Monday, February 10, 2014

The Horror Hall of Fame: The Stoker Winners edited by Joe R. Lansdale

(hb; 2012: horror story anthology)

Overall review:

Good collection of thirteen classic horror-style stories, worth owning for its standout works.  I disliked a few of the stories in this book, but that's due to personal writing preferences on my part, not crappy writing on the part of the authors.  Check it out.

Standout stories:

1.)   "The Secret of Vinegar" - Robert Bloch:  Intriguing, exotic and mostly excellent tale about an infamous old-time Los Angeles cathouse.  I write "mostly excellent" because a Plot Convenient Stupid Moment [PCSM] and a predictable finish mar the work.  Still a standout story, though.

2.)  "Chatting with Anubis" - Harlan Ellison:  Entertaining, smart, sometimes funny piece about two paleoseismologists (Wang Zicai, Amy Guiterman) who, in the course of studying a possible archeological find along a fault line, experience a life-altering events.  One of my favorite pieces in this anthology.

3.)   "The Night They Missed the Horror Show" - Joe R. Lansdale:  Pitch bleak-humored, frak-PC-minded-readers story about two "bored" redneck racists who eschew a zombie movie, only to find themselves in increasingly nightmarish situations.  One of my favorite stories in this collection.

4.)   "The Box" - Jack Ketchum:  Clever concept, darkly humorous work.  Memorable read.

5.)   "Orange is for Anguish, Blue is for Insanity" - David Morrell:  One of my favorite stories in this collection.  A Postimpressionist artist's work and horrific life inspires madness in those whose research delves too deeply into them.  Effective-build, entertaining read, this, with an ending that's not surprising but not disappointing.

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