- Paperback: 278 pages
- Publisher: Valancourt Books (October 4, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781943910519
- ISBN-13: 978-1943910519
- ASIN: 1943910510
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #724,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories Paperback – October 4, 2016
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"The Frozen Man" by John Trevena was very Lovecraftian (Mountains of Madness) in both its content and execution. An expedition sent out on a journey of investigation to the North as...."some Germans were passing through the country further north, trapping and shooting all the furs they could find, thereby infringing upon the rights of the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay." I love this type of story with the cold and desolation creating its own terror and the madness that must surely happen!
"The Ghost of Charlotte Cray" a sublime and classic ghost story. Sigismund Braggett, publisher, caught between the love of two women; Emily Primrose and the divine Miss Cray. Braggett had hoped that the two women might meet but this idea faded to nothing (or did it!) when the body of Charlotte Cray was discovered at her lodgings in Hammersmith.
"The Gentleman all in Black" by Gerald Kersh is a familiar Faustian theme of selling one's soul to the devil. It's a short snappy tale to end, and brings to a conclusion a very varied and exciting compilation. Valancourt Books are amazing; They are bringing back into print and helping us discover rare and special books and by so doing introducing us to some amazing authors and their works. A special thanks to them for supplying me with a gratis copy for a fair and honest review and that is what I have written.
This is one of the rare times that every. single. story. worked. The stand-outs to me were:
"Miss Mack by Michael McDowell. " How could it not be good? This starts out as such a nice story about a friendship between two women and then it takes a sharp turn into darkness. Permanent darkness.
"Furnished Apartments by Forest Reid" (I would be remiss if I did not mention the excellent intro to this little known author's story. This, and the story itself made me want to immediately read more of Reid's work.) This is a creepy little story about (surprise!) a furnished apartment for rent.
"A Psychological Experiment by Richard Marsh" Most known these days for his novel, "The Beetle", Richard Marsh wrote over 80 books and 300 short stories. This particular tale is a delicious story of revenge featuring some creepy crawlies. I absolutely loved it.
"The Progress of Arthur Crabbe by Stephen Gregory " Stephen Gregory is another favorite author of mine. He's not as prolific as I wish he would be. Valancourt somehow dug up this nasty tale, (which, once again, features a bird), originally published in the Illustrated London News back in 1982. I am so glad they did! I have read everything I could get my hands on from Mr. Gregory. Without Valancourt, I would never have had the opportunity to read this gem.
"California Burning by Michael Blumlein" Michael Blumlein is another author introduced to me via Valancourt Books. They published his collection: "The Brains of Rats " which contains one of the most disturbing short stories I've ever read. Once again, Blumlein knocked my socks off with this story of a man whose bones would not burn.
"The Terror on Tobit by Charles Birkin" A beautifully written tale and one I found to send chills up my spine. Not only because of the spookiness of the story, but because of the amazing prose. I've never even heard of this guy before, but now I want to read everything he's written.
"The Head and the Hand by Christopher Priest" Probably most well known for his novel "The Prestige", Christopher Priest's contribution to this collection was superb. It reminded me a bit of Katherine Dunn's "Geek Love" and makes me wonder if she ever read "The Head and the Hand." It's a rather weird tale, but I loved it. Plus it made me REALLY want to read "the Prestige" which has been sitting on my Kindle for well over a year.
I could go on and on, because as I said every story in this collection worked for me. I can't write a review that's a long as the book though, so just a few more things. The intros to these stories were excellent. Many of them talk about how these authors were prolific back in their day and now have been forgotten. I love that Valancourt is dedicated to bringing these authors back into the public eye. I'm going to do my best to read more of the authors that appealed most to me, like Priest and Birkin.
This collection receives my highest recommendation! Every single story is thought provoking and even the introductions to the tales are well written and informative. Plus, these aren't a bunch of stories that you've already read in countless other collections and anthologies. Valancourt worked hard to bring you enticing pieces that will likely be unfamiliar to most contemporary horror readers. All I can say to that is BRAVO! (And MORE, PLEASE!!)
*I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is it.*