999: Twenty-nine Original Tales of Horror and Suspense
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999: Twenty-nine Original Tales of Horror and Suspense (999: Twenty-nine Original Tales of Horror and Suspense)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,595 ratings  ·  91 reviews
A ward-winning writer and editor Al Sarrantonio gathers together twenty-nine original stories from masters of the macabre. From dark fantasy and pure suspense to classic horror tales of vampires and zombies, 999 showcases the extraordinary scope of fantastical fright fiction. The stories in this anthology are a relentless tour de force of fear, which will haunt you, terrif...more
Paperback, 688 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Harper Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1999)
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Baby Teeth by Dan RabartsFresh Fear by William CookRead the End First by Suzanne RobbHorror for Good by Mark ScioneauxZippered Flesh by Weldon Burge
Best Horror Anthologies
11th out of 285 books — 486 voters
Rebecca by Daphne du MaurierJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëMateguas Island by Linda  WatkinsDracula by Bram StokerWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Best Gothic Novels/Suspense Novels
116th out of 246 books — 278 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Trudi
I am judging this collection of short stories with an especially critical eye for several reasons:

1) it promises to deliver some of the best original horror stories by authors at the pinnacle of their craft (including Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Edward Lee and William Peter Blatty)

2) it received the 1999 Bram Stoker Award for Best Anthology

and 3) despite my commitment to finish this 700+ page anthology (and neglecting many other books while I persevered), it still took me too long to finish -...more
Brian Steele
Although now a decade old, this anthology remains quite dear to me. Thanks to Sarrantonio, I was introduced to quite a number of new Horror Authors; those who don't get the same marketing blitz as King or Koontz. And thank Cthulhu for that! While some of the "Old Guard" stand up and take notice here (Campbell, Blatty, Oates, ect.), I also got to check out short works by Kim Newman and Neil Gaiman. While I was already a fan of both authors, I soon started following Edward Lee and F. Paul Wilson a...more
Dark-Draco
This is a great collection of horror and suspense stories. A huge book, cotaining 17 short stories, 8 novelettes, 3 novellas and 1 short story. Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Eric Van Lustbader, Gene Wolfe and Neil Gaiman are just some of the authors.

There's some gore-fest, some psycological thrillers, some creature feature stories, but I'm sure everyone will find something they enjoy.

I found it hard to pick my favourite. 'Elsewhere' by William Peter Blatty (who wrote 'The Exorcist') is brillian...more
Keri
I liked this book, I just didn't love it. Seeing Stephen King as a contributor is what drew me to the book in the first place. Turns out that the story he added (The Road Virus Heads North) was something I had already read in Everything's Eventual, however it is a great story for anyone who's never read it. There were a few stories in 999 that I might consider reading again, but the majority of the stories left me wanting for something. A lot of the time I found myself finishing the story and th...more
Tina
This was a tough one to get through.

I appreciate now, why horror-anthology readers were quick to give this book one or two star at best over at Amazon; it’s not what I’d call a “horror anthology” nor is there much in the way of suspense, but the marketing and the title itself suggests otherwise.

This book is more a ‘weird tales with interesting characters’.

I get it - the editor was obviously going for the same readers that made Hitchcock suspense anthologies so popular...but most of the stories...more
Becky Ippolito
I'd have to say that the first half of the book was a bore to me. I don't rememember a single story from that part. The second half was much better with stories that kept me on my toes and anxious to pick up the book any chance I could. Notably stories I enjoyed were "The Grave" by P. D. Cacek, about a strange librarian who was a little too emmeshed with her mother and motherhood; "The Rio Grande Gothic" by David Morrell was an exciting story about a small town cop and the creept shoes he keeps...more
Kristen Pfaff
Jan 10, 2010 Kristen Pfaff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested in horror
Recommended to Kristen by: Felicia
This book is a must-read for people looking to gain an introduction to the horror field or looking to expand their range of authors to read. Some of the highlights included:

Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue - Kim Newman
The Owl and the Pussycat - Thomas M. Disch
The Road Virus Heads North - Stephen King
Keepsakes and Treasures: A Love Story - Neil Gaiman
An Exaltation of Termagants - Eric Van Lustbader
Catfish Gal Blues - Nancy A. Collins
Rio Grande Gothic - David Morell
The Tree is My Hat - Gene W...more
Spyder Collins
Generally speaking, I am not disappointed in collections. There is always something good to read or as a writer pick apart or learn from 999: New Stories Of Horror And Suspense may be the anti-collection, for me. Sure, there is King and Gaiman (again) and many others. That should be a book seller in itself, for many yes. I want a bit more, however.

Now, Kim Newman’s ‘Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue' kicks things off nicely but for me 999 mostly staggers along from there. There are a ton of...more
Kimberly
I have this book on one of my "to keep" paperback shelves. There are quite a few stories in here that I liked a lot, and very few that I just didn't care for. In an anthology, that's quite a feat!
Dan
Fuck it. I'm throwing in the towel, I just couldn't finish this book
Zach
Only 2 gems, the story by Neil Gaimen is worth the whole book
Omar Khafagy
May 04, 2013 Omar Khafagy marked it as to-read
One of the things I love about anthologies is that they can function as a sort of sampler, giving you a taste of a wide range of authors without the commitment required of their longer works.

As a challenge to myself, I will be writing reviews of each of these stories. The notes are more for myself, but I hope that you find them of some benefit.

Amerikanski Dead At The Moscow Morgue
By Kim Newman

This short story is my introduction to the author Kim Newman and I'm not sure I was impressed with the s...more
Sara
This is a very uneven collection put together by an editor who name-drops and thinks far too much of himself. Al Sarrantonio certainly gathered some solid works by some major authors here: Joyce Carol Oates, William Peter Blatty, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King, et al. But he asserts the pretense of creating a forward-looking collection for the coming century (this collection was published in 1999). If one is trying to anticipate the future, I think it's generally well-advised to choose young auth...more
Conal Cochran
I read this book shortly after it came out, and was blown away. Now that I'm getting back into the horror genre in a big way,I decided to pick it up and see if I could recapture the magic. The answer: Yes!

A few highlights:
Ramsey Campbell's "The Entertainment" is hands-down one of the scariest things I've ever read. It's a relentless assault that combines gross imagery, very real psychological and adult fears, and an ever-increasing sense of dread that just detonates.

Kim Newman's "Amerikanski De...more
Amy
This is an extremely mixed bag - some great, unusual stories, and some run-of-the-mill. For me, it's a better sampler for a newer fan of horror than for someone who's been around the block a few times.

Here's what I really enjoyed: Kim Newman's "Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue" - an original tale of American zombies in Russia, plus Rasputin; Neil Gaiman's "Keepsakes & Treasures: A Love Story" - I had already read this in Fragile Things - it's a tale of a man seeking love and the henchma...more
H. Anne Stoj
Over all, a really fantastic collection of short stories. While the collection is over a decade old, I was pleased to find that I hadn't read anything in it before. (Or, if I had, I don't remember and thus it was new again.) My favorite, I think, was Joyce Carol Oates. I'm not recalling the title, but the language is still haunting me (forgive the pun), which always means a very strong story to me. Mad Dog Summer, now it's the author I'm forgetting, was also really memorable as it felt a bit lik...more
Niknik
Apr 01, 2013 Niknik marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Niknik by: Amazon.com recommendations
I'm still reading this but it has to be said that this is one of the most poorly edited books I have ever come across! I don't know if it is just the Kindle version, but it definitely takes away from the stories because of the sheer number of spelling and grammatical errors throughout the book. (And they are very simplistic errors such as "lip" printed as "hp" or "I..." as "J...")!
It just takes a lot away from the stories, for me.

However, that being said...some of the stories so far haven't real...more
Paul
Exciting read from some well known authors and some not so well known . A massive book over 650 pages containing 29 stories so there should be something in here to suit most peoples taste in horror. However with mentioning the word ' horror ' not all these tales have a horror background . One in particular is about a serial killer and would possibily be better included in a crime / thriller anthology instead but none the less was a great read and has a twist at the end the reader wont see coming...more
Barry
To be fair, I haven't read the entire book; but, those few stories that I HAVE read over the years were enough for me to say that this is a good, if slightly uneven, anthology. Joyce Carol Oates' "The Ruins of Contracoeur" is a beautiful, disturbing, and über-mysterious piece, and Dennis L. McKiernan's "Darkness" is the kind of story that will leave you giggling...nervously. Naturally, Stephen King's story was fun and eerie, and F. Paul Wilson's "Good Friday" was a superb example of gritty, nast...more
Linda Appelbaum
This book offers 29 original stories sure to disturb your sleep if you read just before bedtime. The stories will scare, disturb, horrify, and give you the willies. If you enjoy scary, suspenseful, chilling horror stories you will certainly get caught up in this book. Keep the lights on brightly when reading because the shadows hold unknown creepy things that might getcha!
Badly Drawn Girl

Impressive collection! I'm quite fond of short stories and I'm a recovering horror addict. I cut my teeth on the stuff. The very first book I ever bought was The Shining... I was 8. I found it at a library closeout sale for a dime. That was the start of something wonderfully awful. But as I got older I lost my passion for the genre, or maybe I wasn't reading the right stuff, but either way, horror and I parted ways. But I had heard good things about this collection so I gave it a shot. There is...more
Megan
I always have a hard time reviewing anthologies, at least when they are by multiple authors. I kind of feel like unless I rate each individual story, it doesn't really matter. I mean, my review is basically always gonna be the same unless an anthology totally sucks or every story is awesome. "Some stories were good, some just didn't keep my attention." I guess I could call out some stories that I liked, such as (of course) Neil's "Keepsakes & Treasures," Joe R. Landsdale's "Mad Dog Summer,"...more
Mya
I would like to think that if I taught an introductory course on Modern Horror, that "999" would be the first of the recommended reading sources for my students. It runs the gamut from atmospheric horror, to visceral, from realistic to the supernatural. I do love a good compilation, and while some of the stories are far greater than the others, each is unique in its approach to the genre. My only complaint, and I don't know if this pertains to the hardcover, but the eBook version has a multitude...more
Eric
There are some good stories in this lengthy anthology. There are even some scary stories. There just aren't enough of them.

I started to feel uneasy when reading the introduction, which touts "literary horror." I'm not a big fan of literary fiction, primarily because it's usually hard to understand (or at least I find it hard to understand). Many of the stories in this volume, too many, fall into this category. Too many are not scary, and even worse, don't even try to be scary.

There are bright s...more
Dave Higgins
Copy of my Launchpad review from 2001:
This anthology aims to demonstrate that horror and suspense are legitimate forms of literature. As an avid supporter of this concept I am not really qualified to judge this objectively, so I will leave the artistic debate to others.
As to the short stories (an occasional novella) contained within, I would suggest everyone open the book at random; the tale you find will certainly make you feel the touch of the unknown.
Alternatively, if someone recommended an a...more
Sarah Terese *Kili!*
Some were good, some where meh.
That averages about a 3 in my book. =)

(Qwestion: If I read it during a lot of rainy days...does that make it a rainy day book?)
Jacob O'connor
I love to be scared. I love horror movies, I love scary books, and for true horror I even regularly check my bank statement.

As with any collections of stories, you get a mixed bag. There’s one from Steven King (which I swear I’ve read before). Most of them are just okay, and there are a couple that are decent. My favorite was the one about the “Goat Man”.

Not a bad time waster....more
Melissa
I had a really tough time getting through this book. I thought it might have been just the fact that I was only reading it at work that might have been slowing me down, but even when I read at home, i realized that all of the stories seemed very similar. Only one or two of them really had me creeped out, the rest just had me thinking "Okay, what's so scary about that?"
Maybe it's due to the fact that I don't read much horror or suspense, but I wanted to at least try and branch out a little. Now...more
Sean Hatfield
I found there were some dark stories that I really loved,some creative stories that were good and two stories that were so boring that I had to skip past them. All in all a good book if you could get past the massive amount of spelling errors. I mean the guy who put this book together is an editor. You would think someone would have proofread this thing.
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Al Sarrantonio (born May 25, 1952, in New York City) is an American horror and science fiction author who has published, over the past thirty years, more than forty books and sixty short stories. He has also edited numerous anthologies and has been called “a master anthologist” by Booklist.

Wikipedia entry: Al Sarrantonio
More about Al Sarrantonio...
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