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Dark Thoughts and Demons Paperback – February 6, 2012
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Generally I've found the short stories in those genres to be lacking. Even when the subject matters of the stories were quite different, even when the collections featured a variety of authors, they somehow seemed boring compared to the real novels. They just didn't have enough freshness in them to usually seem worth the effort, and with a few exceptions they just blended together. (Some of King's, such as "The Raft" and "Survivor Type," stand out as singular exceptions, as well as a number of the horrific sci-fi flavored tales in Ellison's "Dangerous Visions" collection.)
Hillman's stories in "Dark Thoughts and Demons" surprised me by standing out among other such collections. The writer's style shows through in all of the stories, but somehow it stays very fresh from one story to the next. It achieves something of the same quality as Serling's TV presentations in the original Twilight Zone series: each episode definitely flavored by Serling, but each episode very unique and pleasing unto itself. That was the way it felt as I moved from one story to the next over several days in Hillman's book.
Overall a very enjoyable and fresh read, and I'm looking forward to seeing how his style carries over to the novel format.
Michael J. McFadden
Author of Dissecting Antismokers' Brains