A Book of Horrors
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A Book of Horrors

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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  297 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A collection of original horror and dark fantasy from the world’s best writers, including Stephen King and John Ajvide LindqvistMany of us grew up on The Pan Book of Horror Stories and its later incarnations, Dark Voices and Dark Terrors (The Gollancz Book of Horror), which won the World Fantasy Award, the Horror Critics’ Guild Award and the British Fantasy Award, but for...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2011)
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Trudi
I really, really wanted to love this collection. I was so stoked to get my hands on it (as excited as I get about short story anthologies anyways). It contains an original story by Stephen King for heaven's sake, not to mention other original contributions from some of the genre's heaviest hitters including: Ramsey Campbell, John Ajvide Lindqvist and Dennis Etchison.

I think what frustrated me the most about this collection is that the majority of the stories have great beginnings but fizzle out...more
Kealan Burke
I'm a big fan of Stephen Jones' anthologies. In fact, I was weaned on them, and discovered many of the authors I still read today through his BEST NEW HORROR series. This one, however, was curiously uneven. For a collection whose sole purpose (according to the intro by Jones) is to make horror horror again, there's a distinct absence of scares, or indeed, much horror at all. Standouts include "Ghosts With Teeth" by Peter Crowther, which, while not particularly original, manages under Crowther's...more
Viv
The intro of this book was quite inspirational, talking about bringing back monsters from the older days (before modern stories of romantic vampires and etc.) when we would read them under our beds at night with flash light in hand, shaking and trembling in fear. I have to say, that really brought my hopes up for the stories in these. I even saw Stephen King's name in it and thought it would be awesome.

Unfortunately, most of the stories ended with a splat. The beginning and middle sections of ea...more
Kimberly
This was a very strong short story collection, in my opinion. Most of the stories were good-to-very good, with 7 of them making it it my personal "definitely want to read again" category. Overall, there were only a few very "weak" inclusions that I didn't get into at all. Notable favorites of mine (personally speaking) were "A Child's Problem", by Reggie Oliver, "Getting It Wrong", by Ramsey Campbell, "Sad, Dark Thing", by Michael Marshall Smith, "Roots and All", by Brian Hodge, and "The Music o...more
Nerine Dorman
For those of you who despair that an antidote for all the glittery vampires and torture porn won't be found, look no further than this superb collection that Stephen Jones has put together. I appreciated the fact that I saw a few familiar names like Stephen King Caitlin R Kiernan and Ramsey Campbell, but was pleased to find new favourites among them, such as Reggie Oliver, Elizabeth Hand and Angela Slatter, whose other published works will eventually find their way onto my kindle. This one's a k...more
Becky
I'm a big fan of short story collections and anthologies. Anthologies give you a chance to try out some new-to-you authors in an easy (and, let's face it, noncommittal) way. But that's ok! Sometimes all it takes is one or two key authors to pull me into a collection (um, Mr. King) and then I walk away with a slew of new stuff to add to my ever-growing TBR. And such was just the case with this latest from horror anthology master, Stephen Jones.

A Book of Horrors features fourteen all new short sto...more
Nancy Oakes


Definitely for me this book fell into the 3.5 star zone.

In the introduction to this book, editor Stephen Jones notes that "The time has come to reclaim the horror genre for those who understand and appreciate the worth and impact of a scary story." Lamenting the fact that the traditional horror market is being "usurped" by publishers and booksellers who are aiming "horror-lite" fiction at the "middle-of-the-road reader," -- including 'paranormal romance', 'urban fantasy', 'literary mash-up' or e...more
Neal Litherland
The intro of this book, and leading off with "The Little Green God of Agony" really sets readers up for a hard and disappointing tumble. The intro, as other reviewers have mentioned, talks up the collection as "reclaiming the monsters" and taking back beasts and bogeys from the romance genre. It promised readers gut wrenching horrors, and terrors from beyond the grave. Then it opened with a haymaker from Stephen King, and it seemed like a solid knock out. Then the book sprained its wrist.

Out of...more
Colin Leslie
In the introduction to this collection Stephen Jones makes an impassioned plea to reclaim the horror genre from the gathering hordes of vapid vampires and cliched zombies "for those who understand and appreciate the worth and impact of a scary story", well dear reader, that sounds like me and you, lets explore further.

We start with a certain Mr Stephen King and a brand new story The Little Green God Of Agony which proves that he can still thrill the reader in less than thirty pages. It's an exce...more
Katherine
Though the book had some misses, (it is a bit uneven) it does overall live up to the hilarious (and quite adept) forward by Jones. He claims in his forward that most horror stories now a days are "lite" with sparking vampires and government-employed werewolves. I agree very loudly. For the most part the stories are creepy and in two instances completely scared the crap out of me. Stephen King's contribution "Little Green God of Agony" is old school and great but the stand outs for me were Peter...more
H. Anne Stoj
Overall, a really nice collection of horror stories, and all of them new to me. It was a pleasure to read Caitlin R. Kiernan's Charcloth, Firesteel, and Flint. Near Zennor captured all of Elizabeth Hand's brilliant descriptions and mood that I've found in her other work. But the story that I particularly liked was The Coffin-Maker's Daughter, which gives a great twist on the idea of mirrors and death. The one story I just couldn't make it through was Peter Crowther's Ghosts with Teeth. I'm not s...more
Rick Urban
While all horror anthologies are ultimately a mixed bag, this collection is particularly solid, certainly more successful than the baffling Peter Straub-edited "Poe's Children" from 2008 ('I've yet to read the other two-volume set edited by Straub, "American Fantastic Tales", but have higher hopes). The stand-outs are Stephen King's "The Little Green God of Agony", (which continues his trip to well of physical pain since his car accident in 1999), the truly original "Alice Through the Plastic Sh...more
Evelyn
As anthologies go, A Book of Horrors is uneven. There are a few nearly excellent stories, among them "A Child's Problem" and "Near Zennor," that will keep coming back to me in bits and pieces for some time to come. There are some really very good stories: Stephen King's "The Little Green God of Agony," interesting in the way it deftly (but not unfairly) manipulates the reader into a yo-yo sympathy switch, and Angela Slatter's "The Coffin-Maker's Daughter," which made me feel, for no easily ident...more
Justin
For the most part I really enjoyed this anthology.
King's "The Little Green God of Agony" tells the story of a rich man in rehabilitation for his pain after a plane crash. It was an enjoyable story, looking at why we feel pain.
Kiernan's "Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint" is about a mysterious hitchhiker and fire. It was a strange story, but enjoyable. Crowther's "Ghosts with Teeth" is one of the novellas here about strange occurrences in a New England town, and I thought this one of the best stor...more
Alex Telander
When British author Stephen Jones set out to bring the anthology that would become A Book of Horrors together, his goal was to make the world realize that the concept of the horror story and the ability to frighten and terrify readers in a number of ways is still alive and well, contrary to what the likes of sparkling vampires, hunky werewolves, and all the other former denizens of the world of terror that have now been romanticized have shown. Jones does just this in A Book of Horrors.

The colle...more
Evans Light
Jun 08, 2013 Evans Light marked it as to-read
Going to leave little reviews as I make my way through the stories. May or may not be in order.

LITTLE GREEN GOD OF AGONY
- STEPHEN KING **** Four Stars

Even though the premise and resolution is a bit silly in hindsight, Stephen King does a great job pulling the reader into the tale and keeping the chills going up until the last word. This is the best thing I've read by King in a long while; though not essential by any means, I found it to be far more enjoyable than Throttle, Mile 81 or In the Tall...more
Бранимир Събев
Още щом разбрах, че от „Бард” ще издават сборник разкази на ужаса от западни автори си казах – това е само за мен, задължително трябва да се прочете. Оригиналното заглавие на книгата е “A Book of Horrors” и неин съставител е Стивън Джоунс, известен британски редактор и съставител. Българското издание е кръстено на първия разказ в сборник, чийто автор е Стивън Кинг.

Какво мисля за разказите в сборника:

1. Малкият зелен бог на агонията – Стивън Кинг: маестро Кинг няма нужда от представяне и реклама....more
Jien
Overall good, few great, one awful (King, below) it was a good read.

I think I have really hit the point in my life where one of the first things I look at in an anthology is its inclusion of female authors. This book only includes 4 women out of 14 writers. Better than 0, but far from the 50% mark. I do realize though that female horror authors seem to be fewer (or overall less prolific historically?) than male ones, for whatever reasons, but I have also noticed that anthologies with female edi...more
Κωνσταντίνος Κέλλης
I've read this about a year ago, but the stories have stayed with me. It's true, gritty horror, it's ghosts with teeth. Stephen Jones is proving yet again why is he considered to be the best editor of horror in the field. A must-have, must-read for every fan of the genre.
M.L. Forman
As with all collections from multiple authors, some stories work better for some readers and others don't. I don't claim to be an expert, but some of the stories in this collection didn't really feel like horror stories at all. Stephen King's 'The Little Green God of Agony' was great, 'Ghosts with Teeth' by Peter Crowther was outstanding, and 'The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer' by John Ajvide Lindqvist did creep me out a bit. There are others that I enjoyed, and a few that I'm afraid I just...more
David

Most of the stories in this anthology are REALLY good... in fact a few (like "A child's problem") are fabulous in their detail and plot content... a few, alas, are just extremely LONG. Those few ramble and twist and then think the ending is worth it, when it is NOT... So an Anthology always amuses me, because you always find that one GEM between the covers, and ignore the poorer examples. I highly recommend this to folks who like the more 'Gothic' and traditional style Horror, who are perhaps ti...more
Randolph Carter
I'm not sure why this anthology isn't rated much higher on average. People must be expecting some sort of berserk maniac monster mayhem but this collection features a lot of excellent subtle weird little horrors. The book is very literate (as in literature) as well. There wasn't a stinker in the batch. Even in the longer stories, there was so much interesting going on and the writing was so good, I didn't mind that there wasn't any severed jugular edge-of-my-seat horror going on. It was just dam...more
Paul
Very good collection of short stories, some of which are excellent & only a couple that aren't quite at the same standard.

Kicking off with Stephen King's 'The Little Green God Of Agony' and ending with Richard Christian Matheson's 'Last Words' there is something in this book for every horror fan.

My personal favourites (aside from 'The Little Green God Of Agony') are 'The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer' by John Ajvide Lindqvist and 'Near Zennor' by Elizabeth Hand.

A couple of the others see...more
Mike Stuchbery
A really top-shelf collection of Horror tales, lovingly curated by Jones.

The Alquist story is a highlight.
jim colbert
Love horror short stories.

most of these stories were fun to read,. not out right wake up screaming scary but always thought provoking. short stories suit me because my attention span sometimes lags so this genre is perfect for me. would recommend this is any reader who enjoys a horror story with a good solid story supporting it
Lola Snyder
I liked this book. As promised in the Intro the book hearkens back to the days when horror was horrific and not sentimental, sappy, or full of twinkling, sex-crazed characters. I read those too but... A special thanks to Stephen King for bringing me back to the time when what is implied is more terrifying than what is actually written.

I only gave 4 stars because some of the offerings were a little weak on substance and quite frankly not scary. I want books that make me close the closet door and...more
Stephen Huang
Overall, I think this book is pretty awesome. There were lots of stories inside of this book. Some were good while others were bad. It wasn't like Twilight with glittering vampire, it was something more old story. The Hollywood's craps compare to the old school horror stories is just too funny. This book's stories are all old school that the chill seems real while the Hollywood stuff makes you want to puke. I would recommend this book for people who like horror and like old school.
David
I can see why this collection of short stories was nominated for so many awards. It's a pretty great collection. I enjoyed every story except one very short one. Don't recall if I've read Mr. Jones' collections before but I'll have to start in on his books.

It's a very attractive book. Includes author pages at the end of each story. I suspect this will be a collection that is remembered for some time to come.
Maribel Tostado
Dissapointed! I had high hopes for this but was let down. There are only three good stories on here. SK never let's me down..in fact he is a fantastic short story writer. The real standout here is Peter Crowther'sstory. It is worth reading by itself. Also, Aldqviust too. The other one were just a let down. I don't recommend it. If this is new horror...I'll stick to my Lovecraft, Barker, King books. Thank you.
Jennifer
Average


The stories in this collection were well written, however I didn't find them scary and the overall blandness would keep me from recommending it to another horror fan.
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Stephen Jones is an eighteen-time winner of the British Fantasy Award.
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