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Festival of Fear (Anthologies) Hardcover – May 1, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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About the Author

Graham Masterton's first novel, T""he Manitou,"" was a bestseller and an instant classic and was made into a feature film. Masterton has won an Edgar Award and France's prestigious Prix Julia Verglanger. Several of his stories have been adapted for television.
Masterton's more than one hundred novels include ""Charnel House, The Chosen Child,"" and ""Maiden Voyage"" (a"" New York Times"" bestseller). He has written for adults, young adults, and children and edited several anthologies. Earlier in his career, Masterton edited men's magazines, including ""Penthouse,"" He has written a number nonfiction books on sex, including ""How to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed,"" which has sold more than three million copies.
Masterton and his wife, Wiescka, live in Ireland.

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Product Details

  • Series: Anthologies
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727864084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727864086
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,853,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Like most short-story anthologies, this one is a mixed bag, with some good stories and some that have an interesting premise but are not fleshed out well. ("Fleshed out" being a particularly well suited description for Masterton's writing, which, as his fans know, is particularly gory.)

As in his novels, Masterton likes to build a story around a mythology, and I, for one, don't know how much of such mythologies he has studied and how much he has made up, but, as the reader, it hardly matters if he can convince us that it's for real. Stories like "Anka" (featuring a witch with an appetite for children) and "Anti-Claus" (featuring Santa/Satan) are particularly strong, with supernatural beings bringing terror unless the protagonist can placate them.

"Dog Days" and "Son of Beast" feature the same kind of inter-species cross-mixing that was involved in Basilisk, which I found to be the weakest of Masterton's novels, and The Sphinx, which was actually a pretty strong novel. These two stories are just too far-fetched to be convincing.

"Scrawler" is a particularly interesting story -- with the main character seeing graffiti all over that seems to be personalized to him.

"Sepsis" involves a couple that becomes obsessed with tasting each other and 'becoming one'. It may remind Masterton fans of his controversial short story "Eric the Pie".

"The Burgers of Calais" is, unfortunately, one of the stories at the beginning of the book, and it's quite obvious where it's going. I think just the title is enough for you to figure it out.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many of Masterton's Stories are like a collection of vignettes, so,the short story collection is great by a
few authors standards, since some writers mangle the art of the short story .Masterton is my favorite in Horror,
and apart from Agatha Christie's [ technically brilliant ] short story work, H.P.Lovecrafts excursions into the
darkside, and Phillip K. Dicks art of perpetual fascination, I knew few skilled short story writers who present in
the way Masterton does. This a brilliant read.

THE PRESS: Possibly the 2nd Shortest and most pressing in this collection.
BURGERS OF CALAIS: Chilling. Enough of recycling !!
ANKA: Another amazing chill.I have come across two other versions of this myth. Masterton does it very
DOG DAYS: Beyond chilling. A theme Masterton goes back to how someone can go back to an impossibly lost love
THE SCRAWLER: Very Urban mythstyle. A british version of a paranoid spirit driven by internal self hate.
SEPSIS: The most intriguing of the Horror in this collection. A love so extreme it destroys ( I have the Cemetary Dance Version of this story in Paperback, which is also signed by Masterton; I have not checked to see if the two versions are markedly different).
CAMELOT: The magic of Mirrors that separate two lovers, and the horror of two that one tries to combine.
REFLECTION OF EVIL: A continuation of the Arthurian theme. Well placed and we see the evil in ancient beauty.
NEIGHBORS FROM HELL: A ghostly experience in search of a ghost. Not clear who has what, but you will enjoy the story.
SON OF A BEAST: A Hybrid needs a way to revitalize the gene pool. Many elements from Lovecraft in this tangibly creepy story.
ANTI-CLAUS: An ancient mythology is shown to have a modern truth
SARCOPHAGUS: A very Horrific two pages.
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Format: Hardcover
I love Graham Masterton's work. He often submits to my magazine, The Horror Zine.

And he never disappoints. Graham Masterton's characters are so well done that they seem real to me. I can understand their behavior and why they think the way they do.

Best of all, Graham comes up with creepy and original scares. He always delivers thrills and chills.

I prefer horror and mystery in the short story format because then I can read one story every night, or even better, take the book on the commuter train and read a story from start to finish by the time I reach my destination. This is why the short story format is becoming so popular nowadays: it is perfect for people on the go or who have limited time.

Anyway, back to FESTIVAL OF FEAR:

"Camelot" is about the Lady of Shallot, told in an erotic way (after all, Graham was once an editor at Penthouse). It is a gripping fantasy. Here is an excerpt:

"It says here that Sir Lancelot grieved for the Lady of Shalott so much that he consulted Merlin the Magician, to see how he might get her back. But Merlin told him that the curse is irreversible. The only way for him to be reunited with her would be for him to be to pass through the mirror, too."

My favorite in the book is "Reflection of Evil." This one is downright scary. Again, it ties in with the Lady of Shallot, but then veers off into another direction. The trio discover a find that could lead to fame and fortune if they can hide it from the Historical Site Assessment. But....

Here's an excerpt:

"She was Lamia. A blood-sucker, a vampire! Like all vampires, she could only come out at night. But she didn't hide inside a coffin all day...she hid inside a mirror!
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