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House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories Mass Market Paperback – September 27, 2011


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris; Original edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907992073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907992070
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Oliver is the Editor-in-Chief of Solaris and Abaddon books, the author of Twilight of Kerberos: The Call of Kerberos and editor of End of the Line. House of Fear is his second anthology of horror as editor.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on October 1, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
House of Fear collects almost twenty original short stories from some of the top names in horror (including a few that I, embarrassingly, had never read before!). All ostensibly united by the theme of "haunted houses", this isn't a collection of creaky Victorian floorboards - rather, the authors take a far-ranging and creative approach.

Robert Shearman's "The Dark Space in the House in the House in the Garden at the Centre of the World" is a grim little retelling of the Genesis myth, as set in modern suburbia. Mr. Shearman is a cult hero for his weird and terrifying short fiction and this is an excellent start.

Lisa Tuttle ("Objects in Dreams may be Closer than they Appear") and Stephen Volk ("Pied-a-terre") both look into what it is that makes a house special - not the structure, but what it means to a family or couple. Both stories having their hauntings, but they're more likely to elicit a forlorn sniffle than a shriek. They're good horror, but they make you think.

For more overtly horrifying tales, Jonathan Green ("The Doll's House), Adam Nevill ("Florrie") and Weston Ochse ("Driving the Milky Way") will all make you lose sleep. Mr. Green, known more for his swashbuckling fantasy series, unveils an unexpected dark side in this tale of a crumbling family and the difficulties of raising a child. Adam Nevill's tale has a similar theme, but in the case of "Florrie", it isn't about children, it is about the elderly. Mr. Nevill makes a grandmotherly parlour into a truly horrible place. Mr. Ochse's haunted house is a caravan in the middle of the desert - a playhouse for children over the summer and the gateway to a terrible obssession.

There are some traditional tales, but even those have unique spins.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bâki on October 10, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is just under a year since I reviewed Jonathan Oliver's first collection of themed original horror shorts, The End of the Line. That was, I thought, an excellent collection overall, and therfore I've been excited for this second anthology ever since it was first announced. House of Fear has the classic haunted house as its theme. This is heavily traversed ground and so the challenge here, far more than with the previous collection, is to find original and exciting ways to tell these stories. I'm pleased to say the contributors to the House of Fear have succeeded admirably in this regard.

First up is Objects In Dreams May Be Closer Than They Appear by veteran supernatural scribe, Lisa Tuttle. This is a great opener to the collection, and one which I feel perfectly sets the tone for the anthology as a whole. Focusing as it does on the search for a rural idyll and a house that may not even exist. It is well told and shows from the outset that this is a collection happy to play creatively with its theme.

Up next is one of the standout stories in the collection for me, Pied-Á-Terre by Stephen Volk. Volk is one of a number of contributors to House of Fear who also contributed to The End of the Line. This tale is poignant and understated, taking as its basis a real event and using its haunting as a warning to spur the protagonist into making a key decision about her life. It is expertly done. This is followed by another great story, In the Absence Of Murdoch, by Terry Lamsley. Lamsley is one of a handful of writers in this anthology whose work is previously unknown to me, but this quirky, darkly mischievous and very enjoyable tale has placed him firmly on my radar.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Moody TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The new haunted house anthology by Jonathan Oliver has an uninspiring title: the hopelessly generic House of Fear, which sounds like it ought to be attached to a bad 1980s horror flick. (It doesn't help that the title is printed in a red-orange font that likewise belongs on a movie poster, or that the back cover, in the same font, offers what could be that movie's tagline: HOME IS WHERE THE HORROR IS.) But issues of presentation aside, this is a very strong anthology in which major names offer a variety of spins on the haunted house. None of the stories are less than solid, and while a few have minor imperfections that limit their effect, another few are top-notch, making on the whole a very readable set of tales.

Mark Twain once observed that "The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." Small differences can also have major consequences for the ghost story, in which the creation of atmosphere and other effects is a perilously delicate process. Stories that fall short in these mild ways are by no means bad; it's only that they bring on a sense of "Almost..." that can, in the moment, be as frustrating as larger failure. It is in that spirit that most of my quibbles with various stories in House of Fear are offered.

Stephen Volk's "Pied-a-terre," for example, about a real estate showing in which events take an unexpected turn, does a fine job of generating unease through the very claustrophobia and unattractiveness of the house, enhanced by small moments of oddness. But the story's thematic point, intended to be subtle, is made too blatant by a characterization that, while far from crude, is nonetheless easy to interpret given how familiar it is. Adam L.G.
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