book up, as it so forcefully captures the imagination. Not all so captured me, but as I said, variety is the key here, and something is bound to appeal to everyone.

My personal favorites were probably Harvey's "August Heat" and James' "Casting the Runes", on opposite ends of the book, nicely pulling me in and leading me out. "Heat" is short, sweltering, and eerie, ending in such a way that is simply too powerful; "Runes" about a the thrilling unraveling of a mystery surrounding a warlock who hexed a man. "The Thirteenth Tree" is perhaps not the most exciting, but definitely is mysterious. The title of "A Visitor From Down Under" has a double meaning, and the story embodies the psychadelia and madness of the period. Rats both haunt and protect a university student in "The Judges House", but little can stop the real horror that lives there. In "The Monkey's Paw" one wish brings ruin on a family, and a second used in desperation seems to bode more... "The Empty House" casts its siren call over an old woman, who brings her nephew in only to witness an invisible murder. The namesake of "The Signalman" has some ability to see future accidents. And in the bloody "Body-Snatcher", medical college students must take criminal steps to ensure a supply of cadavers, until one turns on them.

1-0 out of 5 stars Nothing Scarey Here
There's nothing scarey about these ghost stories. The illustrations by Gorey are great. Gorey fans will love them, but not the text.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Gorey Looking Glass
I bought my copy of, The Haunted Looking Glass, when it was first published in 1959. I still read out of it but the pages are brittle and yellowed. As a teacher I recommended it to my kids for halloween reading and they managed to find hardbound copies for 5 bucks each and they devoured it just as I did. Edward Gorey published several books under the "Looking Glass Library" label and I regret not buying them up. It is a collection of pretty strong ghost stories that provide a good start for a young ghost story reader. It is also a set of ghost story classics that belongs on the shelf of any genre collector. Many of the stories such as W.F. Harvey's, "August Heat," are frequently anthologized but some like E. Nesbit's, "Man Sized in Marble," are rare and truely eerie. I am sorry that the new edition of The Haunted Looking Glass was not was not printed in hardback. My copy crumbles a little every time I touch it and with Halloween coming it has stories that beg to be read. Savor M. R. James' "Casting the Runes" and experience the three-wish-curse formula in W.W. Jacob's, "The Monkey's Paw."

5-0 out of 5 stars Victorian Creepy Crawlies
Edward Gorey's quirky and often macabre drawings have been delighting his fans for two generations. In "The Haunted Looking Glass," we find another set of apposite illustrations to accompany his collection of his favourite ghost stories. Recently re-released in the excellent New York Review of Books Classics series, readers will find it to be an agreeably discomforting guided tour through some of the high spots of the golden age of ghost story writing, the Victorian and Edwardian period. There are worthy old chesnuts such as "Casting the Runes" and "The Monkey's Paw" and "August Heat," as well as unexpected gems from E. Nesbit ("Man-size in Marble") and Bram Stoker ("The Judge's House"). A contribution from Charles Dickens ("The Signalman") is especially memorable. This is a wonderful collection of stories, and readers are urged to find out for themselves what lurks within the haunted looking glass!

4-0 out of 5 stars A well-chosen collection of great ghost stories
The trouble with most ghost stories is that they're never sufficiently scary enough: even many of the stories of such masters of the genre as M. R. James and Sheridan le Fanu seem insufficiently frightening, often given the limited frame of the short story. Years before his recent death, the great illustrator Edward Gorey assembled a best-of-the-best collection of the most frightening of all ghost stories (accompanied by his personal illustrations), and his choices do not disappoint. Many of the stories have the sickening, terrifying quality of a bad dream (such as Stoker's "The Judge's House" and E. Nesbit's "Mansize in marble"), while even the shorter pieces which have little in the way of characterization (such as "The Empty House") are genuinely frightening and evocative in terms of atmosphere. The very best stories--"The Monkey's Paw," James's "Casting the Runes," and Dickens's "The Signalman"--are little masterpieces of suspense and mood.

NYRB wisely decided to break from its standard cover format by allowing Gorey's original handlettered illustration remain intact; his moody drawings for each story are also kept. This is a nice little collection. ... Read more

18. Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos
by H. P. Lovecraft
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034542204X
Catlog: Book (1998-09-14)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 18618
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
--H. P. LOVECRAFT, "Supernatural Horror in Literature"

Howard Phillips Lovecraft forever changed the face of horror, fantasy, and science fiction with a remarkable series of stories as influential as the works of Poe, Tolkien, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. His chilling mythology established a gateway between the known universe and an ancient dimension of otherworldly terror, whose unspeakable denizens and monstrous landscapes--dread Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, the Plateau of Leng, the Mountains of Madness--have earned him a permanent place in the history of the macabre.

In Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, a pantheon of horror and fantasy's finest authors pay tribute to the master of the macabre with a collection of original stories set in the fearsome Lovecraft tradition:

 ¸  The Call of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft: The slumbering monster-gods return to the world of mortals.
 ¸  Notebook Found in a Deserted House by Robert Bloch: A lone farmboy chronicles his last stand against a hungering backwoods evil.
 ¸  Cold Print by Ramsey Campbell: An avid reader of forbidden books finds a treasure trove of deadly volumes--available for a bloodcurdling price.
 ¸  The Freshman by Philip José Farmer: A student of the black arts receives an education in horror at notorious Miskatonic University.


Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Every horror fan should read this book
One of my best friends is a huge Steven King fan. I loaned him this book and he returned it the next day, he said he couldnt read it because it gave him the creeps. I greatly enjoy Lovecrafts writing and stories in the Cthulu Mythos are by far my favorite. Lovecraft and the "Lovecraft circle" of writers blur the lines between the fictional world and the readers real world better than anyone else.
These stories are wonderfully writen and truely entrancing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Core Tales of The Mythos (Although NOT by HPL)
MOST of the stories in this collection are not by H.P. Lovecraft: only 2 out of 22 are actually HPL's work! Nevertheless, this is a good collection of stories written by other authors who followed HPL in writing about the so-called "Cthulhu Mythos" that Lovecraft created. If you're looking for stories by Lovecraft himself, look elsewhere: there are other collections available composed entirely of his work. But if you want to read stories by the many authors who contributed what are felt by many to be the core of the Myhos, then this is a good beginning for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lovecraft's Co-conspirators
This is a great companion to the other Del Rey editions of H.P. Lovecraft's work. This is a testament to not only other authors creating within Lovecraft's mythology, but personalizing it. Fritz Lieber's Terror From the Depths stands out as an example of this. Primarily interesting are the three correspondence stories between Lovecraft and Robert Bloch (The Shambler From the Stars, The Haunter of the Dark, and The Shadow From the Steeple). Upon finishing this I was more curious of Lovecraft's correspondence with his readers and colleagues.
Cthulhu 2000: A Lovecraftian Anthology and Shadows Over Innsmouth are wonderful companions to this volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent intoduction to H. P. Lovecraft
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has never read H. P. Lovecraft. It is also an excellent review for any fan. It still chills my spine!

3-0 out of 5 stars del rey's best
i was a little dissapointed because i had so many stories before. HPL great as always, 2 stories here. kuttner's story's kind of good. a well written one by Derleth, but the ending was too far stretched. Howard has a good one, though it doesn't go far enough to be really interesting. King's is great, rats in the wall-like. the most interesting new read for me was Wagner's sticks. i really enjoyed the concept. ... Read more

19. Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best, Vol. 1
by Clive Barker
list price: $21.95
our price: $18.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971024928
Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
Publisher: Checker Book Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 157200
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Neil Gaiman and Alex Ross are among the heavyweights who contributed to this landmark comicbook anthology based on the horror classic, Hellraiser, which ran from 1989 to 1993. Featuring short stories in the Hellraiser millieu written and illustrated by the leading lights in the comic book industry, this series shocked and entertained millions of comics and Clive Barker fans. Checker Book Publishing collects for the first time the best of these short stories into a single full-color trade paperback collection. A must have for Hellraiser, Clive Barker and quality comics fans ... Read more

Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars If you never read the hellraiser comics, read this.
I have collected about 15 Hellraiser comics over the years, but there were many stories here I had not read. Though not written by Barker, they are well researched and keep the myth alive. We would not have hellraiser 3,4 and 5 without the comics and whether thats good or bad they are still worth the indulgance (and Franchise). Alot of the artists used were fresh talent at the time, so there are some interesting spins on the traditional cenobites. Still v. bloody and sadistic. Created for all die hard fans.

3-0 out of 5 stars I've seen the movies and read the comics
Clive Barker is one of the more amazing writers that have come out of the 20th century, and into the 21st century. His imagination is dark and fertile, something to be admired even if you dont personally read every one of his novels.

Hellraiser is an intriguing mythos, something darker in a more sexual sense than a mythos say by H. P. Lovecraft or Stephn King. The first movie was a new version of the old haunted house routine. The second one, however, was amazing, a new cosmos of hell. The movies after that were watchable, but I think they did not do justice by excluding the universe of hell itself instead of having Pinhead come around the corner every so often and tearing some poor fool apart.

The stories of the Hellraiser comics were fascinating at first, dont get me wrong. But, but the main problem is this. What was so at heart about the movies is the reaction of the humans to the inhuman, the heroes male and female toward the damnation around them. This was not so in the comic book series.

You see the Centobites are important to the hellraizer universe, but they are a part of the "sentence" not the "punch line" if you get my drift. Salvation for characters like Cirsty is what is important, at least for me, from the original two movies. The Centobites in these comics, though well drawn and having personalities which yes is a good point, they come in, say some "relavent" concept toward damnation, then kill the poor sods. Again. And Again. And Again.

It does grow tiresome. There is now in my eyes a throw toward the other side, you see hell so much it does not become shocking anymore. It doesn't have the punch as it did when you first saw Laviathin in Hellraiser 2.

I want to see the human heart succeeding or failing against the growing odds. Yes I dont think every story should have a happy ending, but if you read the same ending...after just grows tiresome. So that is why I stopped reading the Hellraiser comics.

Now yes there are some very good short comic book stories in this collection, if you really enjoy the artwork which is VERY good, then yes by all means get the book. Just dont read it in one sitting or you will grow ... in my opinion ... bored.

4-0 out of 5 stars pretty good
It's actually pretty good (I had read another collection of Barker comics that wasn't so good, so I had my doubts). A couple of the stories seem to make little or no sense, but as a whole, they are well written stories. Most of the art is pretty good too. All in all, the collection is, well, pretty good-- and Gaiman is here too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Series description & new review, a different opinion
Hey readers out there, don't be dismayed by the last 2 reviewers. They were looking for somethng different. Their opinions are valid, but if you want another point of view, read on. The comics never meant to be a direct followup to the movies. The writing in the movies was pretty lame. The writing in the comics is MUCH much better. The goal of these comic stories IS NOT just to reach an ending but to portray HOW these people got to where they ended up. To only look for the ending is a very narrow field of vision. That would be like saying sex is to just reach a climax - if that's so, why taken an hour to do what can be accomplished in 5 minutes? Get it? Yes, the ending is always the same (cenobites, hell, death), but you always knew that anyway didn't you? So, what can we change here? All the stuff that happened BEFORE they ended up in hell, of course. The comics focus strongly on DESIRE, and how it controls people to lead them to their doom. The comics are a GREAT study in human behavior and weakness. It was never about the Cenobites.

2-0 out of 5 stars I Forgot How Bad The Original Series Could Be!!!
The Hellraiser comic series is like going to the greatest comedy club ever. All of the greats are there to perform for you: Jerry Seinfeld, George Carlin, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Garry Shandling, etc. Jerry Seinfeld starts: "Why did the Chicken cross the road..? To get to the other side!" Robin Williams is next: "How many Blondes does it take to screw in a light bulb? To get to the other side!" Pretty soon you realize that no matter what the set-up may be, the punchline is always going to be "To get to the other side". That pretty much sums up Hellraiser in a nutshell. Different creative teams telling different stories that all have the same ending: A bad person gets his comeuppance from The Lament Configuration and The Cenobites. Wow.

I had collected the Hellraiser series when it was initially released, and was never really impressed by it. I always kept being lured back to the next issue by the stellar creative teams, and kept feeling let down. Stupid me, I actually ordered the Limited-Edition Leatherbound Hardcover of "Collected Best", thinking that maybe I just didn't "Get" the stories as a teen-ager. No, they really DID stink....

There ARE a few good ones, don't get me wrong. Dead Man's Hand and Like Flies To Wanton Boys break from the standard Hellraiser mold, Dear Diary and Wordsworth hew close to that selfsame mold, but are well-told nonetheless. For My Son starts strong, but falls into the "Same Punchline" trap outlined above. It doesn't so much end as just STOP; I think there might be a page missing from the end of the story because, for a Fifty Dollar Limited Edition, the book is riddled with production errors. The final, crucial, dialogue panel of Mazes of the Mind is blank, thereby rendering the whole story pointless, and the final story, Losing Herself In The Part, has the majority of it's pages printed out of order. Not that the sloppy story is any better when read the right way. The two-parter "The Harrowing" was NOT written by Clive Barker, as widely advertised. He came up with the plot, and three other so-called "Writers" did the wooden dialogue. The Harrower stories were some of the WORST Helraiser stories EVER, and I really have to question their inclusion here. (One of the heroes is a little blue Cherub that kills Cenobites by FARTING on them, another is an escaped Death-Row Inmate who has lethal SPIT! Pure, unadulterated [stuff].) I'd advise any but the most hard-core fans to avoid this at all costs. A few good stories, but they're FAR outweighed by the awful ones. ... Read more

20. Excitable Boys
by Rain Graves, Ryan Harding, Brian Keene
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0970009712
Catlog: Book (2002-04-15)
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Sales Rank: 455786
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An original anthology inspired by the annual World Horror Convention Gross Out Contents, featuring some of it’s most audacious winners and runners up. Edited by Kelly Laymon, and featuring cover and interior artwork by GAK! ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Seven repulsive tales to loose your lunch over
You want gross? It's right here in Excitable Boys. Blech. Seven stories that will have you romping through fetid pools of vomit, diarrhea, deviant couplings, weirdos, giant Poo-Monsters, canibalism, and more. Truly, the sickest collection I have read to date, that still held itself together with talented writers that actually keep a plot running through all the grotesqueries.

In the forward by Kelly Laymon, she explains being at the Gross-Out contest at the World Horror Convention. These gross out sessions are where the horror writers gather for readings of their most disgusting compositions, and (in Laymon's words), "let their freak flags fly". Laymon decided that these tales of aberration and vileness needed to be published, and so along came Excitable Boys. (Thank you Ms. Laymon!)

With each tale, Laymon adds a small, interesting blurb about the author at the end of their story, which I found to be a nice addition. And she managed to pull in the artwork of GAK, a talented and twisted new artist whose sketches and drawings I have come to love in such other books as Dead Cat Bouncing. Just check out the cover art of Excitable Boys, and know there are other visual treats from GAK inside.

First is "Good Care", by Rain Graves. In my opinion, by far the sickest because it deals with the horrors of child abuse.

#2 is "The Constipated Cannibal", by Michael McCarthy. Very short, but any longer and I would have retched.

#3 is "The McCrath Model SS40-C, Series S" by master Edward Lee. This is a Paul Vinchetti story, which if you have read his stomach-heaving "Mr. & Miss Torso", you would already be introduced to this vile mafia Don.

#4 is "Full Of It" by Brian Keene, whose twisted and gross stories I have read before and loved. Here, we meet the Poo-Monster.

#5 is "Attack Of The Fifty-Foot Prisonbitch" by Mark McLaughlin. This is the funniest story in the collection, of a "Leave It To Beaver" type husband and wife who own the Bone Ami Adult Arcade, and pleasantly discuss their most deviant customers. This tale also brings in a little dark fantasy as well, with some odd creatures and, of course, the 50 foot Prisonbitch.

#6 is "A Heartful Of Love, A Bowelful Of Hate" by Gavin Williams. Definitely one of the sickest in the lot, it is a zombie tale of a truly dysfunctional family. Complete with zombie animals!

#7 is "Genital Grinder: A Snuff Film In Five Acts" by Ryan Harding. According to Ms. Laymon, this is the story that started her on the path to this collection. And of course, the worst is saved for last. Snot, bolt cutters, cheese graters, saws, venereal diseases, maggots, machetes, brains, and two of the most sadistic amateur filmmakers ever created.

Completing the book is a funny, true tale by author Geoff Cooper called "Just Like Chicken" where he recounts a rather funny incident at the World Horror Conventions Gross-Out readings. A true encore to these foul additions to your horror collection that will leave you laughing.

Kelly Laymon is the daughter of Richard Laymon, celebrated author of horror and shock-horror. Truly, she has been well tutored.

This book is definitely not for the squeamish or the feint of heart. It is a horror collection of the grossest sort, and even afficionados like myself are best left reading it on an empty stomach.

Enjoy! (if you can...)

5-0 out of 5 stars 7 SORDID TALES
After reading the stories in Ryan Harding and Edward Lee's Partners In Chyme chapbook, I went looking for more of these two (especially Harding, as that was my first encounter with his unique brand of storytelling). I have found (and enjoyed) plenty of Lee's work but this is only the second dose of Harding (and his Greg and Von characters) that I've found. Don't be fooled though, this book contains 7 sordid tales by Harding, Lee and 5 other top notch storytellers (plus an intro by Kelly Laymon and a tale from the Denver Gross-Out Contest by Geoff Cooper). While I was eating when I read most of these stories (and Partners In Chyme), I wouldn't recommend it for others. You've been warned. ... Read more

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