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Tales of Jack the Ripper Paperback – August 31, 2013
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"Tales of Jack the Ripper manages to walk that fine line between entertainment and exploitation with real finesse. It's a gripping group of stories about one of our most enduring mysteries, and well worth your time." -FEARnet.com
"There is a definite 'weird tale' edge to many of the stories (and poems) in the anthology, which in this reader's opinion is a GREAT thing. It might even be expected from Lockhart, who also brought you The Book of Cthulhu and its follow-up, The Book of Cthulhu 2. This doesn't mean you can pigeonhole Tales of Jack the Ripper. [...] You need to get up off your lazy duff and buy this collection." -Shock Totem
"...there are enough original and inventive approaches to this most bedeviling of true-crime mysteries to suggest that Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel Murders of 1888 will continue to inspire imaginative speculations for some time to come." -Stefan Dziemianowicz, Locus
"Tales of Jack the Ripper marks a strong debut for Word Horde. Lockhart, in usual fashion, has managed to put together a strong, multifaceted anthology that explores the Ripper legend at length. If this book is indicative of what's to be expected from his new press, than readers have much to look forward to." -The Arkham Digest
"...there's enough variation of theme and style here to interest almost any crime or horror reader..." -The Big Click
"Readers interested in Jack the Ripper will love this anthology. Horror fans in general should be quite pleased." -Tangent
"The bottom line is these are all excellent stories, all about Jack." -Hellnotes
About the Author
ROSS E. LOCKHART is an author, anthologist, and freelance editor. A lifelong fan of supernatural, fantastic, speculative, and weird fiction, Lockhart is a veteran of small-press publishing, having edited scores of well-regarded novels of horror, fantasy, and science fiction.
Lockhart edited the acclaimed Lovecraftian anthologies The Book of Cthulhu I and II and Tales of Jack the Ripper (Word Horde). He is the author of the rock-and-roll novel Chick Bassist (Lazy Fascist Press). Lockhart lives in an old church in Petaluma, California, with his wife Jennifer, hundreds of books, and Elinor Phantom, a Shih Tzu moonlighting as his editorial assistant.
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I am just not the sort to criticize each story. I will say that Laird Barron, Mercedes Yardley (he wanted to be caught,really), Ramsey Campbell all acquit themselves admirably, as do most of the other contributors. I must say that the best title, hands down, goes to Stanley C Sargent for his "When the Means Just Defy the End." It's a good story, too. The sneaky good surprise for the reader is, "The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker," by Ennis Drake. This is the second of his stories I have read and both have been superlative.
In sum, this is a great anthology and the money goes to a good cause, so buy it, read it, and help keep Jack alive!
Since I post individual story reviews on my livejournal short story community (http://365shortstories.livejournal.com/), I won't go into details here, but I will list the stories that most stuck with me weeks after reading them. Clearly, Orrin Grey's "Ripperology," as I've referenced it so many times, is a favorite. I also have to call out the original stories Silvia Moreno-Garcia's "Abandon All Flesh," Ennis Drake's "The Butcher, The Baker, the Candlestick-Maker," E. Catherine Tobler's "Once November," Laird Barron's "Termination Dust" and Ed Kurtz's "Hell Broke Loose" as particularly effective each in its own way, as well as the reprints of Joe R. Lansdale's "The God of the Razor." And I know my fellow fans of Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton concept will particularly enjoy Pete Rawlik's "Villains, be Necessity," which plays the crossover game so very well but feels like only half of a story.
No need to worry that this might occur in this collection. Our "Rippers" are not restricted to being male, adult and within the Victorian period - they are not even restricted to being human.
There are some names you will recognise if you are into horror stories, and others that you may not recognise. But the quality of the stories throughout is consistent. At no time did I read a story and wonder "Why did they include that stinker?" Of course there were ones I enjoyed more than others - there always is - but that is due to personal taste, not a lack of quality in any story.
I do not want to 'spoiler' the more creative takes on the Ripper mythos for other readers so I will not give details. But if you like the idea of a set of stories about Jack the Ripper, and you are interested in a wide variety of treatments of the subject, you will love this. I certainly did.
My favorite story in the bunch was actually the first one. But all for the most part were at the very worst, good.
If you are looking for a solid collection, with good overall quality of storytelling, I'd certainly give this a shot. Its a pretty fun and enjoyable ride.