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Scary Stories Hardcover – August 17, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–9—A collection of 20 previously published stories, some by well-known writers of horror such as Stephen King and H. P. Lovecraft, others by authors not generally associated with the genre, like Winston Churchill. Each selection includes a chilling black-and-white engraving, often placed near the end of the story for maximum effect. These tales are easily found elsewhere, whether it be in collections or in single editions, and are more creepy than gory. An additional purchase in libraries where short stories and horror are popular.—Michele Capozzella, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Dishing up a deliciously disturbing blend of new and old terrors, this collection offers a ballad and more than a dozen prose stories, ranging from Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart" to contributions from Margaret Mahy, Dean Koontz, and even Winston Churchill. Several entries are downright gruesome--particularly Bram Stoker's "The Squaw," in which a cat deals bloody comeuppance to a crude nineteenth-century tourist who casually kills her kitten--and each is illustrated with a stark wood engraving from Moser. Concluding with a bit of comic relief supplied by Robert W. Service's "The Cremation of Sam McGee," this will be fine bedtime reading. Oh, definitely. John Peters
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (August 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811854140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811854146
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #935,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By GoryDetails on May 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Eep! I've enjoyed many books featuring Barry Moser's illustrations, and when I spotted this horror anthology with his distinctive style on the cover I had to have it. The table of contents shows stories by classic horror writers Lovecraft, Poe, Bierce, and more - but also includes works by more recent authors, from Capote to King. [Several of these, including the opening story, Dean Koontz' "Kittens," and Bram Stoker's "The Squaw," feature Bad Things Happening To Cats, so be warned; in most cases vengeance is duly delivered, and I find that I have a much easier time reading about Bad Things Happening To Bad (or at least Not Very Nice) People!]

Moser's illustrations are sometimes rather subtle - like the hand on the cover, fingertips dripping blood - and sometimes outright horrifying, like the picture of the baby in Dahl's "Genesis and Catastrophe". [That's the kind of picture that used to make me memorize the page number so I could flip past it without looking next time!] Each story has one illustration, sometimes of a key moment and sometimes of an incidental one, but all very effective.

I was amused to find this line in the E. F. Benson story "The Bus-Conductor" - it might serve as an explanation for why one would deliberately read a book with stories and pictures that make one want to look away. One character is being asked by another why he continues to go ghost-hunting when it clearly terrifies him, "or do you like being frightened?":

"'Why, of course, I like being frightened,' I said. 'I want to be made to creep and creep and creep. Fear is the most absorbing and luxurious of emotions. One forgets all else if one is afraid.'"

It isn't the terrifying tales that bother me most; it's the profoundly disturbing ones, such as Joyce Carol Oates' nightmarish "Thanksgiving". Give me tell-tale hearts and ghostly weddings any day!
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By A. C. Herrick on February 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On the back of the book is a short reveiw fom Newsweek," Moser's work is never less than dazzling." This is not hype but true. Each short story in the book has illustrations by Barry Moser that go to center of the tale. Be this tale horror or in some cases just plain strange. The stories are standards of horror literature for the most part and are worth reading. Some of the stories are quite dark, so be forwarned. My favorites are:
The Magic Shop by H.G. Wells
Miriam by Truman Capote
The Tell-Heart by E.A. Poe
The Squaw by Bram Stoker
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
The Bus-Conductor by E.F. Benson
John Charrington's Wedding by E. Nesbit
The Furnished Room by O. Henry
The Boarded Window by Ambrose Bierce
The Man Upstairs by Ray Bradbury
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Format: Hardcover
An excellent selection of short horror stories, some by familiar authors, others not. Each story is creepy and disturbing in its own way, and the illustrations by Barry Moser perfectly capture the essence of each. I read these aloud with my 11-year-old son, and afterward found myself lingering over each story, thinking about some image or mood created by the narrative. (In a couple of the stories, the 19th-century phrasing was a little difficult for my son.) The collection could have been better yet by including more stories and more illustrations.
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