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325 of 337 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2010
I was extremely disappointed when I found out about a reprinting of Scary Stories with a new illustrator. Like many adults I grew up reading these books by myself and with friends. The best part of reading these stories was turning the page to see what sick illustration was next. They creeped you out and I know I am not alone when I say that as an adult, they still creep me out. That's what is so fun about them to this day. I lament that this generation of readers will read a version of Scary Stories with watered down illustrations because uptight and squeamish parents have tried to ban these books from libraries. I have the originals and I will keep them for posterity.
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180 of 188 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2010
PLEASE READ!

This collection of folklore is absolutely wonderful. Alvin Schwartz writes in a style that is both easy to read and has a lasting effect that tells the story in a unique way for readers of all ages.

But...

I am VERY disappointed in the artwork. I have the original copies that were printed in the early 90's with illustrations by Steven Gammell. If you wish to see a some examples of his works, here are some links:

[...]

I'm not knocking Brett Helquist; his style is well suited for "Series of Unfortunate Events" but not Alvin Schwartz' "Scary Stories" collection. Some reviewers wrote that this collection was not scary at all; I beg to differ....

The reason the stories are scary is because of the ART! There's the overused saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" ... that sums up Steven Gammell. I first read these books in third grade and they stuck with me ever since, simply because of the terribly gruesome and disturbing imagery. The stories by themselves are uninteresting and honestly, Brett Helquist's illustrations do not give this book series justice whatsoever!!

I also realize that the older copies that have Steven Gammell's illustrations are hard to find here on Amazon. This saddens me... If you happen to find the originals, PLEASE buy them. You won't regret it.

See for yourself. You make the judgement call.
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153 of 161 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2011
I'm sure the editors at HarperCollins thought by changing the powerful (and controversial) imagery of this book, they'd sell more copies. Nothing like compromising art and expression to sell out.

1/5 stars for this homogenized shadow of the original book.
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2010
Shame on Harper Collins for re-releasing these books without Stephen Gammell's artwork! These "new" drawings are awful and ridiculous. Buy The Scary Stories Treasury instead, as it has all the original books intact.
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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2010
Alvin Schwartz's stories always played second fiddle to Stephen Gammell's art. Without it, this book is not worth anyone's time or money. Avoid it and seek the originals.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2010
This version does not include the gruesome illustrations of the original that still haunt me every once in a while. The book has been controversial because of the uncensored gore and terrifying images. This version is compromised fluffy camping-trip stories.
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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2011
How dare they censor the original?? The Stephen Gammel illustrations were incredible! The art was what made these books great! The writing is still good, but the new drawings are just nowhere near as good as the old ones! Skip this one and buy the old version(s)!!
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81 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2010
Without Stephen Gammell's artwork, these are pretty close to worthless.

Why would they EVER replace the original, incredible artwork? The reality is, Harper Collins, that Stephen Gammell's artwork MADE these classics.

The artwork now is unoriginal, not the least bit frightening (or artful), and does nothing to complement the stories.

Huge mistake. Someone should be fired. At least five people should be fired... and blacklisted.

This is an atrocity.

Prospective buyers: go buy the other versions! Oh, that's right, they're extremely expensive. I wonder why, Harper Collins? You fools.

And again for good measure: you fools.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2011
Because I remember loving and being absolutely terrified at these books when I was a kid, I recently purchased all 3 and just received them today. To my horror (and not in a good way) I found that they've published them with a DIFFERENT ILLUSTRATOR! With all due respect to Mr. Helmquist (the new guy) and certainly to Mr. Schwartz (the original author), these books were made for me by the art of Stephen Gammell. I'm sure they did this because so many parents tried to get the books banned in their day because of the ghastly drawings, but this is really a tragedy. I would suggest looking elsewhere for original copies of the books as they should be seen. Don't buy them here - you'll be missing out on part of what made these books so wonderful in the first place.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
Re-releasing this series with a new illustrator was a terrible idea and, frankly, completely missing the point of the originals. The stories themselves are a collection of sleepover tales and urban legends which, when taken alone, aren't particularly frightening. For those of us who enjoy this series, it was the original illustrations from the twisted mind of Stephen Gammell that made these "Scary Stories" truly scary; without them, the book is laughable. Helquist may be a talented enough artist, but he can't hope to duplicate the underlying terror of Gammell's illustrations.
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