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The Best Horror of the Year Volume 4 Paperback – May 1, 2012
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Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
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For example, I knew David Nickel and Brian Hodge by name, but hadn't read their works, which turned out to constitute pleasant revelations. In Nickle's "Looker," a drunk man at a party finds a woman whose qualities go beyond the merely eye-pleasing. In "Roots and All," Hodge's character revisits a town where important childhood events occurred, some of which still echo in the present. Both stories exemplify Datlow's preference for character-driven horror, more haunting mood and troubling memory than blood and shrieking monsters. There are several more standouts:
"Blackwood's Baby," like many Laird Barron stories, takes place in rural Washington state, and expands upon Barron's personal, regional mythos. This novella tracks a 1930s expedition of diverse hunters seeking a beast of legend more dangerous than any of them anticipate. It's as powerful as any previous work by Barron, who lately can be counted upon to contribute at least one rich and potent tale to each year's best.Read more ›
Disclosure: I received a free eGalley - eBook uncorrected proof/ARC - in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: The first three volumes of The Best Horror of the Year from Nightshade books have been widely praised for their quality, variety, and comprehensiveness.
Now, for the fourth consecutive year, editor Ellen Datlow, winner of multiple Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, has explored the entirety of the diverse horror market, distilling it into the fourth anthology in the series and providing an overview of the year in terror. With tales from Laird Barron, Stephen King, John Langan, Peter Straub, and many others, and featuring Datlow's comprehensive overview of the year in horror, now, more than ever, The Best Horror of the Year provides the petrifying horror fiction readers have come to expect-and enjoy.
Fear is the oldest human emotion. The most primal. We like to think we're civilized. We tell ourselves we're not afraid. And every year, we skim our fingers across nightmares, desperately pitting our courage against shivering dread.
A paraplegic millionaire hires a priest to exorcise his pain; a failing marriage is put to the ultimate test; hunters become the hunted as a small group of men ventures deep into a forest; a psychic struggles for her life on national television; a soldier strikes a grisly bargain with his sister's killer; ravens answer a child's wish for magic; two mercenaries accept a strangely simplistic assignment; a desperate woman in an occupied land makes a terrible choice...
What scares you? What frightens you? Horror wears new faces in these carefully selected stories. The details may change. But the fear remains.Read more ›
Datlow went big name hunting in 2011 and bagged two titans for her bookends. Volume 4 kicks off with horror's most popular author and ends with arguably its best.
As bad as he can be, Stephen King is a difficult author to consign to the Dean Koontz Memorial Slagheap of Authors I Used to Give a Crap About. Despite his flirtations with lazy, going-through-the-motions hackery, King has left himself open to an inspiration that strikes less often these days, but when it does, he becomes fully engaged and tackles that idea like the pre-jillionaire hungry young author who became such a phenomenon. That's why I keep buying Stephen King books: That young man is still lurking somewhere in the shadows of the brand name, and he's the one I come to see. The inspiration for "The Little Green God of Agony," King's first "Best Horror" entry, may have come from his personal experiences with a broken body and knitting bones. The sixth-richest man in the world is looking for a shortcut through the pain of physical rehab to recovery from a plane crash that left him shattered. He summons the Rev.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
That Jonathan Briggs has the temerity to criticize one of the greatest writers of all time (Stephen King) is nothing short of blasphemous. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Stephen Greenslade
Not my cup of tea, too weird. Not enjoyable,, no suspense.I If this is the best of horror I won't read anymorePublished 14 months ago by Retired Bob
I am a huge supernatural and thriller fan but some of these stories were a little too far out for me.Published 14 months ago by Cheryl Kennedy
Don't bother. There are good horror books and those that don't make the grade.Published 20 months ago by Kindle Customer
I read the first 3 stories and gave up on it. Boring as could be, even the Stephen King one. Waste of time.Published 20 months ago by Dan
Enjoyed most of these as always with these types of books. Find the stories to be a good read. Some leaving a lasting uneasy feeling after you finished it, kind of... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Michelle