Book Review: The Black Book of Horror, by Various Writers

Another typical collection of short horror stories--some good; some bad. There were a couple that stood out as unique and well written, which is why I think this book got such great reviews. Unfortunately, there were also a few that were poorly written, with many grammar errors. At times I wondered if anyone actually edited this book prior to publication.

UPDATE (9/17/08)

I got called on my terse review, so here's some more of my opinions of some of the stories in the book.

When I pick up a book of short stories, I usually read it slowly. I think I started reading this book about three months ago, and during that time, I’ve read about thirteen other books. This collection took longer than usual for me to read, so my memory of some of the less interesting stories has sadly faded. I do remember Regina vs. Zoskia as a story that I’d include as one of the top twenty (maybe top ten) short horror stories I’ve ever read. The story was well written, as well as being unique and thought provoking. I also enjoyed Crows because the author was able to create a suspenseful story, although it was obvious how the story would end. The Sound of Muzak, was a great mix of horror and sci fi. I especially enjoyed the short bits about the demise of people affected by the Muzak. I also enjoyed two other stories, Family Fishing and Lock-In. One of the stories that disappointed me was Power, which I expected to have a more philosophical ending. Only In Your Dreams unsuccessfully twisted the overdone child vs. monster plot. Also in the overdone category is To Summon a Flesh Eating Demon. I found myself nitpicking through a mixture of stupid characters and a far-fetched plot in Subtle Invasion. The grammar in Subtle Invasion was the worst, adding to my frustration while reading the story. (Let me add that I’m currently on a grammar critiquing mission because I’m finding issues in my own writing. Transitioning from a nonfiction and research style of writing to fiction has been more challenging than I had expected.)

RATING: 3 out of 5


Anonymous said...

As someone who contributed to this book I'd be interested to know which stories you thought were good and which were bad.

And also, what were some of the grammatical errors?

W. J. Howard said...

WOW! Someone besides my family and one faithful friend are reading my blog?

Thanks for leaving a comment and asking for more details on the review. I got a bit lazy with this one. I’ve updated the blog with the details you’ve requested.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for expanding your review W.J. Appreciate it. :-)

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