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Corpse Cold: New American Folklore [Print Replica] Kindle Edition
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Regarding the art, while these drawings are certainly done in the 'style' of Stephen Gammell, they have too much in common with Brett Helquist's compositions from the new 'Scary Stories'. Not one truly frightening or disturbing picture is in this book. Check the artist's instagram though because he does some great work.
Now I will review every single story in this book and summarize my thoughts at the bottom.
"Switches" - A man stays at a motel with some electrical problems.
Well-written but the ending is boring and extremely predictable. I was terribly disappointed at the lack of creativity. The author should read and study the entire series of Clive Barker's, 'Books of Blood'. Those are some damn good stories and endings.
"Black Dog" - A dad leaves his two kids alone and tells them to stay away from the woods and the black dog.
Interesting story totally ruined by the ending. Alvin Schwartz has some goofy twists but I was expecting better with these updated tales. Besides, with the original Scary Stories a non-ending works because you have not invested as much time. These lengthier(but still short) stories beg for a better ending.
"Czarny Lud" - Two kids are told a scary story about a creature who will punish them if they're bad.
A classic tale and the first great story in the book. No lame twists or tricks, just a captivating tale. If you enjoy it, which you will, make sure to watch the classic 'Tales From The Darkside' episode, 'Seasons of Belief'. You'll become a big fan of the 'Grither', guaranteed.
"Corpse Cold" - A girl hates another girl and wants to frighten her with a corpse.
Bad story with too many characters involved. Schwartz knew better than to put a half a dozen names in a very short story. Twist was too predictable as well. 'Corpse Cold' should be as good or better than 'Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark'. It's not, so please try harder next time. If you have this much trouble writing then keep the stories brief like Alvin did.
"Amityville Beach" - A woman witnesses something strange on the beach involving someone who looks just like her.
Bad. Boring writing. Would have been better if it was only 2 pages long. Unless you're really going somewhere just keep it short. A great example of a perfect longer tale is 'Somebody Fell From Aloft', from the second book in the 'Scary Stories' series and it's shorter than this one! Take notes, my friend.
"A Morning Fog" - A man awakens to find himself intoxicated and stuck in an old, beat-up pickup truck.
Good story, a couple goofy lines and a rough first couple pages but it picks up and then ends abruptly in a very good way. Well done.
Picture: Should have just showed the vaguest resemblance of a face in the passenger window, too much detail ruins the wonder and fear.
"Friendship: Dead and Buried" - A man about to be married is taken for a ride to someplace special by a few friends.
Very good story, well-written and keeps you hooked all the way through with a fun twist at the end.
"Autoplay 'ON'" - A guy is watching a bunch of videos on a file-sharing website when he comes across one he shouldn't have.
Good story, suspenseful and a perfect modern update to the old folk tales where someone is coming for something you have taken.
"The Big M" - A nasty manager of a grocery store encounters some resistance from the employees he's been abusing.
Real crappy story. No suspense and it didn't go anywhere but it should have considering how long it was. This story only needed to be 2 pages max to get the point across, especially with the abrupt, unsatisfying ending. There is also a glaring typo in the middle of this bad story making it worse.
Picture: The picture is very bad here, Chad is capable of so much more. Why submit this? Do better next time!
"Dracula's Bride" - There is a wooden chapel and an old woman the kids call, 'Dracula's Bride'.
Worst story up until this point. A twist at the end that doesn't make sense, so stupid. The boy is running through the graveyard, frightened that a 'Hungarian-American hand' might pop up and grab him? Who writes like that!? The story takes place in America so why mention Hungarian-American? Hungarian hand sounds much more realistic, like the way human beings talk on earth.. Sounds better too because of the alliteration. This story is inspiring me to write my own book since the standards have clearly fallen.
Picture: Decent art for this story, thank God!
"Moss Lake Island" - Two guys visit their friend's uncle's island which is inhabited by witches.
Overall a good story with a decent ending and no typos. The two guys who are 21 sounded like 13 year old kids, though. Commas are all over the place as well which was distracting. Not many, reasons, for there to be, 5 commas, in medium length sentences, consistently. The writers of 'Corpse Cold' seem to be aliens because every character in the book acts strange and talks even stranger.
Picture: One of the best drawings in the book and it has perfect timing as you turn the page.
"It That Decays" - A man named Jim has been having tooth pain so he goes to the dentist.
An okay story with a very mishandled ending and probably the worst writing in the book. Check this out:
"Well, Jim, overall your teeth look great, as always." "Jim, don't worry, I've known these teeth since the 90's!"
The only way for this story to have worked:
At the very end have the director yell, "CUT!", then reveal that the whole damn thing was crappy actors filming a b-movie. Why the hell write a story with such insane, ridiculous dialogue!? Goosebumps books contain more realistic interactions and they're totally rad kid's books! More entertaining as well...
Picture: Nicely drawn I guess, but not unsettling in the least. Should have been the equivalent of the classic, 'spider eggs in the cheek' shot. The jaw, Chad! Next time focus on the action, not a boring tooth!
"Two Visions:1984" - A reporter picks up a hitchhiker who may be clairvoyant.
Good, solid story. Perfect length with one of the most shocking twists in the entire book. Well written!
Pictures: Great, very fitting. 3 pictures that make the story even better.
"Woman On The Campus Green" - A lab worker walks home each night only to be followed by a tall woman with dark hair.
Boring, drawn-out story. Should have been a couple pages. All of the goofy extra information is not necessary and doesn't enhance the tale in any way.
Picture: Well done, a bit creepy.
"The Blue Hole" - Two girls visit a swimming hole in the middle of a beautiful forest and come across something unexpected.
Bad! Dialogue is super clunky, as usual. Fairly uneventful throughout and the ending is probably the worst. Important Note: "What do YOU mean, you didn't SEE anyone?" It's supposed to be "What do you MEAN you didn't SEE anyone?" Writing this bad breaks the flow and keeps pulling me out of the story. This should be marketed as an amateur book. Good writers don't make these mistakes, so please get better! Also, what the hell is the deal with a girl spraying diarrhea all over a park trail? Insane writers...
Picture: Very cool picture, lots of atmosphere with this one.
"Jesup" - A boy who loves strange reptiles is constantly abused by his parents.
This was a great story. Little predictable but an enjoyable read. The only problem was how the horrific reveal was handled, very clumsily.
Picture: Nice drawing, fits the story and makes you wonder if your prediction is right.
"Model Citizens" - A baseball player and a firefighter are experiencing strange medical symptoms.
This was a good story until the very end. So far it is the stupidest ending in the book. How could you drop the ball this badly, at the end!?
Spoiler: Kid with a bunch of voodoo dolls just runs away after he's caught saying his nanny will make him some more! ARRGGGHHHH!!!
Picture: Cool picture, love the subject matter.
"Last Train Home" - A man who stayed at a bar all night tries to catch a ride via a dangerous subway station.
Bad, disappointing tale with death in disguise. Being a cliche is not the problem here, it's the execution. The writer failed to build tension with absolutely no payoff in the end.
Pictures: The first one is pretty damn cool but the second is probably the worst in the book. It's fine from a technical point of view but it ruins the mood set by the first drawing.
"A Casket for my Mother" - A man finds out his friend is running a crowdfunding campaign to have his mother buried.
I'm shocked to find out that these last two stories were previously published. 'Casket' was boring to read and could have been made a lot better if they upped the ante on those crowdfunding rewards. This is a collection of horror stories, after all. If your story is not good at least make a great ending. Better yet, leave it out and write a good story instead.
Picture: Simple, but one of the best in this book. It's a tribute to, "The Cat in the Shopping Bag' art in 'Scary Stories' and I like that fact.
"Echo's Reflection" - A man and a woman buy a mirror that shows more than they'd like to see.
This was okay but illogical. Another one previously published...
*Spoilers* - Echo, the woman, is painted as a strong-minded intellectual who then kills herself over something easily solved. Extremely unrealistic, but more focused writing or embellishment could have made it believable. Maybe the mirror could have been controlled by that crazy store owner? I get the feeling that the writer is crazier than any character in any story on earth.
Picture: The drawing is pretty cool. Chad should definitely focus on object close-ups instead of people since they work better more often than not.
"Notes" - Not a story but the notes at the end are proof that almost every one of these little yarns could have been so much better. A lot of them were even taken from somewhere else, tried and true, timeless tales! The writers had the tools but not the craftsmanship.
3 great tales, 4 good yarns, 4 mediocre stories and 9 pretty damn bad ones. Overall, is it worth picking up? No, it's simply too inconsistent and a lot of the time it's a chore to read. There are a bunch of other 'Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark' clones from the 90's that are much better, 'Scary Stories For Stormy Nights', and the rest in that series being one of my favorites.
Also, pick up both of Cliver Barker's short story collections, 'Books of Blood' Volumes 1-6. And any short story collections from Stephen King, 'Nightmares & Dreamscapes' is a personal favorite. The worst story in any of these collections is better than anything the authors of 'Corpse Cold' will ever publish. If you must, buy this dead last. Hopefully my recommendations and this critical, honest review will help people to avoid this book and read much better ones.
P.S.- If it wasn't for my goal of writing this review, I wouldn't have finished the book. Heed my warning, childrens!!!
Most recent customer reviews
CORPSE COLD: NEW AMERICAN FOLKLORE is a nice volume of tales which also includes outstanding illustrations.Read more