September 2, 2016

Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror edited by Ellen Datlow

Title:  Darkness:  Two Decades of Modern Horror
Author:  Various (Edited by Ellen Datlow)
Pages:  470
Genre:  Horror
Publisher:  Tachyon, 2010
Series:  Stand Alone

Synopsis:  Compiling the finest in frightening tales, this unique anthology offers a diverse selection of horror culled from the last 25 years. Hand selected from cutting edge authors, each work blends subtle psychology and mischievousness with disturbingly visceral imagery. In the classic "Chattery Teeth," Stephen King provides a tautly drawn account of a traveling salesman who unwisely picks up yet another hitchhiker, while in Peter Straub's eerie "The Juniper Tree," a man whose nostalgia for the movies of his childhood leads to his stolen innocence. Renowned fantasy author George R. R. Martin weaves a sinister yarn about a young woman encountering a neighbor who is overly enamored with her in "The Pear-Shaped Man." Combining acclaimed masters of the macabre, such as Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, and Thomas Ligotti, with bold new talents to the genre including, Kelly Link, Neil Gaiman, and Stephen King's son, Joe Hill, this distinctive collection of stories will delight and terrify.

Review:  Twenty-five short stories, all published between 1984 and 2005 and written by some of the best-loved authors of our times.  Stephen King, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, and George R. R. Martin, just to name a few.

I wanted to love all of the stories.  I loved a few of them.  I liked a few of them.  The rest?  Well, they just weren't scary.  They were odd and different and interesting, but not scary.  But, fear is subjective and individual, so perhaps the stories I didn't find frightening would frighten someone else.

My favorites were The Power and the Passion by Pat Cadigan and The Pear-Shaped Man by George R. R. Martin.  I'd read the story by Stephen King already and, while I did enjoy it, it's not his best short story.

It was a long book and not a quick read, but I am glad I read it.  I'd give it a higher rating, but some of the stories were just bizarre and gross, but not at all scary.

Rating:  6 / 10

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