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Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane Paperback – September 25, 2012
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EDITED BY: John Skipp
PUBLISHED: September, 2012
It's hard to say that new John Skipp anthologies are better than the ones before it, because each of his books are a treasure of fiction stories. So with that being said, if you were a fan of his earlier anthologies, "ZOMBIES" or "WEREWOLVES" or "DEMONS," this latest, "PSYCHOS," meets the same level of quality horror and depth of genre you may have found before. It's another immense collection, clocking in at about 600 pages, oversize trim, and 38 stories, plus introduction and various appendices. As before, the book also covers historic fiction, famous reprints, and plenty of new works by some of the best names in dark fiction, such as Neil Gaimon, Jack Ketchum, Joe R. Lansdale, Steve Rasnic Tem, and Bentley Little. Some of my personal favorite stories in this book include the Stoker-nominated tale, "Righteous," by Weston Ochse, the seminal "Lucy Comes To Stay," by Robert Bloch, "The Shallow End of the Pool," by Adam-Troy Castro, "Damaged Goods," by Elizabeth Massie, and "The Small Assassin" by Ray Bradbury.
Five out of Five stars
For this anthology, John Skipp has assembled a veritable who's who of authors from today and yesteryear. Thirty-five stories in all, and when you pick up a trade paperback copy, rather than download it to your ereader, you feel the weight of every demented page.
If there's one story that made the book worthwhile, it had to be Adam-Troy Castro's "The Shallow End of the Pool." I had heard about this story a few years ago, but as a novella it was near impossible to find, so it was an added bonus to find it in the table of contents for this anthology. It tells the story of a teen girl accompanying her father into the desert to visit her estranged mother, and to meet her brother for the first time. This is about the furthest thing from a conventional family reunion, though. It proceeds along with a very matter-of-fact style, simply showing the scene as it happens as they all prepare for winds up being a fight to the death between brother and sister, all for the honor of one of the parents. It's riveting, to say the least.
"Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" by Joe R. Lansdale was included, a taut little thriller I had previously read as a separate offering on Kindle. Among the other stalwarts in the book, Bentley Little's "Life with Father" and its unsettling portrayal of two young girls living with a deranged father did its part in sending a shiver up my spine, too.Read more ›
These stories have (or will!) stand the test of time. Consider Poe’s “Hop Frog” alongside breathtaking modern tales like “The Shallow End of the Pool” and “Willow Tests”, not to mention “Serenity Now”. (I will overlook the very few typos that I noticed.)
These are the stories that stay with you… mark my words! And if you want more, just check out Appendix A, a thoughtfully put-together write-up entitled “Psychos in My View” detailing a sweet compendium of must-reads and must-watches.
I am not a big fan of short story compilations, but with my participation in Thrill Week with Tea Time With Marce, I saw this book on another bloggers page, Bitsy Bling Books, and thought, ok I'm going to give this a shot. Well, for those of you that are big fans of horror, this is going to be RIGHT up your alley!!!
I didn't like all of them equally, to be honest the first one made me go uh oh, but then it just got better and better! Writings from Poe,Bradbury,and Bloch to authors from our time like Amelia Beamer and Nick Mamatas. This was a blast, Marla's Eyes just was gross, and I had a fave, The Small Assassin by Ray Bradbury.
I encourage those who love horror to pick this baby up, especially those who participate in Stainless Steel Droppings annual R.I.P event. Curl up with this little monster and a cup of cocoa on a chilly night with just a flashlight to read by....I dare you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought it for a friend doing a SHU term in prison. She was very happy to receive this book.Published 12 months ago by Erika Solano
A couple of good stories but many were just plain weird.Published 18 months ago by Giovanna Fiorino
An excellent choice of thriller short stories. I liked some of them more, some less, but all in all a very good compilation.Published 18 months ago by Dr. Marina Kos
What a great read that will introduce you to authors you'll want to read more from. Many surpirse endings and suspense. Highly recommended!Published 22 months ago by D. McGuffin
Just creepy enough to keep you reading to see if the next story is even better than the one you just finished!Published 22 months ago by 07pony