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Dark Delicacies II: Fear Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Horror tales to suit virtually every taste make this follow-up to the Stoker-winning Dark Delicacies (2005) a fulfilling feast of fear. As with its predecessor, Howison and Gelb imposed no thematic restrictions on contributors, and the result is a refreshingly varied anthology of above-average quality. Peter Atkins's Stacy and Her Idiot, a wry exercise in supernatural noir, perfectly couches its horrors in the hard-boiled idiom. Joe R. Lansdale transforms man's best friend into his worst nightmare in Dog, a taut thriller that achieves the intensity of supernatural fiction in its riveting account of a maniacal dog's relentless pursuit of a human victim. In Barbara Hambly's suspenseful Sunrise on Running Water, a vampire passenger aboard the Titanic struggles to avoid inevitable immolation the morning after the ship goes down. In addition to rare short stories from novelists Max Brooks and Robert Masello, the volume includes an eclectic mix of older and younger talents that ensures broad-based appeal to horror readers. (Oct.)
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.

Review

"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...Howison, the proprietor of Burbank, Calif.'s Dark Delicacies horror bookstore, and Gelb, coeditor of the Hot Blood anthology series, have plundered their Rolodexes to recruit a formidable lineup of horror's top creative talents." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441016286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441016280
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,388,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dan Weinstein on November 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
The first DARK DELICACIES anthology was one of the knockouts of 2005; it earned almost unanimous critical praise and won the Bram Stoker Award as Best Anthology.

If possible, DARK DELICACIES II: FEAR surpasses that earlier volume, in both quality and jolts.

There's not a bad tale here, and editors Jeff Gelb and Del Howison have provided a delicious mix of established horror masters (Joe Lansdale, John Farris), writers who don't often appear in anthologies (Tananarive Due, Barbara Hambly) and newcomers. In fact, one of the best stories in the book, "The Unlikely Redemption of Jared Pierce", comes courtesy of screenwriter Joey O'Bryan and represents his first published fiction; the story, about a reformed drunk driver vs. "Mr. Lucky", a victim with a serious grudge, features a finale guaranteed to turn heads. Other standouts include Glen Hirshberg's creepy and tragic "I Am Coming to Live in Your Mouth", about a woman who must deal with both her terminal husband and sinister figures haunting his deathbed; and Caitlin Kiernan's "The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4)", which closes the book like a fine dessert beautifully prepared by a gourmet chef.

Here's hoping this is only the second installment of a long and healthy series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LoneStarReader on September 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Alternative review title: The book of bad endings

In his afterword, editor Jeff Gelb questions why there are not more horror anthologies. He needs to look no farther than his own book to answer that question. Many of the stories are poorly written. Others are just darned confusing. Many more are hardly worth the time it takes to read them. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between in this anthology heavy on confusion, lite on horror.

THE EXCEPTIONS (Let's be fair and start with the good ones.)

"What the Devil Won't Take ..." by L.A. Banks. Wow! What an amazing story. The first piece of fiction in a very long time that illicited an audible *gasp* from me at such raw and visceral scenes. Had the rest of the book lived up to the caliber of this one story, it would have been an amazing anthology.

"The Accompanist" by Joh Harrison. This story should have bored me, since it takes a long time to unfold. However, the prose is infused with an eeriness that made my skin crawl. Sadly, the ending is a major let down, but I still rate it high for pure creepiness.

"Stacy and her Idiot" by Peter Atkins. Excellent voice, tight writing, good pace. Maybe more fantasy than horror, but still a good read.

"Words, Words, Words!" by Gary Brandner. An old-fashioned pulp-horror story that's fun to read. It has some glaring plot holes, but is still worth reading.

"The Unlikely Redemption of Jared Pierce" by Joey O'Brian. Well written and unusual. I commend the author for allowing his narrator to die, a most unexpected twist. This was a first sale and I would be interested in sampling more from this author.

THE BAD ENDINGS

"Dog" by Joe R Lansdale.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RIJU GANGULY on July 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although its Stoker-winning predecessor had set very high standards by which any anthology bearing the name "Dark Delicacies" is to be judged, this volume passes the test with flying colours. Every story in this volume was refreshingly different in their approach towards the 'horrifying' aspects of life, while retaining the trully absorbing quality of narration. I have read and re-read every story and nearly every one has provided me with that exquisite shudder that we dream of while purchasing any book of horror. Among them the following are especially noteworthy for the way they accomplished to spin certain hackneyed themes:
1. "Sunrise on Running Water" by Barbara Hambly deals with the dilemma faced by a vampire on-board the sinking Titanic;
2. "If there's a Will.." by Robert Masello recalls the Poesque theme of premature burial with a superb twist at the end;
3. "Between eight and nine o' clock" by Robert Garton, despite being a sordid tale of murderous calculations gone wrong, has a memorable touch of humanity that is quite rare now-a-days.

I whole-heartedly encourage the readers to purchase this book and to enjoy the stories one-at-a-time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daimion on July 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the country's premiere horror bookshop - Dark Delicacies, in Burbank. Some friends of mine, knowing my love of reading, thought that I would enjoy a visit to the shop. Boy, were they right. I met the owner, Del Howison, and proceeded to spend an hour discussing everything from zombies, to Stephen King, to Brian Keene. It was such a pleasure to talk with Del - his love and passion for writing, and the horror genre in particular, were infectious.

While there, Del asked if I had read any of his horror anthologies. I admitted that I had not - if you've read my other reviews, you know that I am not a particularly big fan of short fiction. After talking with Del, though, I was intrigued by what type of collection he and his other editor, Jeff Gelb, would pull together. As I looked through the three volumes of "Dark Delicacies", I noticed that volume two had an unpublished story from Max Brooks, set in the world of "World War Z". Being a fan of Brooks, and zombies in general, I was sold. I picked up the book - which Del was kind enough to sign for me - and headed home.

"Dark Delicacies 2" collects 18 tales of varying degrees of horror. There is a forward by legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen (who seems a little unsure why he is introducing a horror collection - but has good insights into the creative process), a brief intro by Del Howison, and wrap-up by Jeff Gelb. As with most anthologies, there are hits and misses here. Not every author is going to appeal to every reader. That's true here, but there were a few standout stories for me - chief among them "Great Wall: A Story From the Zombie War", "A Host of Shadows", and "The Unlikely Redemption of Jared Pearce".

I'm looking forward to my next trip out to Burbank.
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