American Supernatural Tales (Penguin Horror)

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Overview

Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by award-winning director Guillermo del Toro. American Supernatural Tales is the ultimate collection of weird and frightening American short fiction. As Stephen King will attest, the popularity of the occult in American literature has only grown since the days of Edgar Allan Poe. The book celebrates the richness of this tradition with chilling contributions from some of the nation's brightest literary lights, including Poe himself, H. P. ...

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American Supernatural Tales (Penguin Horror)

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Overview

Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by award-winning director Guillermo del Toro. American Supernatural Tales is the ultimate collection of weird and frightening American short fiction. As Stephen King will attest, the popularity of the occult in American literature has only grown since the days of Edgar Allan Poe. The book celebrates the richness of this tradition with chilling contributions from some of the nation's brightest literary lights, including Poe himself, H. P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and-of course-Stephen King. By turns phantasmagoric, spectral, and demonic, this is a frighteningly good collection of stories. S. T. Joshi is a freelance writer, scholar, and editor whose previous books include Documents of American Prejudice; In Her Place: A Documentary History of Prejudice against Women; God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong; Atheism: A Reader; H. L. Mencken on Religion; The Agnostic Reader; and What Is Man? And Other Irreverent Essays by Mark Twain.

Dear B&N customer,

I'm very pleased to share with you, Penguin Horror, a series I have curated that features canonical works by authors who have been formative to my life as a reader and who have inspired my creative and artistic endeavors through my whole career.

For me, a lifelong passion for classic horror began partly with reading Penguin Books in English, and one of my earliest loves, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the purest of parables, brought a sense of familiarity and comfort to an awkward adolescent boy growing up in Mexico, who felt, in some sense, a bond with the Creature himself.

The discovery of the horror tale as a young child was fortuitous and, in many ways, it served the same purpose as fairy tales did in my childhood. Internal conflicts are externalized and played out as we enter the worlds written by Mary Shelley or Edgar Allan Poe or H.P. Lovecraft in a similar manner that they are when we read the Grimms or Hans Christian Andersen or Oscar Wilde. These tales allow us to articulate our anxieties and fears in absolute safety. And, just as the fairy tale, the horror tale can serve as both a liberating or repressive social tool, and remains always an accurate mirror to the social climate of its time.

These works of literature collected here in Penguin Horror by masters of the genre including perennial favorites like Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and an author that I trust will be a revelation to new generations of horror lovers: Ray Russell. These titles go hand-in-hand with a collection of classic supernatural short stories from Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates and many others, selected by a true scholar of the Genre: S.T. Joshi. This collection provides new readers with an opportunity to inhabit the haunted castles of our minds, and to look deeply into those dark mirrors that reflect all that we fear.

For to learn what we fear is to learn who we are.

Sincerely,

Guillermo del Toro

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Praise for Penguin Horror Classics:

“The new Penguin Horror editions, selected by Guillermo del Toro, feature some of the best art-direction (by Paul Buckley) I've seen in a cover in quite some time.” – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

"Each cover does a pretty spectacular job of evoking the mood of the title in bold, screenprint-style iconography." – Dan Solomon, Fast Company

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143122371
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Series: Penguin Horror Series
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 215,314
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

GUILLERMO DEL TORO is a Mexican director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and designer. He both cofounded the Guadalajara International Film Festival and formed his own production company—the Tequila Gang. However, he is most recognized for his Academy Award-winning film, Pan’s Labyrinth, and the Hellboy film franchise. He has received Nebula and Hugo awards, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, and is an avid collector and student of arcane memorabilia and weird fiction.
S. T. JOSHI is a freelance writer and editor. He has edited Penguin Classics editions of H. P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, and The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories, as well as Algernon Blackwood’s Ancient Sorceries and Other Strange Stories. Among his critical and biographical studies are The Weird Tale, Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination, and H. P. Lovecraft: A Life, and The Modern Weird Tale. He has also edited works by Ambrose Bierce, Arthur Machen, and H. L. Mencken, and is compiling a three-volume Encyclopedia of Supernatural Literature.

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