The Penguin Book of Horror Stories
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The Penguin Book of Horror Stories

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Here are the depths of fear and darkness, the furthest limits of agony in mind and body...

Born in the eighteenth century, the horror story produced a literature of terror filled with werewolves and vampires, and which borrowed many elements from its sister genre, the ghost story.

Many famous writers were tempted by it, including Maupassant, Poe, Gautier, Conan Doyle, L.P. H...more
Paperback, 607 pages
Published October 25th 1984 by Penguin Books Limited (first published 1984)
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Chris Dufresne
"The Penguin Book of Horror Stories" edited by J. A. Cuddon was a great read. I am definitely one for the horror genre and this book really delivered that scared feeling while reading. The book, consisting of about forty plus short stories, each specific and horrifying was really entertaining and an all around "edge-of-your-seat" suspense really boosted the book's fantastically scary concept. From the distraught adventures of one kid, to horrifying experiences of a doctor, this book will keep yo...more
According to the OED the word horror was used in the sense of a "loathing fear, feeling terror or repugnance", as early as the fourteenth century with one example cited from no less than Chaucer in "The Parson's Tale" from his inestimable Canterbury Tales. So the notion has been around a long time and in use by a broad range of authors.
This anthology provides just such a broad range of writers both famous and those not so well-known. Writers include expected representatives like Poe, Henry Jame...more
Tom Ruffles
Despite the title, nowadays most of the stories included in this mammoth compilation would I suspect be classified as uncanny rather than horror. This is because the definition of horror has evolved over the last thirty years, largely under the influence of increasingly-explicit filmic depictions. That editor J A Cuddon’s view of the form was somewhat dated even as he drew up his list is suggested by his observation that while it also applies to novellas and novels, the horror story is usually r...more
Tim Pendry
Sep 09, 2008 Tim Pendry rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Literary collectors
Shelves: horror
This 1984 collection has some gems and a certain breadth but suffers from a weak almost nerdy academic introduction filled with fact but weak on interpretation. A Wikipedia article before its time.

The definition of horror is very wide. The brutal realism of Prosper Merimee's primitive and vengeful 'Mateo Falcone' sits alongside a pulp tale of derring-do (the oft-anthologised 'Leiningen Versus The Ants') and a sardonic and satirical horror tale like Robert Graves' 'Earth to Earth'. But yet there...more
The editor definitely casts his skein a bit broad, with curious results. The early anonymous stuff was hardly worth trudging through, and I definitely could've done without Faulkner's contribution and that silly "Comrade Death" thing. On the other hand, there were a few marvelous items that would not ordinarily have been included under the "horror" aegis: "Activity Time" by Monica Dickens, "The Portobello Road" by Muriel Spark, and "The Terrapin" by Patricia Highsmith, all of them gems (with nar...more
A very thoughtful gift from my brother-in-law & wife for Christmas ('03 or '04) and completed May '05 ... I even left myself a reminder note on the inside cover for recall later. There's over 600 pages (40+ stories). Fabulous anthology ... it has an esteemed place on my bookshelf. Cover to cover goosebumps.
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