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A Book of Horrors Paperback – September 18, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781250018526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250018526
  • ASIN: 1250018528
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“The abundance of talent will provide ample delights and frights for anyone in search of true classic horror” –Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

About the Author

STEPHEN JONES is the multiple-award-winning editor and author of more than one hundred books in the horror and fantasy genres. A former television director/producer, movie publicist, and consultant (including the first three Hellraiser movies), he has edited the reprint anthology Best New Horror for more than twenty years. He lives in Wembley, Middlesex, and travels widely.

More About the Author

Specialising in dark fantasy and horror, Angela Slatter is the author of the Aurealis Award-winning The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales, the World Fantasy Award finalist Sourdough and Other Stories, and the Aurealis finalist Midnight and Moonshine (with Lisa L. Hannett).

Angela's short stories have appeared in such writerly venues as The Mammoth Book of New Horror #22, Fantasy, Nightmare and Lightspeed Magazines, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Fearie Tales, A Book of Horrors, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, and Australian and US Best Of anthologies.

She is the first Australian to win a British Fantasy Award (for "The Coffin-Maker's Daughter" in A Book of Horrors, Stephen Jones, ed.).

In 2013 she was awarded one of the inaugural Queensland Writers Fellowships. She has an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing, and is a graduate of Clarion South 2009 and the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop 2006.

Forthcoming in 2014 are the collections The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings (a prequel to Sourdough and Other Stories) from Tartarus Press, and The Female Factory (with Lisa L. Hannett), the last in the Twelfth Planet Press "Twelve Planets" series.

Angela has recently finished an urban fantasy novel Vigil, (based on the short story Brisneyland by Night) and has started the sequel, Corpselight. She is also completing work on her Queensland Writers Fellowship mosaic novel, The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
I'm a big fan of short story collections and anthologies.
misplaced cajun
This is an excellent collection of classic horror from the best authors out there.
All the tales are well written with most being outstanding.
Harriet Klausner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Literary Omnivore on November 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a new collection of short stories in the horror genre. There are a lot of top-notch names here, including perennial favorite Stephen King, but I found the stories to be pretty second tier. For horror stories, these were not terribly horrifying. For my money the best of the collection is the sad and unsettling "Roots and All," which deals with the deterioration of a rural area and the prices that must be paid to restore it. Most of the other stories were pretty "meh" to me, including that from one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Hand. In fact I found her story to be more interesting for the fact that she claims, in her end notes, that an identical experience actually happened to her when she was growing up than for the story itself. The story was definitely not in the class of her incredible tale, "Prince of Flowers," that made fans of so many of us. I would recommend this for hard-core horror fans who are starving for something new to read but if you're looking for something outstanding you will not find it here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Randy Stafford VINE VOICE on September 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
You can ignore the short introduction which claims this anthology is out to reclaim the label "horror" for scary stories. Not all the stories here are scary. Some aren't even dark fantasy. And some left me somewhat unsatisfied.

But they all kept me interested.

Starting things off here is the big name: Stephen King. "The Little God of Agony" is an ok story, actually one of the lesser efforts here. It generated no disgust, revulsion, shock or, in fact, any other emotion in me. I found the biggest point of interest was King playing against type in which character he ultimately chooses to portray sympathetically: billionaire Newsome, who is in pain from an accident and is prepared to retain the strange service of a preacher, or his nurse and physical therapist Kat who thinks Newsome is trying to buy his way out of a situation where money doesn't work.

The presence of Caitlín Kiernan was the whole reason I read this book. Like some other stories in this book, her "Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint" doesn't really have much of a payoff in the end. But, if the destination isn't anything special, the trip there certainly is. And the road trip here involves a mysterious, amnesiac hitchhiker and the boy who picks her up. Sure, as Kiernan admits in the story notes, it's ultimately an excuse to string together some famous historical fires - like the firebombing of Dresden, the Peshtigo fire contemporaneous to the Great Chicago Fire, and a circus tent fire - in a plot vibrating with mythic resonance. That doesn't mean it's not enjoyable.

Angela Slatter's "The Coffin-Maker's Daughter" is not horrific, but it is an interesting character study set in a Victorianesque world where death rituals are important to prevent the dead from haunting the living.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ed Gosney on September 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Yes! Wow! Yippee!

How many ways can I show my excitement for A Book of Horrors, edited by Stephen Jones? Well, I'm not going to go all Elizabeth Barrett Browning here and count the ways, but geez louise was this a wonderful gift to lovers of all things scary.

Jones pulled out some heavy hitters with Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Caitlin Kiernan, and Richard Christian Matheson, but the entire lineup of writers did a ghoulishly good job, enough to make any fan boy drown in a puddle of his own saliva.

I think most readers, like me, dive into books like this with low expectations of writers we aren't familiar with. For example, I never before heard of John Ajvide Lindqvist, and when I got to his story (The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer) I felt the quality of this anthology would take a dive. Wrong. I should have better trusted Stephen Jones, as this was perhaps my favorite chiller in the bunch.

But it really is hard for me to decide the best. I absolutely adored Angela Slatter's The Coffin-Maker's Daughter and Michael Marshall Smith had me at hello with Sad, Dark Thing.

Besides being available in stores and in e-book format, the Science Fiction Book Club is also offering it. What a wonderful Halloween gift this would make for the horror fan in your life!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By misplaced cajun on October 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of short story collections and anthologies. Anthologies give you a chance to try out some new-to-you authors in an easy (and, let's face it, noncommittal) way. But that's ok! Sometimes all it takes is one or two key authors to pull me into a collection (um, Mr. King) and then I walk away with a slew of new stuff to add to my ever-growing TBR. And such was just the case with this latest from horror anthology master, Stephen Jones.

A Book of Horrors features fourteen all new short stories from the best in the horror business:

"The Little Green God of Agony" by Stephen King
"Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint" by Caitlin R. Kiernan
"Ghosts with Teeth" by Peter Crowther
"The Coffin-Maker's Daughter" by Angela Slatter
"Roots and All" by Brian Hodge
"Tell Me I'll See You Again" by Dennis Etchison
"The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer" by John Ajvide Lindqvist
"Getting it Wrong" by Ramsey Campbell
"Alice Through the Plastic Sheet" by Robert Shearman
"The Man in the Ditch" by Lisa Tuttle
"A Child's Problem" by Reggie Oliver
"Sad, Dark Thing" by Michael Marshall Smith
"Near Zennor" by Elizabeth Hand
"Last Words" by Richard Christian Matheson

The stories range from classic ghosts and monsters to oddball tales of strange neighbors and stories that reach back to classic folklore.

A few of my favorites:

"Ghosts with Teeth" by Peter Crowther. It's no lie that I'm a sucker for a brilliant ghost story and Crowther's tale was that and more! This creepy story totally blew me away. Crowther is one of the authors I'd never read before so I was definitely pleased to add his Darkness Falling to my immediate must read pile.

"The Coffin-Maker's Daughter" by Angela Slatter. Um...
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