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Search tags: short-story-anthologies-collections-read
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review 2017-04-20 18:35
Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown

This was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of short stories, superbly narrated by Matt Godfrey. I can see now why Stephen King gave Fredric Brown and specifically this collection a special mention in his non fiction book about influential horror written during the 1950's through the 1970's: Danse Macabre.

 

Within this volume, there are nearly 50 stories, most of them very short. There were some sci-fi tales mixed in, but most of these were horror. For whatever reason, these tiny gems brought me back to the stories I read when I first got into horror. I would say the period after Poe, but before King. I did a lot of short story reading back then; I used them as a way to find new authors, and then longer works written by them. Somehow, I never discovered Mr. Brown back then, but I'm so glad that I've discovered him now.

 

There are too many tales to get into here, but a few of the standouts to me were:

 

The Geezenstacks This was Just. Plain. Fun! How can you go wrong with a horror story about dolls?!

 

Cat Burglar That ending cracked me the hell up!

 

There were several stories that began with "Nightmare in..." and I pretty much loved all of those.

 

Matt Godfrey does a tremendous job narrating these stories. I've listened to a few of his audios now, and he's quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. Will Patton had better watch out!

 

This collection really stands above most others of its kind, not only from that time period, (the 60's), but this time period as well. That's not to say that some of these stories don't feel dated, because some do, but I don't feel as if that affected their impact. Also, Nightmares and Geezenstacks will not work for everyone, especially those who love their tales to be extra bloody or leaning towards bizarro. Horror was tamer in the 60's, and these stories are a product of their time.

 

That being said, I loved this collection. It had short stories that were actually short, it had a great deal of variety, most tales packed a real punch and the narration was wonderful. I give this my highest recommendation!

 

*I received this audio free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-04-17 13:50
Dark Screams: Volume 6 edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar
Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman,Joyce Carol Oates

Dark Screams: Volume Six was the best installment of this series so far! My favorites this time around were from the lesser known authors, most especially Tim Curran, who deserves to be as famous as Stephen King.

 

Tim Curran's The Corpse King was easily the best story, in my book. Being novella length, Mr. Curran got to do what he does best, which is putting his imagination to work, side by side with his knowledge of history. The result is this nasty, disgusting, and fun story about grave-robbers and what things, (other than corpses), might be waiting for them down below. A resounding 5 stars with applause!

 

Norman Prentiss' The Comforting Voice was a beautifully told story about baby Lydia and how she loves the sound of her grampa's voice. But what happens when grampa passes away? You'll have to read this to find out. 5 FAT stars!

 

The Rich Are Different by Lisa Morton was a nice story, but for me, lacked a good punch. Plus, the insta-love, (a term I learned from my romance-loving friends), didn't really work for me. It was still a cool premise though. 3.5 stars!

 

I liked King's story, The Old Dude's Ticker. It had that feel of a classic SK story, and that's always a good thing. 3 stars!

 

Overall, this anthology was above average, and I highly recommend it, especially if these stories sound interesting to you. There's something here for every type of horror lover, and it's rare that a collection have such a wide range of appeal.

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and to Hydra for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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review 2017-03-26 15:42
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill,Christopher Golden

My favorite stories were:

 

Pop Art

20th Century Ghost

Better Than Home

My Father's Mask

Voluntary Committal

 

My thoughts on this collection cannot possibly make a dent in all of reviews already written about this book. Suffice it to say: I loved it and it gets my highest recommendation!

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review 2017-03-24 18:45
At the Cemetery Gates: Year One by John Brhel and Joseph Sullivan
At The Cemetery Gates: Year One - Chad Wehrle,John Brhel,Joseph T. Sullivan

At The Cemetery Gates: Year One is a collection of 14 short stories. Most of them feature cemeteries-if not actually set there, they're at least mentioned.

 

My favorite story of the bunch was An Epistle From the Dead which was a macabre tidbit with a touch of poignancy to it that really brought the story home.

 

Pictures of a Perpetual Subject was also a poignant tale with a haunting outcome that I won't soon forget.

 

The remaining stories were all good, but not outstanding. These are the types of tales to be told around a campfire at night or at a sleepover. In fact, I think they're perfect for those types of scenarios. Seasoned horror fans used to hard-core scares might come away slightly disappointed, but I believe the average horror reader would find these tales satisfying.

 

 

Today, this book is free! Click here: At The Cemetery Gates: Year One

 

Recommended!

 

*Horror After Dark was provided a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is it!*

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review 2017-03-09 22:30
All Souls' Night by Hugh Walpole
All Souls' Night - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Sir Hugh Walpole

 

All Souls' Night is an excellent collection of stories, originally published back in the 1930's. I listened to the audio version, narrated by the outstanding Matt Godfrey.

 

Not all of these tales were dark fiction or ghost stories, but-of course, those were my favorites. The ones that I enjoyed most were found right at the beginning, namely:

 

The Whistle I love tales about dogs and people that don't care for them. Dogs always know.

 

The Silver Mask Nothing outright horrific, really, but most definitely unsettling and surprising.

 

The Staircase Easily my favorite story in this collection. Featuring extremely keen insights into human behavior, (that stand up, even to this day), as viewed and acted upon, by the house itself. This one blew me away.

 

Lastly:

 

Lilac I thought this was going to be one kind of story, but it didn't go the way I thought it would at all.

 

As I said above, I listened to the audio of this book and I thought the narrator did a great job of bringing these tales alive. I could easily picture everything going on and the English accent was appropriate for the time and age in which the stories were set.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. If you decide to try it out, don't expect all of the stories to be macabre, or to involve the supernatural. These tales vary widely, but all of them feature startling insights into the nature of humanity, and they are still true today.

 

Highly recommended, especially the audio version!

 

You can get your copy here: All Souls' Night (Valancourt 20th Century Classics)

 

*I was provided this audio book free of charge from the narrator, (through Audio Boom!) in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it. Thanks to you both for the opportunity!*

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