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Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural: A Treasury of Spellbinding Tales Old and New Hardcover – May, 1985

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Hardcover, May, 1985
$51.01 $10.51
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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About the Author

Marvin Kaye, award-winning author and anthologist, has compiled several collections of fantasy fiction, and has written many acclaimed fantasy novels. He is an associate professor of creative writing at New York University and the artistic director of the Open Book theatre company in New York. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 623 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (May 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385185499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385185493
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The words I am about to write will not do justice to this anthology. If you are a fan of horror short stories, get this before you get anything else. None of the stories are bad, and many are terrfying and unforgettable. Theodore Sturgeon's "The Professor's Teddy Bear" is unique, grotesque, and it will stick with you for months. "His Unconquerable Enemy" has a gripping climax that will amaze you. "The Bottle Imp" is a grand tale of treachery, pain, and sacrifice. "Hop-Frog" is a Poe selection that is every bit as brilliant as his more famous works, and in traditional Poe fashion it is a tale of revenge. I could go on about every story in here but instead I will just very strongly recommend this to all fans of horror literature.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an absolute treasure! Stoker, Lovecraft, Poe, Shelley, Asimov, Bierce, Tolkien are all here. You'll also find Richard Matheson, Tanith Lee, Sheridan LeFanu, Orson Scott Card (with one of the most disturbing, chilling tales I've ever read), Ogden Nash, Tennessee Williams, Jack London, Walt Whitman (is this high-school english class! ), Robert Bloch and more. Each selection comes with a little background note providing some info about the author, history about that particular story and recommendations for other related readings. This collection is fantastic; it doesn't disappoint. English class would have been infinitely more interesting with this kind of reading!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Masterpieces" is correct. This book is hard to put down. Usually when reading a collection gathered on a mutual theme, the mind of the reader eventually numbs from the sameness of the stories. Not so with this anthology. Each story is unique, unpredictable, and well written. I enjoyed it greatly. I give it the highest praise possible here--5 stars.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up at the thrift store for about thirty-five cents, expecting the usual collection of stories that I have probably read countless times before in other anthologies.While it did have the requisite Poe and Lovecraft, I was pleasantly surprised by the offbeat and rare pieces of work this book offered. Some standouts include "Graveyard Shift" by Richard Matheson (immeasurably better than the King story of the same name, "The Night Wire" by H.F. Arnold, and Orson Scott Card's "Eumenides In The Fourth Floor Lavatory". The roster also includes such authors as Dylan Thomas, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Theodore Sturgeon. All in all, a good collection with more than a few surprises.
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Format: Hardcover
A perfectly-chosen one volume collection of classic horror and weird fiction from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Introduction: In Search of Masterpieces · Marvin Kaye
Dracula's Guest [Dracula] · Bram Stoker · ss Dracula's Guest, London: Routledge, 1914; written in 1897 as part of Dracula, this chapter was omitted from the published book for reasons of length.
The Professor's Teddy Bear · Theodore Sturgeon · ss Weird Tales Mar '48
Bubnoff and the Devil · Ivan Turgenev & Marvin Kaye, adapt. · ss Fiends and Creatures, ed. Marvin Kaye, Popular Library, 1975
The Quest for "Blank Claveringi" · Patricia Highsmith · ss The Saturday Evening Post Jun 17 '67; revised from "The Snails".
The Erl-King · Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe · pm *; English adaption by Marvin Kaye
The Bottle Imp · Robert Louis Stevenson · nv New York Herald Feb 8-Mar 1, 1891
A Malady of Magicks [Ebenezum] · Craig Shaw Gardner · ss Fantastic Oct '78
Lan Lung [expanded from "Dragon...Ghost"] · M. Lucie Chin · nv Ares #1 '80; restored version
The Dragon Over Hackensack · Richard L. Wexelblat · pm *
The Transformation · Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley · ss The Keepsake, 1831, 1830
The Faceless Thing · Edward D. Hoch · ss Magazine of Horror Nov '63
The Anchor · Jack Snow · ss Dark Music and Other Spectral Tales, Herald, 1947
When the Clock Strikes · Tanith Lee · ss Weird Tales #1, ed. Lin Carter, DAW, 1981
Oshidori · Lafcadio Hearn · vi Kwaidan, Houghton Mifflin, 1904
Carmilla [Martin Hesselius] · Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu · na The Dark Blue Dec, 1871 (+3)
Eumenides in the Fourth Floor Lavatory · Orson Scott Card · nv Chrysalis 4, ed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was published in 1985. It contained 53 works by as many writers. There were 47 short stories and 6 poems.

The editor said his basis for selection was stories that gave his jaded spine a chill. He tried to focus on the psychology of terror, the "cosmic fear of the unknown," rather than the gory and repugnant; on stories with an "icy insight into human nature," rather than blood. He avoided any tale that had been anthologized too often.

The pieces ranged from the 1770s to the 1980s, covering virtually every decade. Two-thirds of the works were from the 20th century. More than half of the writers were from the United States, with the rest from Great Britain, Ireland, Russia, France and Germany. The earliest writers included both those well known (Goethe, Mary Shelley, Hawthorne, Poe, Tennyson, Turgenev, Whitman), and lesser known (Bürger, Tieck, Courtois, Hearn).

From the 20th and late 19th centuries, there were contributions by prominent writers who wrote often on terror or the macabre (LeFanu, Bierce, Stoker, Maupassant, Stevenson, Saki, Crane, London, Lovecraft, Bloch, Sturgeon, Highsmith, Matheson) and prominent ones who didn't (Andreyev, Runyon, Tolkien, Ogden Nash, I. B. Singer, Tennessee Williams, Dylan Thomas, Asimov); most of the tales from the latter were hardly spine-chilling. Lesser-known writers for this period included W. C. Morrow, Ralph Adams Cram, Abraham Merritt, H. F. Arnold, John Dickson Carr, Jack Snow, Stanley Ellin, Ray Russell and Parke Godwin from the United States, A. M. Burrage and Robert Aickman from England, and Anatole Le Braz and Maurice Level from France.
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