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Epitaphs: The Journal of the New England Horror Writers Paperback – October 13, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
I love short stories. I love to read them, I love to write them. But you know what's better than a short story? A whole freaking collection of them! And someone recently shipped me over a copy of Epitaphs, a Stoker-nominated collection of tales and poetry from the New England Horror Writers, a group that is very close to my heart. Of course I had to dive right in.
Okay, enough banter. Let's get down to the daunting task of looking at the stories themselves.
To Sleep, Perchance to Die by Jeffrey C. Pettengill: Well, let's just say the collection didn't start out so well for me. Here we have a tale of a CPAP machine gone horribly wrong. The tone just seemed to lag, and honestly the ending seemed a bit campy, though without the fun that camp implies.
The Christopher Chair by Paul McMahon: And here we go! One of the better stories in the collection, about an antique wheelchair blessed by St. Christopher that can supposedly heal the sick...for a price. Atmospheric and full of confliction, McMahon really packs a punch with this one.
A Case of the Quiets by Kurt Newton: The first poem in the collection, and a doozy. It brings to mind horror poetry of old, with a very Poe-esque flow, and comes very close to matching the former master's penchant for nailing the dark side of human nature coming from within the mundane.
Build-A-Zombie by Scott T. Goudsward: This one was quirky and fun, telling of a boy assembling an unusual gift from a new sort of gift shop. It made me want to know more about the world in which it takes place, which is a good thing.
Not An Ulcer by John Goodrich: Wow. This story, to me, was far and away the best of the bunch.Read more ›
Well chosen stories by top flight authors and even takes extra points for artistry by including poems.
My favorite stories were the ones that had a bitter sweetness to them, making them more dark fiction than actually horror.
The Christopher Chair by Paul McMahon--a relic that cures also exacts a price.
Build-A-Zombie by Scott T. Goudsward--gleefully macabre story based, you guessed it, on the concept of building one's own zombie instead of a cute stuffed animal.
Make a Choice by John M. McIlveen--disturbing, realistic, and well done. I don't want to give it away but it would be any parent's worse nightmare.
Stony's Boneyard by Glenn Chadbourne and Holly Newstein--touching supernatural story. Well written, evocative of loss and what we leave behind for the people that loved us.
Cheryl Takes a Trip by Stephen Dorato--literary ghost story about regret that functions on several levels.
I have been a horror fan since I was six years old and watched Salem's Lot through my fingers. I don't scare that easily anymore and I am often left disappointed in books or movies. That's not the case with these stories though. This collection is a perfect example of less being more. Some of these stories gave me goose pimples by being subtle. It didn't take 400 pages or overt terror, but instead they were horror stories that were human and thought provoking too. I laughed and even cried reading some (okay I was a blubbering idiot reading Stony's Boneyard by Glenn Chadbourne & Holly Newstein). I won't give a list of my favorites from the collection since I just finished reading it. Tomorrow my favorites may be different after I have had some time to digest them. I absolutely recommend this to fellow horror fans and even to those who don't normally read the genre because it's a great introduction to horror.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really like Rick Hautala. Some of the other stories in here were really good and had that classic New England feel to them. A few of these stories were downright horrible. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
Always going to be my top favorite anthology. My favorite story in this collection is Build A Zombie. Each of the stories are easy reading.Published 10 months ago by Kindle Customer