With this varied collection of enchanting though not always astonishing tales, Chabon (who also edited McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales) aims for an anthology full of "genre bending and stylistic play." There's quite a lineup of writers taking a stab at "genre" fiction here: many expected (Margaret Atwood, Stephen King), but a few surprises as well, and a newcomer or two. Atwood offers a fantastical tale of a human "lusus naturae" (freak of nature) who suffers from a nameless disease that results in yellow eyes, red fingernails and fangs—how does such a creature fit into a family? Jonathan Lethem's charming "Vivian Relf," which concerns two strangers who seem familiar to each other and who continue to cross each others' paths, is a kind of love story, but there are also tales creepy (Jason Roberts's "7C") and strange (China Miéville's "Reports of Certain Events in London"). Stephen King's "Lisey and the Madman" is full of engaging detail and feeling. While a couple of stories fail to reach the high-water mark, this collection will offer readers plenty of pleasure and perhaps even a sense of doing good (an endnote says that "this book benefits 826 Valencia," the San Francisco writing lab founded by Dave Eggers and Co.).
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Not so much astonishing tales, as horror tales. But not really horror tales, either. So, astonishing is right? Read morePublished 17 months ago by Wheeler
Sorry McSweeney, the chamber is less than enchanted and the stories are only marginally astonishing. Read morePublished on April 22, 2012 by Badbob
Just plain mediocre, especially considering the fact that many of these folks are well established authors. Read morePublished on October 28, 2011 by Ethan Fode
It may make a difference to say I was given the book so I didn't financially invest in it butt I loved it and Chambon's intro set the tone off well. Read morePublished on January 6, 2010 by sojourner8
So with a title like "Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories" one is whisked away to the days of pulp writers, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, and H.P. Lovecraft. Read morePublished on August 8, 2009 by JEREMY WELLS
Obviously with a collection of this sort, you're going to have your hits, your misses, and your mediocrities. Read morePublished on October 28, 2007 by Matt M. Martin
I've often said that a collection of short stories is going to contain some good, some bad, and some indifferent. Read morePublished on October 12, 2005 by Frank J. Konopka
At last, a collection of short fiction that spans genres as easily as sliding across a dark, icy lake at midnight, plummeting towards the black void of the thorns that await you at... Read morePublished on June 15, 2005 by Schtinky