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Dark Delicacies Mass Market Paperback – August 28, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If, as Howison writes in his afterword, "Horror has always been the blues of literature," then this anthology of 20 new tales of the macabre is an all-star concert whose performers work haunting riffs on gutbucket themes. In "The Reincarnate," Ray Bradbury makes a reanimated corpse the focus of a poetic reverie on death and loss. Clive Barker serves up a pastiche of the antique penny dreadful in "Haeckel's Tale," but with the traditional subtexts of sex and death unapologetically exposed to view. Supernatural and psychological horror interweave seamlessly in John Farris's "Bloody Mary Morning," a tale of modern horror with a classic Ambrose Bierce–style twist. In Ramsey Campbell's fiercely funny "The Announcement," a writer's psychological meltdown plunges him into a paranoid conspiracy distilled impurely from The Da Vinci Code. Howison, the proprietor of Burbank, Calif.'s Dark Delicacies horror bookstore, and Gelb, co-editor of the Hot Blood anthology series, have plundered their Rolodexes to recruit a formidable lineup of horror's top creative talents.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The Burbank, California, bookstore Dark Delicacies is world renowned for its singular dedication to horror. Using the bookstore's reputation to attract both celebrated and lesser-known horror authors, owner Howison and veteran anthologist Gelb have assembled the first collection of original short horror fiction bearing the shop's imprimatur. The opening tale, by the legendary Ray Bradbury, recounts the fate of a corpse irresistibly pulled from the grave by the call of the living. The final story, by horror master Clive Barker, reports a nineteenth--century scientist's grisly encounter with zombies. In between those appropriately chilling bookends, such veterans as Ramsey Campbell and Whitley Strieber rub elbows with such relative newcomers as Steve Niles and Rick Pickman. Two standouts, Lisa Morton's story of a solitary abalone forager stumbling across a mass murderer, and Playboy cartoonist Gahan Wilson's about a macabre artist whose grim subjects may be all too real, sell the volume all on their own. Indispensable for both horror fans and, of course, Dark Delicacies' patrons. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441015301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441015306
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,475,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Del Howison is an award-winning editor, journalist, fiction author and actor. He has been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award three times (and won it once), for the Black Quill Award twice, for the Shirley Jackson Award and for the Rondo Hatton Award. Along with his wife Sue, he founded and has operated Dark Delicacies (America's Home of Horror) in Burbank for 17 years. His short story The Lost Herd was retitled The Sacrifice scripted by Mick Garris and directed by Breck Eisner and used as the premiere episode on NBC's anthology show Fear Itself. He has co-edited four books including all three of the Dark Delicacies anthologies and The Book of Lists Horror. His latest book is When Werewolves Attack from Ulysses Press. He also co-wrote (under the pseudonym of D. H. Atrial) Vampires Don't Sleep Alone with Elizabeth Barrial. His film acting appearences include Dahmer Vs Gacy, The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula, Blood Scarab, and The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisted.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on September 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There are a number of quality stories in the horror genre but few vehicles in which to showcase them. I keep hoping for a breakthrough, and we just might have it with DARK DELICACIES, a new horror anthology edited by Del Howison and Jeff Gelb. Howison is the owner of Dark Delicacies, a bookstore that caters to horror fans. Gelb has made his own contributions to the horror field, most notably with the critically acclaimed HOT BLOOD anthology series that he edits with Michael Garrett. Howison and Gelb have assembled a stellar cast of authors to contribute to the inaugural voyage of DARK DELICACIES, providing a collection of stories that for the most part live up to even the grandest expectations.

It would be difficult to top a volume that opens with an original Ray Bradbury story. The inclusion of "The Reincarnate" sets the tone of quality that permeates this collection. It is reminiscent of Bradbury's work in the 1960s --- a fine, bittersweet tale of loss and yearning with a classic supernatural tone, one that relies on mood and emotion rather than shock and splatter (not that there's anything wrong with that!) to carry it along.

There are so many great stories here that it is difficult to pick a consistent favorite. "The Pyre and Others" by David Schow will resonate with bibliophiles, while giving a whole new meaning to the term "dream book." A previously unpublished Richard Laymon story, "The Drowning Girl," plays on a male fantasy dealing with voyeurism (as, indeed, much of his work did), yet it is as haunting a work as one is likely to encounter. William F. Nolan is also well-represented here with "Depompa." Nolan was writing well-crafted, understated short stories before I could even hold a pencil properly (and I'm old enough to remember black-and-white television).
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Antonio D. Paolucci on April 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
First off, the title of this book is a little misleading. Dark Delicacies is not a trip into fantastic eroticism, vampiric tales of obscene delight, or anything in the vein of goth. This book carries the name of a book shop, nothing more, that is known for carrying only horror books and other such things dealing with the occult, with Del Howison as the proprietor of this shop as well as co-editor of this book.

After I learned as much, I found myself diving deep into the terror-tales in this book, and no book in recent years has opened up as good as this. Ray Bradbury's tale is an intricate, circling story that really introduces what can be expected from the other tales in this book. What is great about this book is that it covers all ranges of horror, from the hack-and-slash to the psychological, and most of them are successful in there attempts to elicit a chill. And, along with Ray Bradbury, there are quite a few high-powered writers contributing their talent to this book, including Clive Barker, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Ramsey Campbell, Nancy Holder, and Richard Matheson, and those are the ones I've heard of before. While I hesitate to say what some of the stories are about, I will say that of the 20 tales (I've read 15), I was only disappointed maybe twice. Not once did I feel exploited, though, which is something very important to me when I read horror. These stories are smart, as well as scary.

Because of that reason, I have to recommend this book above all other short story collections this year that relates to horror or dark fantasy. Often, I pick up a best of collection and realize that only four or five of the tales actually appeal to my tastes. Not with this one. If you love old-fashioned horror written by some of the fields masters, then get Dark Delicacies.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Linda Painchaud-Steinman VINE VOICE on October 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
First, I'll say that in my opinion, there wasn't a single "clunker" of a story in this entire anthology. Each tale worked in its own way to captivate and satisfy --even for this "jaded" reader of horror.

Second, I must say that I strongly disagree with the reviewer who attacked Whitley Streiber's story on the basis that it had a "liberal" slant. (What does that have to do with merit of the story???) If you don't like liberals, that's fine, but why include your opinion in a book review?)

Anyway, I digress, as did the writer of that review.

Finally, some of the best stories in the book are by the lesser known authors, though the superstars who were included didn't send in any "trunk stories" either.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By javamonster on September 7, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
No, this collection of short stories isn't an intellectual excercise in academia, but it does have such a wide variety of horror styles by excellent writers, that it DOES make you think about "What is horror?" What is horror, what does it try to say and accomplish?

As others have said, the horror styles range from poetic (Harryhausen) to hack and slash, and everything in between. There's even political horror in there. After all, what makes horror, horror? Blood and guts, sure. But also what people do to other people, defining the Other as the reader and putting you smack in the middle of the horror of different situations.

Wonderful anthology. I'm planning on making the trip to Dark Delicacies (a short drive away). I hadn't heard of the store until I found this book in the library.
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