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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)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  2,500 Ratings  ·  114 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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 -
Brian Steele
Jan 29, 2010 Brian Steele rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
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
Mar 28, 2013 Dark-Draco rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 27, 2014 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off, let me say that there are quite a few typo errors in the version that I read. However, they in no way detracted from my enjoyment of this most excellent collection of stories in the horror genre, collected by Al Sarrantonio. This is at least the third book that I have read that was edited by Mr. Sarrantonio, and I must say that I like his choices.

This is a rather hefty book, weighing in at almost 700 pages (666 for the ebook and more than that for the paperback), and includes a very
Kristen Pfaff
Jan 10, 2010 Kristen Pfaff rated it really liked it
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
Terri Jacobson
I read this book as part of a challenge ("read something that scares you"). I had trouble deciding what to read, so this compendium of short stories and small novels really fit the bill. Interesting to note that none of these stories had been printed before this volume was released in 1999. I read very little of the horror genre, but I found these stories quite entertaining. There is everything from cannibals and vampires to evil clowns and surprise endings. The quality of the writing is quite h ...more
Lyndsay Mccrossin
Sep 15, 2014 Lyndsay Mccrossin rated it it was amazing
What a delicious collection of tasty literary morsels; I gobbled them up greedily each evening, refusing to go to sleep at appropriate hours, just to find myself unable to sleep anyway when I finally did hit the pillow. These stories of horror will make your skin crawl, your eyes double check for ghosties in the corners of your bedroom, and your body hair stiffen as your flesh gooses in terror. This collection scared the hell out of me and I enjoyed every second of it. If you enjoy the horror ge ...more
Pia Cathrin
May 04, 2014 Pia Cathrin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the tales in this book are very captivating. It's a big book, but since it consists of individual stories by various authors ... well, it makes it easy to read. A few of the stories were a bit huh? to me. I guess I didn't quite get the point of them or didn't find them scary. But overall this book is worth the read.
Jul 08, 2016 Erin added it
Okay. I didn't read (and probably never WILL read) this book, but I just finished playing through Zero Escape: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, which is a video game, BUT the iOS version is a sort of choose-your-own-adventure "visual novel", and given how long it took me to finally get through all possible endings, I wanted to count it toward my reading challenge. So here we are.

ZE999 was...interesting. It's the story of 9 people trapped on a boat with 9 hours to solve all the puzzles that will ena
Apr 01, 2013 Kimberly rated it really liked it
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!
Keri Ann
Aug 24, 2013 Keri Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 12, 2013 Tina rated it it was ok
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
H. Anne Stoj
Sep 24, 2011 H. Anne Stoj rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, anthology
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
Mar 03, 2012 Barry rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-be-continued
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
Becky Ippolito
Sep 04, 2011 Becky Ippolito rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
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
Badly Drawn Girl
Oct 13, 2010 Badly Drawn Girl rated it really liked it

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
Michelle Podsiedlik
It's very hard to rate this. Some stories were 5-star quality, some I didn't like much at all. Also, having several stories that pushed the 50 page mark (the last is actually 100 pages), makes this book an occasional slog. I will say, if you find yourself disliking any of the stories after the first five pages, you can safely skip them and not feel like you've lost out on something - your opinion likely wouldn't have changed by the end.

The stand-out stories (ones I would read again):

Linda Appelbaum
Aug 03, 2014 Linda Appelbaum rated it it was amazing
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!
Spyder Collins
Jun 07, 2014 Spyder Collins rated it it was ok
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
Sep 29, 2014 Dan rated it did not like it
Fuck it. I'm throwing in the towel, I just couldn't finish this book
Jun 07, 2008 Zach rated it liked it
Only 2 gems, the story by Neil Gaimen is worth the whole book
Robb Bridson
Apr 14, 2015 Robb Bridson rated it liked it
I liked this more than most anthologies of the type, keeping in mind the main purpose I have for them is to find new things from authors I know and discover new authors that I want to read more by. Typically they contain a few gems and a lot of blah, particularly these '90s anthologies that tended to treat any kind of "suspense" story as horror even when there is nothing scary or even dark.

The big William Blatty novella that ends the book is pretty good. Stephen King's contribution is par for th
Bernie Gourley
Feb 04, 2015 Bernie Gourley rated it really liked it
999 is a collection of 28 short stories and one novella that are all in the genre of horror and dark suspense. The collection includes some superstar authors such as Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Neil Gaiman, and David Morrell, but all of the authors are established writers and most will be familiar to readers in this genre.

I won’t go into each story in depth, but will list and briefly describe each. A few of the stories stuck with me, while others were quite forgettable—so I’ll point out whi
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
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
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
Apr 01, 2013 Niknik marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Niknik by: 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
Mar 20, 2013 Paul rated it liked it
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
Nov 04, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it
I guess it's expected in an anthology that you'll love some stories and not others. Sadly, in the case of this book I found way more misses than hits. Some stories were oddly neither scary NOR suspenseful. However, there were a few gems in here. And I'm so happy I hung in there, because the closing story was an AMAZEBALLS masterpiece of a ghost story.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

999: Twenty-nine Original Tales of Horror and Suspense (3 books)
  • 999 - Antologia Powieści Niesamowitych. Tom 1
  • 999 - Antologia Powieści Niesamowitych. Tom 2

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“It is always Dark. Light only hides the Darkness. —DANIEL KIAN MC KIERNAN” 0 likes
“twenty years after McCauley’s effort, I concluded that it was time to prove, once and for all, that the horror and suspense genre is a serious literary one. I had other reasons” 0 likes
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