The Century's Best Horror Fiction Volume Two

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This second volume of Pelan's centenary celebration of horror fiction shows the genre evolving and transforming, especially in the post–Stephen King era. Robert Bloch's deal-with-the-devil tale "That Hellbound Train" is an early exercise in dark fantasy, and Bob Leman's revisionist vampire tale "The Pilgrimage of Clifford M." is a superbly unglamorous depiction of the undead. Charles Beaumont's "The Howling Man," which recalls The Twilight Zone, and Poppy Z. Brite's "Calcutta, Lord of Nerves," a Romero-style zombie tale, show the increasing effects of extraliterary media on modern horror. King himself is present with one of his best, the meditative ghost story "The Reach," and there are award winners from Ramsey Campbell, Elizabeth Massie, Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and many others. This two-volume treasure trove is a landmark achievement that horror fans will cherish, though they may quibble over individual selections. (July)
Library Journal
Serious horror fans need seek no further for significant last words in the genre. Selected by acclaimed horror author and editor Pelan, these two massive volumes present one author per year beginning with Barry Pain in 1901 and ending with Tim Lebbon in 2000. While the bulk of these tomes may intimidate some readers, the phenomenal diversity of the stories and the inclusion of otherwise out-of-print material outweigh the concern with size. Possibly the biggest problem is the editor's arbitrary selection method that he explains as a necessity. The entries are limited to one author per year, thus a reader's favorite writer's best work may not be included. For example, the only work of Stephen King, "The Reach," appears in Volume 2 under 1981. Some readers may view this story as among King's best; others may find it yawn inducing. And there are surprising omissions as well: Peter Straub, for example. VERDICT These volumes comprise a figurative five-foot shelf of horror and are a must-have pair for die-hard horror fans. Recommended for all public libraries.—Jonathan Pearce, California State Univ. at Stanislaus, Stockton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587671722
  • Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
  • Publication date: 12/1/2011
  • Pages: 866
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 2.60 (d)

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