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From the Borderlands: Stories of Terror and Madness Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446610356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446610353
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #959,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By DanD VINE VOICE on September 8, 2004
I'm not one to judge the "Borderlands" series. After all, as stated in the introduction by editors Elizabeth and Thomas Monteleone, when the last "Borderlands" collection was published I was getting my kicks by reading "Goosebumps." That being said, I AM able to judge this collection: and I say it's one hell of a read!

The great thing about this collection is its uniqueness and diversity. Gone are the vampire/werewolf/ghost stories; in place are tales, some supernatural, some horror (and a couple that aren't), about the tricks the human mind can play. Some of these tricks stay within the mind itself; some of them manifest in the physical world, in the way we interpret our surroundings. These stories are psychological horror stories; in my opinion, the best kind.

Diversity. There are some big name people in here: Stephen King takes a horrific look at exercise in his novella "Stationary Bike;" in "Father Bob and Bobby," Whitley Strieber tells of a priest who is having a horrific controntation with his reality. You'll never read a bedtime story again after looking through John Farris's "Story Time with the Bluefield Stranger." David J. Schow's "The Thing too Hideous to Describe" is a comedic, yet tragic, look at the life of our world's hidden monsters. Bentley Little's "The Planting" is just as macabre, outrageous, and hideously enjoyable as the author's novels; while Tom Piccirilli's "Around it Still the Sumac Grows" details a man returning to his old high school, and reliving the horrors he once experienced.

There are some new names, however. Lon Prater's "Head Music," a poetic story about a man who becomes kin with a strange sea creature, is the author's first professional sale.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Whitt Patrick Pond TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 3, 2005
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The full title of the book is From The Borderlands: Stories Of Terror And Madness. But in truth, that title is misleading, for it is neither terror nor madness that make a story a Borderlands story. Even the title of the original version, Borderlands 5: An Anthology Of Imaginative Fiction, hints only at the imaginative aspect of what makes a Borderlands story.

To me, the thing that truly makes a story a Borderlands story is a pulling back of the edges of our perceptions of what is real and what is safe. A Borderlands story takes you to boundaries you never knew existed, then pulls back the curtain and lets you glimpse what lies beyond. Sometimes it can leave you with a sense of wonder, more often with a sense of unsettling dread. But it never leaves you the same as you were before you started.

My personal favorites in this anthology, in which I consider myself fortunate to be included, are:

"Rami Temporalis" by Gary Braunbeck. Ever think you have "one of those faces"? Maybe you do. But Braunbeck's concept of why this might be so is supremely unique and leaves one awed by the sheer scale of the idea.

"All Hands" by John Platt. If you're like most people, you take your hands for granted. You shouldn't. You really shouldn't.

"The Food Processor" by Michael Canfield. Who says all fables must be set in a non-technological past with magic and talking animals? This could've been written by Aesop... if the ancient Greeks had had industrial food processors.

"Answering The Call" by Brian Freeman. Think your job is bad? The worst ones are the ones we never see. Freeman will show you one you'll wish you didn't even know existed.

"Smooth Operator" by Dominick Cancilla.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin K. Potter on October 21, 2004
I love short stories, and love the idea of having this collection that strays from the mainstream into new dark waters. But I think the idea ended up being better than the execution here ... the collection sits a bit lacking.

I think the problem is in the editors' lack of understanding the difference between "terror" and "shock value." A lot of these stories are shocking, but few really get into your head. And the most tiresome "shock du jour" appears to be child molestation. The story "Father Bob And Bobby" is a nice example of this -- he traded in genuine horror for a cheap shock and gross-out factor. At least four other stories try and weave in child abuse into their tales.

Even the Stephen King plot was flat, although I always enjoy his writing style and cadance so it was still an enjoyable read. I also think "Smooth Operator" (Dominick Cancilla), "Rami Temporalis" (Gary Braunbeck) and "All Hands" (John Platt) were quite excellent. But there are 10-15 stories in here that I think don't work for various reasons. A handful of 5-star efforts sprinkled among the 2-star fodder makes it a 3-star book overall.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Coroner on July 2, 2005
Please disregard any previously written reviews for this book that are hostile in tone. The book is not the best compilation of the genre ever written, but it is clearly a delectable collection for all you crazies out there who prefer nightmares and dual personalities as pets over kitty-kats and puppies. The only truly LOUSY story is actually Mr. King's contribution, but anyone who doesn't anticipate rustiness from the once-stalwart giant is not really keeping score.
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