Gathering the Bones: Original Stories from the World's Masters of Horror

Gathering the Bones: Original Stories from the World's Masters of Horror by Ramsey Campbell, Colleen Delany (Narrator)
Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (Aug 2003) Audiobook Copyright: 2007 | Genre: Horror | ISBN: 0765301792
Language English | Audio CD in MP3/96 kbit/s 44100 Hz Mono | Total Duration: 18:39:15 | 808 mb
English is the common language and horror the dialect in this melting pot anthology of 34 new stories drawn about equally from each editor's country of residence: the U.S., Great Britain and Australia. Mixing contributions from seasoned pros with the work of newcomers and showcasing approaches that vary from graphic realism to surrealistic nightmare and cross-genre splices, the contents resist pigeonholing and fulfill the editors' ambition to portray horror as "a field whose boundaries are no longer rigidly defined and where literary values coexist with the leading edge of popular culture." Steve Nagy leads off with "The Hanged Man of Oz," a creepy riff on The Wizard of Oz that subversively sets the "we're not in Kansas any more" tone for selections that follow. Kim Newman excels with "The Intervention," a Kafkaesque black comedy about a deprogramming victim that deftly balances absurdist social satire with paranoid horror. Lisa Tuttle's "The Mezzotint" is one of several stories that evoke classic horror fiction, in this case a tale by M.R. James, whose plot she brilliantly inverts in an account of sinister deceptions that darken a romantic relationship. In most stories the subtle and suggestive trump the physical and gruesome, such as "No Man's Land" by Chris Lawson and Simon Brown, where vividly described horrors of trench warfare prove an avenue to more awe-inducing terrors. Although there are as many competent but unremarkable stories as there are standouts, this book shows that distinctions of national origin and cultural difference dissolve in horror stories expertly cast from a crucible of quality.

From Booklist
This big anthology's editors hail from the U.S., Britain, and Australia, respectively, and so do the contributors. Thus the volume could be taken to indicate the current state of Anglophone horror fiction, but that seems as vainglorious as its subtitle, which implies that Steve Nagy, receiving his first professional publication here, is as much a master as arch-veteran Ray Bradbury. It's really a bunch of fair to superb stories that altogether bear out Neil Gaiman's contention that horror is a condiment. Horror laves humor in Gahan Wilson's marvelous "The Big Green Grin," which comes complete with a cartoon. Horror becomes the ultimate antiwar comment in Chris Lawson and Simon Brown's "No Man's Land." Horror arises from inexplicability in Isobelle Carmody's "The Dove Game." Horror is the undeniable aftertaste of Robert Devereaux's devastating "Li'l Miss Ultrasound," a satire on the sexualization of everything and the voyeurization of everyone that for sheer, enraging outrageousness very nearly equals Swift's "A Modest Proposal." And there are 30 more flavors of horror in the book. | |

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