A gala of gore from the “master of modern horror” (Library Journal) Award-winning horror writer and master of the macabre, Graham Masterton presents a blood-curdling array of treats: twelve stories of terror celebrating the bizarre and grotesque, guaranteed to quicken the pulse. Marvel at the mirror dug up in secret and better off buried. . . Thrill at a pair of lovers, whose promise to each other lead them down a disturbing path. Observe the haunted house. . . Come closer, dear reder - the hour of the festival ...
A gala of gore from the “master of modern horror” (Library Journal) Award-winning horror writer and master of the macabre, Graham Masterton presents a blood-curdling array of treats: twelve stories of terror celebrating the bizarre and grotesque, guaranteed to quicken the pulse. Marvel at the mirror dug up in secret and better off buried. . . Thrill at a pair of lovers, whose promise to each other lead them down a disturbing path. Observe the haunted house. . . Come closer, dear reder - the hour of the festival is upon us . . .
This 12-story collection, Masterton’s fifth (after Flights of Fear), offers little festivity, but features vibrant dialogue and distinctively eerie plot twists. Prominent horror writer Masterton provides such wide-ranging delights as voracious mirrors in “Camelot” and truly joined young lovers in “Sepsis,” and even foreshadows today’s “pink slime” scare in “The Burgers of Calais.” Some characters, such as Grace in “Anka,” prevail over malevolent forces but rarely win an unambiguous victory. Sexual encounters provide a provocation for catastrophe, a lure to self-destruction, or a means both of confronting and perpetuating evil. Descriptive passages, as in “The Burgers of Calais,” vividly set the tone while advancing the narrative: “That folksiness hides some real grisly secrets that would turn your blood to iced gazpacho.” Though the characters are generally unremarkable, Masterton excels at conjuring up unusual horrific situations with action that gallops along. (June)
A collection of a dozen new horror stories ranging from the clever to the tired, all with an undercurrent of graphic violence, some steeped in gore. The very best of the batch may be the first. "The Press" is a fast-paced anecdote about an author who deals just revenge to savage reviewers. Other tales that borrow from childhood fables, like "Anka," which owes a debt to the folklore villain Baba Yaga, add too little to their sources to be wholly successful. "The Burgers of Calais" is a predictable story that's been told before; in fact, its title may give away its surprise about the secret behind the mystery meat in a local restaurant. Others, like "Camelot" and "Reflection of Evil," seem to be incompletely separated twins circling around the same theme. "Sepsis" may please true gross-out fans, although readers less attuned to the physically macabre may wonder what motivates the lead character, and who's likely to enjoy the lovingly described details of deviance. Still others depend more on their nonhorrifying details for whatever interest they generate, like the strange emotional quirks of characters in "Dog Days" and "The Scrawler." With the final tale, "Sarcophagus," and a fair number of others, readers will either get the point or not. Given its uneven mix of offerings, this latest collection from Masterton (Petrified, 2011, etc.) ultimately confirms a hallowed rule of storytelling: the shorter, the better.
Graham Masterton's first novel, "The Manitou," was a bestseller and an instant classic and was made into a feature film. Masterton has won an Edgar Award and France's prestigious Prix Julia Verglanger. Several of his stories have been adapted for television.
Masterton's more than one hundred novels include "Charnel House, The Chosen Child," and "Maiden Voyage" (a" New York Times" bestseller). He has written for adults, young adults, and children and edited several anthologies. Earlier in his career, Masterton edited men's magazines, including "Penthouse," He has written a number nonfiction books on sex, including "How to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed," which has sold more than three million copies.
Masterton and his wife, Wiescka, live in Ireland.