- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Prime Books; First Edition edition (September 10, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1607014025
- ISBN-13: 978-1607014027
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,345,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre Paperback – September 10, 2013
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Not all of it made me cringe, some of the stories have been actually well put together. I don't normally dislike anthologies, I just don't read a lot of them based on the type of writing they are. Some of the stories in the book confused me with either the writing or the ending, and quiet a bit of them ended abruptly. There was a handful of creepy ones and the rest where just okay.
Aside from Carrie Vaughn, Maria V. Snyder and Jonathan Maberry I think the rest of the authors for the most part are new to me. I liked discovering some of the new authors and one of my favorite stories in the book which was The Mummy’s Kiss was by an author that I have never heard of before.
Looking at it now, I can see how this book would have an appeal to people who would want to pick up a Halloween short stories book that enjoy anthologies. I guess my biggest pet peeve is the fact that most of the stories that I was enjoying ended too quickly, and I ended up wanting more.
I would still recommend this to the paranormal fans that don't mind short stories or anthologies, because in the end, this book is kind of nice for the holiday!
Got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.
Amazon has confused the two books. If you search for "Guran Halloween" you will get the site for the older book. If you search "Guran Halloween Magic Macabre" you will get the site for the new book. But, if you click on the "Look Inside" option at the new book site you will get the older book. If you click on the Kindle format on the new book site, you will get the old book. If you read any review dated before August 27, 2013, even on the new book site, you will be reading a review of the older book. (So, all of the references in reviews to Bradbury, Lansdale, Lovecraft, Straub, DeLint, and so on, are references to the stories in the older book.)
I posted this review on the new book site. I see that it also appears on the old book site. So, whichever site you are reading this at, be warned that there are two different books.
I imagine that at some point, maybe after the new book's release, this will be cleaned up. But for now tread cautiously when ordering, and don't worry about the first 14 reviews because they don't pertain to the new book.
Thomas Huff, an alert and conscientious reviewer, has also noticed this problem. He was kind enough to list the real Table of Contents for the new book. I've checked it against my draft copy and it looks to be correct. I'll repeat it here in case Mr. Huff's review disappears for some reason:
Stories (in alphabetical order by author's last name):
"Black Dog" by Laird Barron
"From Dust" by Laura Bickle
"Angelic" by Jay Caselberg
"Pumpkin Head Escapes" by Lawrence Connolly
"All Hallows in the High Hills" by Brenda Cooper
"We, the Fortunate Bereaved" by Brian Hodge
"Thirteen" by Stephen Graham Jones
"Whilst the Night Rejoices Profound and Still" by Caitlín R. Kiernan
"Trick or Treat" by Nancy Kilpatrick
"Long Way Home: A Pine Deep Story" by Jonathan Maberry
"The Mummy's Kiss" by Norman Partridge
"All Souls Day" by Barbara Roden
"And When You Called Us We Came To You" by John Shirley
"The Halloween Men" by Maria V. Snyder
"Lesser Fires" by Steve Rasnic Tem & Melanie Tem
"Unternehmen Werewolf" by Carrie Vaughn
"For the Removal of Unwanted Guests" by A.C. Wise
"Quadruple Whammy" by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
This is what you'll get in this new book, if you get the new book, (and if my reading copy is the same as the final version).
The first four stories in the anthology did nothing for me - although The Mummy's Heart by Norman Partridge had its moments - and had me seriously considering whether to keep reading, or just skim ahead to the authors that interested me. Fortunately, Lesser Fires by Steve Rasnic Tem & Melanie Tem was solid, and pretty much what I had hoped to see from them.
As for Long Way Home: A Pine Deep Story by Jonathan Maberry, it's been a while since I've read any Maberry - the last Pine Deep novel, in fact - so it was nice to reconnect with a story that perfectly captured the thrills and chills of that trilogy . . . and which convinced me to keep reading.
After another skip-it that had me doubting that decision, The Halloween Men by Maria V. Snyder turned out to be the only story in the collection that genuinely surprised me with its approach to the season. Having Halloween be the one day of the year were we don't wear masks was a neat idea, but it's Snyder's execution that makes the story work so well.
Pumpkin Head Escapes by Lawrence Connolly was a great follow-up, a surprisingly strong tale that didn't play out quite as I expected, but was followed by several more stories of the skip-it variety before getting to Quadruple Whammy by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, which was not at all what I expected from her, but thoroughly enjoyable and a story that convinced me, once again, to keep reading.
We, the Fortunate Bereaved by Brian Hodge and Trick or Treat by Nancy Kilpatrick were two stories I had high hopes for going into the anthology, and I'm glad to say they delivered, while All Souls Day by Barbara Roden was an interesting enough tale, but a little weak for the penultimate tale.
Fortunately, And When You Called Us We Came To You by John Shirley proved to be a fantastic end to the anthology. If it doesn't have you humming the Silver Shamrock song from Halloween III under your breath as the spirits of the ancestors wreak havoc upon a slave labor Halloween mask mask factory . . . well, you're just not my kind of trick-or-treat partner.
All-in-all, not nearly as creepy or as scary as I had hoped, with a few too many stories trying to be 'cute' or 'clever' in tying themselves to the holiday, but Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre still had its moments.