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Best New Horror: Volume 25 (Mammoth Book of Best New Horror) Kindle Edition
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One of our field’s most celebrated horror editors.” Locus, The Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field
"Editor Stephen Jones' carefully curated scare-mongers offer innovative takes on familiar fiends while also crafting new nightmares...tradition is both followed and obliterated within these pages." Rue Morgue --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B06XQ853RP
- Publisher : Skyhorse; Anniversary edition (November 11, 2014)
- Publication date : November 11, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 2143 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 489 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #243,089 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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"Isaac's Room" by Daniel Mills gets things moving at a better clip though, and while pretty brief is a pretty enjoyable short story. It feels like a professionally written creepy pasta story you'd find online, but it works and it's well written. My only complaint here was I felt it ended itself a little prematurely, a lot more could have still been done with the subject matter. Overall a fun read though.
A bit further in we come to Ramsey Campbell's "Holes For Faces". Normally I'm a fairly big fan of Ramsey's work, but it can be hit or miss, though with more hits than misses usually. This one is a lot more of a miss. It takes the very typical and tired (from Campbell anyway) perspective of a child with strict parents, particularly a strict, over-protective mother. (Seriously, a LOT of Campbell's shorts have this perspective and them. Painting the mother character as an annoying, overbearingly strict bitch.) But the horror here is lackluster as well. Maybe to a young child, such as the leading character here it might be terrifying...but to the average reader I can't see a lot that's worthwhile. It tries to work on a psychological horror angle, which I'm all for normally, in fact I love that theme...but it just falls flat. Uninteresting and dull. A shame considering some of the material Campbell has put into previous entries of this anthology.
"Into the Water" by Simon Kurt Unsworth starts off with the author saying that he wanted to write a Lovecraftian piece while not actually coming off as such, and hoping to do the late, great Howard Phillips justice at the same time. Well, he succeeded and failed respectively. This deals in a Lovecraftian theme, similar to Dagon or Shadow Over Innsmouth and feels different enough to not feel like a copycat mythos tale. But at the same time is pretty uninteresting, has all of zero real development, especially character wise and goes almost nowhere, all while moving at a snail's pace to what you might hope would be a big conclusion or payoff. It ends just as it begins, with a "meh".
"Lavie Tidhar brings us "What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Z-" Described by the author as a zombie story without zombies in it. Man, this is bar none the absolute low point of this collection. In fact it's one of the worst I've read across several volumes of this anthology. It's terrible. It's not just that it's a story that's been done to death, but several times better, but also that it's just plain written poorly. Do yourself a favor, absolutely skip this one entirely. You're missing nothing.
There are some good reads here though, it's not all bad or mediocre. I'd include the aforementioned "Issac's Room" with these. Along with "The Gist" by Michael Marshall Smith, "The Sixteenth Step" by Robert Shearman, and "Guinea Pig Girl" by Thana Niveau. These stories made me not truly regret buying the book. But overall this one kind of came off as a dud to me. Even the good stories here weren't GREAT.
that said I speed read two of the stories, and enjoyed all the rest. So as an anthology, I'd give it a 5 if it weren't for all the blah blah which has to be scrolled through on a Kindle.
On the plus side is Michael Marshall Smith’s “The Gist” (which never tips its hat to how it will end) and Reggie Oliver’s more conventional but effective “Come Into My Parlor.”
While I think Simon Strantzas dumps a bit too much on us toward the end of his “Stemming the Tide, his choice of a less than sympathetic narrator made the story memorable for me. And while Nicholas Royce’s “Dead End” feels rather like a fragment, it’s nevertheless a provocative fragment. He writes more than words and we understand more than he tells us.
Alas, most of the other 17 pieces range from predictable to flimsy to pedestrian. And that includes even the contributions from the three big-name authors atop the list on the front cover: The ones from Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker are just trifles -- editor Stephen Jones’ introduction to Barker appears roughly as long as Barker’s piece -- and “Holes for Faces” from Ramsey Campbell struck me as a throwaway.
And would that there were more stories. While Stephen Volk’s novella-length homage to Peter Cushing is beautifully written and charmingly believable, it’s not horror -- more like a sentimental tangent -- and thus doesn’t earn the footprint it’s been granted here. Nor do Kim Newman’s two rather flat “Anno Dracula” pieces.
And nearly a third of the book is given over to non-story material: Jones’ 90-page introduction (the traditional recitation of horror-related media events), Jones and Newman’s 88-page “Necrology” and a 12-page “Useful Addresses” section.
Now, this is nothing new -- the obits have been here since #1 and intros have grown steadily over the series’ run -- but this is the first time I’ve felt moved by slim substance to take a census.
Perhaps it’s bad manners of me to suggest at what is effectively the series' 25th birthday bash that some of this space could be better invested.
But I do.
What are monsters ... to you?
What it is is a collection of beautifully and masterfully written stories that are more psychologically suspenseful than terrifying. If you want to be scared out of your wits, this ain't your book. But if you want to read interesting, original stories without a stinker in the bunch, then read this.
I recommend the book.